The President of the Georgia Chess Association Replies

A different post was about ready to go when the decision was made to check the email, where this reply was found in the inbox:

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

4:03 PM

Well written as always. I will ask you, just how many people walk away from a tournament with prizes? How many are motivated by the prize fund to play? Am I in a minority?

Parnell

J. Parnell Watkins, Jr.
President, Georgia Chess Association
770.744.8595
president@georgiachess.org

I would like to thank the POTGCA for his kind words.

His questions will be answered in order:

I have no idea “…just how many people walk away from a tournament with prizes.” If anyone does have an answer please share it with the POTGCA.

“How many are motivated by the prize fund to play?” can only be answered by asking each and every player in each and every section how motivated they were by the possibility of winning money. If one does that for every tournament for a year one would probably have enough information to answer the question.

As for the last question about possibly being in a minority, once again, how large a sample size do you need? I will begin by informing you, sir, that you are, indeed, in a minority!

Then again, I will admit Chess is different in some respects, which can best be illustrated by something that happened at Gammons, in the Piedmont Peachtree Crossing shopping center, in the 1980s. One day Steve Moffitt and I were there early and began conversing about Chess. Steve was a Texas junior Chess champion, and he asked if I would like to play a game. He had a set and clock in his trunk even though he had not played in years. Once a player… We decided to do as GM David Bronstein suggested and play a fifteen minute game. Since the game was drawn we set them up again. The second game was also drawn. A backgammon player had entered and was standing there watching the conclusion of the second game. He had no idea why we were shaking hands and smiling. “Who won?” he inquired. Steve said, “It was a draw.” He looked dumbfounded before incredulously saying, “You mean you SPLIT? Nobody paid off?” After wrapping his mind around the fact that no money had changed hands he asked, “So the only way to get paid is to win?” Steve told him that was the way it was. I added, and then immediately regretted it, “We were not playing for anything other than the love of the game.”

“What?!!?” he scoffed. “You mean you weren’t playin’ for ‘nuthin at all? What’s the point of playing?”

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