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.