Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 Tournament Attendance

By nearly any measure imaginable, 2016 was the most successful year for tournament attendance for the Boylston Chess Club.  We had more players, stronger players, and more completed games than any year in our history.

In the last year, 354 different players played in at least one tournament.  These 354 individuals comprised 36 Masters, 41 Experts, 72 Class A players, and 65 Class B players.  In terms of rating, players at the club had a net gain of 6466 points.  43 different players gained at least 100 points through the year, and 24 players had incredible tournaments where they gained more than 100 points in a single tournament!

Saturday Tournaments

As a group, the weekly Saturday tournaments are the single largest offering from the club.  In 2016, a total of 1399 players competed in 51 Saturday tournaments, a 20.5% increase from the 1161 players in 2015.  We averaged 27.43 players on each Saturday, and these tournaments featured 191 Experts and 124 Masters.  The 315 total players rated at least 2000 represent the largest such number in the club's venerable history.

Thursday Night Swiss and Monthly Quads

It's also interesting to examine the attendance at the TNS and the Quads.  Since these events happen nearly monthly, they're a great barometer for the club's overall health.  The Quads had their highest attendance since the club started hosting quad events on a regular basis in 1995.  An average of 24.09 players per event (265 total players in 2016) was a 23.3% increase from 19.55 average players in 2015.  While the club has had single years approaching the 24.09 average attendance (for example, 22 average players in 2012), 2016 was the first year with a consistently high attendance throughout the entire year.
The Thursday Night Swiss was also consistently strong.  22.27 average players per month continues the trend started in 2015 of stronger TNS events with more players.  In 2015, we averaged 23.75 players per month, a clear increase from 21 players in each of 2012, 2013, and 2014.  While it is possible that 2016 represents a regression to the mean, it seems more likely that players are settling in to the higher under section rating limit.  The average median rating of the TNS in the last year was 1802.  This continues the trend of the TNS getting markedly stronger over the last 5 years.  For more details and more specific numbers, see our blog post from April.

YearAvg. # PlayersAvg. Median

Scholastic and Nightly Tournaments

The last two major types of tournaments are scholastic tournaments and one-night action tournaments.  In 2016, we hosted 7 one-night tournaments.  The club has not hosted rated one-night tournaments with any sort of regularity since 2013, so it is hard to see a direct increase in attendance.  However, in 7 tournaments, we had 66 players compete.  This 9.43 average tournament size is 26.9% increase from the 7.43 average player number from 2013.  Interestingly enough, 39.4% of all of the players in these one-night tournaments were rated over 2200.  As a group, these one-night action tournaments are the strongest tournaments offered at the club.  If you would like to challenge yourself in the coming year, consider attending one of our Friday Night Action tournaments!
The scholastic program took a bit of a hiatus in 2015, but it was back with a vengeance in 2016.  73 players competed in 7 scholastic tournaments, mostly held on Sunday mornings.  An average of 10.43 players (and the fact that scholastic trophies are cheaper than cash prizes) made these tournaments one of the most profitable endeavors for the club, and these tournaments allow the club to continue to provide high quality instruction in clinic settings for students of all ages and playing strengths.


2016 was clearly an incredibly successful year for the club, and as it draws to a close, we hope that you join us once again in 2017.  Hopefully the coming year continues the trend of stronger tournaments with higher and higher attendance.  If you don't already have plans for New Year's Day, come play and eat at our annual Herb Healy Tournament.  The Herb Healy is a great chance to catch up with old friends and shake off the chess rust that builds up over Christmas - not to mention all of the food that will be served!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your families, and thank you for making 2016 such a wonderful year!

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