The Torbay Chess Congress
An annual congress held on the English Riviera
The Torbay Congress
Torbay Chess Congress
Torbay Chess Congress

Feedback from the 2016 (50th Anniversary) Congress

This year we received a 50% increase in the number of players providing feedback. Thank you all very much. This enables us to consider improvements for next year.

Generally the Congress gained good ratings across the board. Your overall rating of Congress increased slightly from last year. "Tournament Organisation" and "Congress Team" also gained pleasing scores. There was also an improvement in your evaluation of the playing conditions. Importantly none of the evaluations showed a significant deterioration. More players are finding the website online form a fast and convenient way to enter the Congress. This year 77 entered via the website out of a total entry of 132 (that's 58%). The use of the public address system helped everyone to hear the announcements. The distribution of the pairing boards around the room helped to reduce the crush near the doors.

Your ratings of the hotel also improved. They did a much better job of keeping us supplied with water and the "bring your own mug" approach helped with getting a simple cup of tea or coffee. There were still some delays in getting the mugs filled and this will be taken up with the hotel. As organisers we were conscious that quite a lot of the chairs were wobbly - something some of you also pointed out – and this is a serious matter for the hotel to address.

We do our utmost to avoid clashes with other events such as 4NCL by booking the weekend a long way in advance. Unfortunately, this year the Hertford Congress took place on the same weekend and this will have impacted both events.

We asked a number of questions about how you would like future Congresses to be organised. You were very luke warm about introducing FIDE ratings - only 20% of you would prefer that. The Fischer time control (90 minutes with a 30 second increment per move) was very popular, with 85% supporting this. But there is a problem with long games on the Saturday and Sunday mornings. These put the organisers under severe pressure to complete pairings, and could potentially delay the start of the following round. Introducing football style scoring (3 points for a win) did not get much support (only 31%). Finally, you were pretty evenly divided about increasing the entry fee by £5 – but if the fee were to be increased, the prizes should be increased across the board and not simply bump up the 1st prize.

Some other issues to be considered are:

  • Level of the prize money and their distribution
  • Getting the tea and coffee delivery to be a lot slicker
  • Hotel prices
  • Maintenance of a equable room temperature
  • Improving the lighting
  • Securing the carpet in a better fashion.

Thanks to all of you who have given us feedback. We will do our best to make the 51st Congress even better.

Some of the comments we received are set out below.

Overall a fantastic tournament. Hotel and food package was excellent. The team running the tournament were very good. Time limits and playing conditions also very good.
I thought this year's congress went very well. Everyone commented on how well organised it was.
An excellent 50th anniversary of our event. Here comes a compliment for Ken. You have an excellent public manner; you are great at the microphone; you seem to have excellent organising ability. Torbay Congress is lucky to have found you. THANKS!
It was well organised and all the congress staff where friendly and helpful.
Marvellous overall achievement.
Excellent tournament. Congratulations to the team of organisers.
My first Torbay Congress and I very much enjoyed it. Looking forward to net year.
Excellent — well-run but friendly as always. Thank you all for your hard work and effort.
Superb friendly atmosphere, efficiently run.
You can't improve on perfection! Sincere thanks to all concerned.
The organisers of the milestone 50th Torbay Congress are to be congratulated for celebrating it with presentations to Congress stalwarts, lucky dip prizes for contestants and faultless organisation. They even brought some blues skies and sunshine with them in November! Definitely a highlight among congresses I've played in. Well done to all involved.
Very Good. Always enjoy coming down to Devon for Congresses.
The venue and organisation were very good.
Thank you to the Congress Team for all your hard work and efforts. Well Done.
I thought the whole thing was great.
I enjoyed coming down to Torquay and playing in the was a great event and I will continue to support it as long as I am well.
Well done excellent help and great fun and organisation from you all. I think this Tournament will go from strength to strength.
Great tournament all round. Dont need to change anything.

2016 Feedback Summary

A total of 46 players have given us feedback on a scale of 1-5, where 1 was "very poor", 2 was "poor", 3 was "average", 4 was "good" and 5 was "excellent". Average scores were as follows.

Congress-Related Feedback

Overall 4.73
Tournament Organisation 4.80
Playing Conditions 4.33
Analysis Room 4.23
Website 4.58
Online Entry 4.63
Paper Entry Form 4.32
Congress Team 4.82
Book Stall 4.10

Hotel-Related Feedback

Convenience of Venue 4.33
Hotel Staff 4.27
Food and beverages 4.03