Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old November 19th 03, 05:53 PM
Vince Hart
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

Well Vince, you worked for the ICA. You tell us. Why does it exist?
Should
it exist? What do members receive for their high dues, except for a
bimonthly that is mostly crosstables and TLAs, both of which should

be
online?

Why did you quit?

TMB


In theory, I think the ICA can be very useful, especially from the
chess organizer's perspective. The ICB is a way to let chess players
know what events are coming up and to tell them about events that have
already been run. However, in order to perform these functions, the
ICA needs to get a decent magazine out on a timely basis.

I don't think that TLA's and crosstables posted on the web have the
same impact as a magazine that comes in the mail. Look at the CCA.
Goichberg's upcoming events and results are all posted on the CCA
website and yet, he still does direct mailings for each tournament and
has articles about them in Chess Life. The web is an excellent means
of making information available to people who are looking for it, but
that is only part of the battle. Information that comes in the mail
reaches the person who may not have given chess much thought recently
because of all their other activities.

I also think that coordinating the tournament calendar so that
organizers don't cut one another's throats is also a useful function
that the ICA can perform. Of course, this requires a certain amount
of cooperation from the organizers that is not always forthcoming.

In my opinion, what the ICA members should get for their dues is more
playing opportunities because a competently run ICA should make life
easier for people who organize tournaments and/or run chess clubs.

Unfortunately, the ICA Secretary is not in a position to determine the
organization's focus. The things that I saw as important were not
being addressed and the only thing I could see to do about it was
volunteer to take on further duties myself. However, I had seen the
way that Bill Smythe had burned out by doing that and I recognize my
own limitations.

Vince Hart
  #2   Report Post  
Old November 19th 03, 08:08 PM
The Masked Bishop
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

Vince, a good, solid post.

I agree with most of what you said. Certainly a prime directive of a good
state organization would be to coordinate tournaments for the benefit of
all. The fact that the ICA and the Bachler/Just/Clark triumvirate are in
conflict over this is a sign of the current ICA's ineffectiveness (to say
nothing of them running full-page ads for both tournaments in the same
newsletter.)

The one area I disagree with you is the online vs. print debate. If you'll
pardon the pun, the notion that putting out printed notices of
TLAs/crosstables is essential looks good on paper, but ultimately you run
into the same old twin bugaboos of cost and time-relevance. See the USCF
meltdown for an exciting example.

For an organization like the ICA, which is already running on a shoestring,
putting out a timely newsletter becomes a grinding, expensive chore, one
that never stops breathing down the association's neck. In the end, it
swallows up all your resources and becomes the prime purpose of the
association, rather than one of many planned amenities.

A well-run association, focusing on the various issues and services you
listed in your post, would quickly surmount the hurdle of getting players
and members to "look on the web." You'd have a season of confusion, but if
the mantra is consistently "check our website," eventually that will become
second-nature for anyone who cares.

To stay wed to paper bulletins and advertisements is to co-depend those
players who are too hide-bound or lazy to make the necessary paradigm shift
in communications that this century calls for. And it's not just money and
time we're talking here; it's saving trees, reducing pollution from paper
and ink factories, cutting back on waste...there are so many good reasons to
get off paper, it really must be done.

TMB


  #3   Report Post  
Old November 19th 03, 10:34 PM
RSHaas
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

"For an organization like the ICA, which is already running on a shoestring,
putting out a timely newsletter becomes a grinding, expensive chore, one that
never stops breathing down the association's neck. In the end, it swallows up
all your resources and becomes the prime purpose of the association, rather
than one of many planned amenities." (TMB)
==============
Exactly what old Haasie has been saying for years... All they do is
produce eyecandy newsletters... and not much else.
In my scheme of things the would-be Metro Districts could do a lot of
things, but they would not be permitted to **** away their would-be money on
stupid eyecandy chess newsletters.
I particularly like the idea that funded Metro Districts would be intended
to function in their associative form as "the organizer - promoter of first
and/or last resort as the need be in their operating territories." That is a
concept that does not exist in the USCF and it certain does not exist in state
chess associations.

RSHaas
  #4   Report Post  
Old November 20th 03, 03:02 AM
Vince Hart
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

"The Masked Bishop" wrote in message . com...
Vince, a good, solid post.

I agree with most of what you said. Certainly a prime directive of a good
state organization would be to coordinate tournaments for the benefit of
all. The fact that the ICA and the Bachler/Just/Clark triumvirate are in
conflict over this is a sign of the current ICA's ineffectiveness (to say
nothing of them running full-page ads for both tournaments in the same
newsletter.)

The one area I disagree with you is the online vs. print debate. If you'll
pardon the pun, the notion that putting out printed notices of
TLAs/crosstables is essential looks good on paper, but ultimately you run
into the same old twin bugaboos of cost and time-relevance. See the USCF
meltdown for an exciting example.

For an organization like the ICA, which is already running on a shoestring,
putting out a timely newsletter becomes a grinding, expensive chore, one
that never stops breathing down the association's neck. In the end, it
swallows up all your resources and becomes the prime purpose of the
association, rather than one of many planned amenities.

A well-run association, focusing on the various issues and services you
listed in your post, would quickly surmount the hurdle of getting players
and members to "look on the web." You'd have a season of confusion, but if
the mantra is consistently "check our website," eventually that will become
second-nature for anyone who cares.

To stay wed to paper bulletins and advertisements is to co-depend those
players who are too hide-bound or lazy to make the necessary paradigm shift
in communications that this century calls for. And it's not just money and
time we're talking here; it's saving trees, reducing pollution from paper
and ink factories, cutting back on waste...there are so many good reasons to
get off paper, it really must be done.

TMB


I guess my question would be, "How do you repeatedly deliver the
message to members that they need to go to the website to find
tournament announcements and results?" You have to get their
attention before you can deliver the message. The ICA may be able to
do a great deal more on the web than it currently does but I think
printing and mailing are far from obsolete as marketing devices.

I think marketing decisions should be driven by what is effective
rather than what should be effective in a perfect world. There may be
many wonderful reasons for getting off paper, but the ICA's goal
should be to help organizers reach players. Its decisions should be
driven by what works rather than by a desire to enforce "necessary
paradigm shifts." Seeing how far members can be weaned off paper is
worth trying but I think it would be foolish to make any assumptions
about how far that is going to be.

In any case, whether you are talking about print or internet, there is
still the problem of getting things done. Kevin has been asking to be
replaced as Webmaster for months. There seem to be volunteers
interested and willing to work on it, but somehow effecting the actual
transfer of duties is an almost insurmountable obstacle.

From my brief experience, I get the impression that the ICA lacks
institutional knowledge or control of its key functions. As a
result, when a Membership Secretary or a Tour Statistician or a
Webmaster resigns, there is chaos because the ability to perform those
functions rested solely in the person who was performing them. If the
ICA happens to latch on to a skilled editor for the magazine, then the
ICB is an award winner. If the editor is not so strong, then the ICA
is helpless to do anything to assist him.

I am not sure whether things have to be this way or not. Maybe it is
inherent in the structure of state organizations like Haas says.
However, there can be leadership problems as well and I have got to
believe that his Metro Districts would be staffed by many of the same
people.

Vince Hart
  #5   Report Post  
Old November 20th 03, 03:27 AM
ComputerlessBrother
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

(RSHaas) wrote in message ...
"For an organization like the ICA, which is already running on a shoestring,
putting out a timely newsletter becomes a grinding, expensive chore, one that
never stops breathing down the association's neck. In the end, it swallows up
all your resources and becomes the prime purpose of the association, rather
than one of many planned amenities." (TMB)
==============
Exactly what old Haasie has been saying for years... All they do is
produce eyecandy newsletters... and not much else.
In my scheme of things the would-be Metro Districts could do a lot of
things, but they would not be permitted to **** away their would-be money on
stupid eyecandy chess newsletters.
I particularly like the idea that funded Metro Districts would be intended
to function in their associative form as "the organizer - promoter of first
and/or last resort as the need be in their operating territories." That is a
concept that does not exist in the USCF and it certain does not exist in state
chess associations.

RSHaas



Sir a question for you and others: Do you consider Chess Life to be
"eyecandy"?

Not only do state organizations produce magazines, but so does the
USCF and some clubs have newsletters. They must serve some purpose or
they would not exist. However I do not totally disagree with your
comment about ****ing away money. The Illinois Chess Bulletin was
reduced from 64 to 48 pages due solely to financial concerns. Clearly
any publication must not only have merit, but must also be considered
in a monetary cost basis of benefit.

Having said this I will state I was unhappy to receive a November
Chess Life [or chess lite as the editor called it] that was only 32
pages. However, I do question if it is always necessary for Chess
Life to be 64 pages. Do we really need to list all the previous
winners of the various awards in the "Yearbook" issue? After all
shouldn't a yearbook be about the previous year, rather that previous
years? Do we always need a list of who has what point in the Grand
Prix? Are there places where Chess Life could be slimmed down without
noticeable effect to its content?

Lawrence Cohen


  #6   Report Post  
Old November 20th 03, 03:39 AM
Ron Suarez
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

I did a little Google research on the ICA and found this. I think
Kevin put it aptly:


Search Result 1
From: PhoolesMate )
Subject: ICB and Kevin Bachler
View: Complete Thread (126 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.games.chess.politics
Date: 2001-11-29 19:27:46 PST


At the risk of violating copyright law, here is the text of the
article
-----------------

Who Is the ICA?

Kevin L. Bachler

I've played tournament chess for 30 years. During that time I have
sometimes seen a tension between chess players downstate and those in
the metro area. Or have seen this tension between the local club
player and more active tournament players. This tension can perhaps be
best described in the single phrase, "Why do they blackmail me into
joining the ICA?"

This statement really conveys at least two messages. The first message
is a sense of anger at having to join the ICA to play in a tournament.
Just why does that organizer force you to pay extra just to play
chess?

The second reason is a lack of understanding about what the ICA is
about, and what the money is used for or why these dues are important.

By explaining more what ICA is and what it is about, we hope more
players will become more interested in the ICA, because we are a
volunteer organization, formed by players to further the our chess
enjoyment.

So just who is the ICA, why is it important, and what are those dues
for?

What and Who is the ICA?
The ICA is the Illinois Chess Association. It is officially an
Illinois not-for-profit corporation. It is a registered 501(c)(3)
organization, which means that it can accept charitable contributions
and that the donor may receive a tax deduction for that donation. The
ICA is also the official state affiliate of the U.S. Chess Federation.
So the ICA really is a very official organization.

Most of what the ICA accomplishes is due to volunteer efforts. The ICA
is not a service organization. That is, it does not provide services
to make a profit. The ICA is a volunteer organization where Illinois
players who care about promoting chess have gotten together to have
tournaments, championships, a state magazine to document important
state events, and so on.

The ICA provides several key functions in Illinois. These functions
include:

Governance
Tournaments and titles
Documentation and advertising
Tournament calendar and clearinghouse
Illinois tour
Scholastic programs
Other key programs, (Illinois Banquet, etc.)

So EVERY CLUB in Illinois should realize that this organization is
here to serve you. It is one of the best ways to advertise your
events, because many of the most active tournament players in Illinois
are members of the ICA. It is also a way that clubs can document their
history. Want to document who won the club championship in 2001? Write
a story and provide a couple of games for the Illinois Chess Bulletin,
and the results will be documented.

Governance
The ICA is also a governance organization. Did your son or daughter
win the K-3 chess championship? Well the title is official only
because the ICA recognizes it as such. Because the ICA is the official
Illinois state affiliate of USCF, that is one of our functions. The
ICA either holds tournaments or recognizes the winners of specific
events as the Illinois Champions.

The ICA also serves as a political tool within USCF. A little more
than a year ago USCF made a substantial increase in Tournament Life
Announcement rates. The ICA, acting in concert with other key
organizers, helped to negotiate a less significant increase in those
rates. While this increase was still significant, the ICA is seen as
one of the most active state associations and is therefore very
representative of the will of chessplayers. The ICA can be a very
effective way for organizers to increase their political voice.

Tournaments and Titles
The ICA holds at least two tournaments annually, the Illinois Open,
and the Illinois Class. The Illinois Open crowns the state champion,
and at 250 players is the most important "statewide" perennial
tournament.

Although the Illinois Chess Association does not directly run the
grade school and high school championships, it does confer the titles
awarded in those events. ICA will sometimes also run other
tournaments, for example, in 2000 it ran the Ali Grade state
championship, in which the champion for each grade is determined.

Documentation and Advertising
ICA is also the primary means for Illinois tournaments to enter the
historical record. It also is a great way to advertise tournaments to
active tournament players. Both of these functions are accomplished
primarily through the Illinois Chess Bulletin.

The Illinois Chess Bulletin thrives on publishing Illinois Chess news,
whether a major tournament, minor tournament, or a club event. If you
want to document your tournament, send an article to the editor of the
Illinois Chess Bulletin The article will be even better if you can
include a photo and games from the event. Although we are happy to
accept any format, please keep in mind that formatting and producing a
64 page magazine on a part-time basis is a tremendous undertaking.
Therefore, we can save work, and cut down on errors, if you submit the
article, games, and photos in an electronic format. Instructions on
how to do this are available elsewhere in the magazine, or online at
www.illinoischess.org.

The ICA provides organizers a means to advertise tournaments, it does
this in three ways:

1. We include a tournament calendar both in the ICB and online at
www.illinoischess.orq. This calendar often includes local events that
might not be included in Chess Life, because the organizer may have
been trying to save dollars on tournament advertising. Being listed on
the ICA calendar is free, and if your club is an ICA affiliate,
details may also be listed for free.

2. We accept paid advertising in the ICB. Large tournaments advertise
regularly in the ICB, because it provides real results. A great
example is the Western Open, a Milwaukee,
Wisconsin tournament held over the 4th of July weekend, advertised in
the ICB last year -and they saw a significant increase in entries from
Illinois. They are planning to advertise in the ICB again this year.

3. We sponsor an Illinois tour, and will soon add an "ex-urban" tour.
Players know that tour tournaments draw better competition, and that
this puts them in the running for tour prizes at the end of the year.
As a result, these tournaments tend to draw better than non-tour
events. What's the catch? The players must all be ICA members.

Together, these three functions form a very effective means of
tournament advertising, and is one of the primary reasons why - even
though it is suffering in some key ways - Illinois chess is still
among the most active and most thriving in the country.

Tournament Calendar and Clearinghouse
Although we have already mentioned the tournament calendar, it is
important to note that the calendar doesn't serve only to advertise
events, or to assist players in choosing events. The calendar also
helps to avoid major tournament conflicts. This leads to tournaments
that are more enjoyable both for organizers and for players.

The Illinois Calendar often has tournaments listed as far as two years
into the future. As a result, it is much more possible to do
longer-range tournament scheduling using the Illinois calendar than it
is with the USCF calendar.

Although officially the metro-vice president and the downstate
vice-president are responsible for acting as the clearinghouse, in
practice (and particularly in the metro area, this function has been
filled by Bill Smythe, ICA's resident workhorse volunteer, and the
person who puts together the calendar. If you want to get something on
the calendar, contact Bill.

Illinois Tour
The Illinois Tour is one of the major ways in which the ICA promotes
chess. The process is simple. There are three sizes of tour events,
micro, mini, and maxi. Players win points by playing in tour events.
Organizers pay to be on the tour, but in addition to being on the
tour, they receive advertising in the ICB for free (the amount of
space depends on the type of tour event.) The money that the
organizers pay are used to pay the tour prizes. Because tour
tournaments tend to draw more players, organizers typically recover
their additional costs through the additional players they have, and
also because these more prestigious tournaments might support a
slightly larger entry fee.

So in essence, the real cost of the program - that is, the dollars
that end up "outside of chess" - is nothing more than the marginal
cost of the advertising space in the ICB. This is a great method of
promotion, the players love it, and the cost is extraordinarily Iow.

There are changes coming to the Illinois tour that are being announced
elsewhere in this issue. These changes include that the tour calendar
this year is being extended until March 31. In future years, the tour
will run from April 1 to March 31. This is being done for a few key
reasons. One is that tour prizes are paid at the Illinois Banquet.
Consequently, since players like to receive their check, it is
important to have the banquet not long after the tour calendar.

But now think about the poor saps who get elected to be ICA officers
effective January 1 of a year. Suddenly, they have a banquet to
organize!! Additionally, it would be nice if the banquet could be
extended to include recognition of scholastic chess achievements,
thereby drawing scholastic players further into mainstream chess. But
the most important scholastic events don't occur until March, April,
and May -usually long after the banquet has been held.

By moving the tour calendar to end on March 31, we can have the
banquet in late May to early June, and incorporate all of these
factors. Furthermore, we can consider working with the Chicago
Industrial Chess League to serve as the banquet at which they award
their prizes as well.

Scholastic Programs
Many of the most active states have strong scholastic programs.
Illinois' scholastic program has become even stronger in the past few
years, and it is composed of several key organizations. These a

Cochess: This is primarily a parental organization, which is
responsible for K-8 chess, including a calendar, and for organizing
the K-8 state championship. For information on Cochess go to
www.ilchess.com/cochess. K-8 chess in Illinois is, for the most part,
USCF rated, although there are also a significant number of unrated
training tournaments, especially in the Evanston area.
ICCA: The Illinois Chess Coaches Association, which is located
online at www.chesscoach.orq. This organization is one of the two
major organizations responsible for high school chess in Illinois.
High school chess in Illinois is primarily unrated, although there are
still one or two rated high school events.
IHSA: The Illinois High School Association, which has a website at
www.ihsa or.q. The Illinois state team high school championship is an
8 board team tournament run over two days by IHSA.
The ICA/Warren Junior program, which is run by ICA. This program has
two distinct features. One portion of the program focuses on
instruction and equipment for K-12 schools. The other portion of the
program focuses on individualized instruction for top players in
Illinois, currently determined as players who make it to the USCF top
50 rating lists for their age group. It is important to note that
these programs DO NOT use ICA dues as funding. Instead, they are
MATCHING programs, meaning that the school or individual must come up
with some money, AND we do separate fundraising for these programs.
Although ICA will allocate in the area of $1,500 a year of its money
for scholastic chess, the goal is to raise all of this money separate
and apart from dues, through tournament profits or other fundraising.

Other Programs
ICA has other programs that it supports. The Banquet has already been
mentioned. The cost of the banquet is covered by a fee charged to
those who attend. We give out the Broughton award, for life
achievement in Illinois chess. This is funded by a bequest. From time
to time we make special awards or special support for players who have
done something noteworthy. Again, we try to do this from tournament
profits or other fundraising, not from baseline dues.

Where Does the Money Go?
In essence, dues pay for the magazine. All other programs are paid for
through profits from events, or through fundraising. Your dues ARE NOT
used to subsidy services to someone else.

What Does ICA Do?
We promote chess in Illinois, so that you, the player, can have more
enjoyment for your hobby, at a very Iow price. In summary:

Volunteers
Low price
Many events
Advertising
Documentation
Make chess more social and enjoyable.

We hope this helps you to better understand ICA, and encourages you to
support us now and in the future.

  #7   Report Post  
Old November 20th 03, 04:45 AM
RSHaas
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

"However, there can be leadership problems as well and I have got to
believe that his Metro Districts would be staffed by many of the same people.
(Vince Hart)
==============
Yes, most likely. I can foresee a lot of potential problems with the funded
Metro District scheme... but that wouldn't stop me from putting them into place
if I had a free hand to do so and there was money to fund them.
I unfailingly believe in this: If the broad mission is to promote chess in
America, then the primary target for that mission should be the basic market
for organized chess activity... the metro scale in most cases.
The metro scale is where the best, most consistent, and most productive
organizational work is done. So, if there could be a Mensa type scheme for
chess, that's where I'd invest the chess development money.
Again, I say.. the one thing I like most about my scheme of things is that
funded Metro Districts would be intended to function in their associative form
as the "promoter - organizer of first and/or last resort as the need be in the
territory in which they operate."
Note that the concept of promoter of first or last resort does not exist in
USCF culture. Nor does the concept of territorial caretaking.
If I had my way 15 years ago, you wouldn't recognize the USCF today. But
it wasn't to be. And now it is probably too late.

RSHaas
  #8   Report Post  
Old November 20th 03, 05:46 AM
RSHaas
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

"Not only do state organizations produce magazines, but so does the USCF and
some clubs have newsletters. They must serve some purpose or they would not
exist." (Lawrence Cohen)
=============
Again, the short version .. if there could be a Mensa type treatment for
chess.. with funded Metro District umbrella orgs... in my version the metro
orgs would not **** away their $10 share of the national dues on metro chess
newsletters.
There are already enough chess newsletters -- which explains why state chess
associations can't do much else.

RSHaas
  #9   Report Post  
Old November 20th 03, 02:07 PM
The Masked Bishop
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

The ICA may be able to
do a great deal more on the web than it currently does but I think
printing and mailing are far from obsolete as marketing devices.

They are obsolete. The faulty belief is that paper advertisements get
players to tournaments. That's wrong: players seek tournaments, and most of
us don't wait for paper anymore (I still haven't rec'd my Chess Death for
this month).

If you build it, they will come. Yes, there will be a transitional phase,
with frustrated oldies yelling that they want their mailers. Tough it out,
and leave paper behind, with snuff boxes and hula hoops.

TMB


  #10   Report Post  
Old November 20th 03, 06:36 PM
Vince Hart
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why an ICA?

"The Masked Bishop" wrote in message .com...
The ICA may be able to

do a great deal more on the web than it currently does but I think
printing and mailing are far from obsolete as marketing devices.

They are obsolete. The faulty belief is that paper advertisements get
players to tournaments. That's wrong: players seek tournaments, and most of
us don't wait for paper anymore (I still haven't rec'd my Chess Death for
this month).

If you build it, they will come. Yes, there will be a transitional phase,
with frustrated oldies yelling that they want their mailers. Tough it out,
and leave paper behind, with snuff boxes and hula hoops.

TMB



A lot of people lost a lot of money in the NASDAQ thinking that way.

Vince Hart
Reply
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:43 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 ChessBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Chess"

 

Copyright © 2017