Bill Salot wrote:The third unofficial world championship checker problem composing contest has been active for a week now, but the votes are trickling in rather slowly.
Did you overlook the diagrammed contest problems on the cover page? No
Couldn't you find the "Go to Contest Page" button? Yes I found it
Isn't the link working for you? The link is working
Are the contests too frequent? I think they are a little too frequent.
Are any of the problems flawed? No, but I think that there have been too many published game play to enter anything in the contest that is worth studying. Most problems I see claim to be, say whites win, when white is 1 to 2 pieces up.
Do the problems not suit your taste? Some are good so far but I do not think many people are submitting their best quality work.
Are there too many problems for you to judge? no
Are you wasting time trying to solve them? no
Are you losing interest? not really, this needs to be more glorified for people to take better interest.
Is anything else keeping you from voting? I personally have voted every single time. I guarantee I am busier than most.
Bill Salot wrote:Thanks to the several who have voted since my above message of concern.
And thanks to Eric and Joe for their prompt and constructive responses. It is interesting that both responses were from young, high level, internet stars.
1 - Eric thought that many composers are not showing their best problems. From my perspective, I believe the composers involved are really trying. They want to win. If the problems could be better, it is because many other composers are not entering any problems at all. The answer is we need more composers willing to enter good, original, unpublished problems. That is easier said than done.
2 - Both respondents felt the contests need to be more "glorified". Authoritative ideas for accomplishing that are needed. I am pursuing publicity up to my personal limits. Jason Solan has provided a fine, interactive contest site linked to the cover page. A few other web sites have posted the contests, and some folks have informally passed the word. But all of us together do not have the authority to make the contests "official". And no organization is going to "officially" recognize or sanction the contests if very few of their members are participating as composers.
3 - Both respondents suggested the contests might be enhanced by holding them less frequently (fewer, but bigger). I can see both pros and cons to this. It might be an incentive for some better composers to join in. It might be a disincentive to more prolific composers by throttling their enthusiasm. Currently the contest frequency is governed by the frequency of contest entries received. I would like to learn the views of others on whether a fixed or maximum contest frequency should be established..
4 - Joe suggested offering a bigger prize than the "unofficial" title and the informal recognition that accompanies it. I earlier received an off-line letter from a gentleman personally offering a token gift to the winner of each contest. I declined, saying it was not worth his effort. On the other hand, if a significant cash prize were offered, I fear that some unscrupulous non-composers might be tempted to dig up ancient gems from obscure old publications and enter them as their own unpublished originals for the purpose of stealing the money. It is difficult enough controlling unintentional plagiarism without rewarding it.
The points raised were good ones. I would appreciate advice on how, or whether, to pursue them further.
PPP - practical problems and positions ! Title of my next bookEric Strange wrote:I know and understand that Alex. My suggestion was just to have something like that as a separate contest if people liked that idea. Just throwing ideas out there
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