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- - Date 2009-08-02 20:06
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-02 18:17
Yesterday and so far today, I was unable to find anyone to play against a Centaur game on playchess.
Very disappointing.

Thinking about this now - maybe I should sponsor a Centaur tournament to get something going again.

What were the price funds for the last freestyle event? i.e. what would it take to draw the 'big guns / top dogs' to play?

I could probably invest 5,000 Euro in prize fund from my own money. And have participants pay an entry fee of say 50 Euro to join the tournament.
Assuming 50 to a 100 participants - if chessbase would agree to have this take place on playchess and advertize this to draw attention, that's another 2.5K - 5K.
So total prize fund of 7,500 - 10,000 Euro. Plus the time invested to get this organized. Probably would take 3-4 months to coordinate everything, so we'll be looking at a December time frame.
Would 10K Euro be enough to get something like this going? If you believe so I'll seriously consider trying to get such an event to happen.
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-08-02 20:06
The last freestyle tour on infinity chess had a total prize money of $16,000, close enough to your estimated EUR 10,000. I would be joining, and I guess around 60 others.
Parent - - By The Truth (**) Date 2009-08-03 06:16 Edited 2009-08-03 06:27
No, the last infinity freestyle event have 1000 euro prize fund and free entry fee. The one you're talking about is the 8th freestyle that happened on playchess and not infinity chess.
Parent - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:09 Edited 2009-08-03 09:15
Yes you are totally right. Mixed the two up.

Links to the 2 Infinity tours (Prize money is listed at the bottom of the page):
http://www.infinitychess.com/xmasfst.php
http://www.infinitychess.com/wfst1.php

For the record I would play in any freestyle tournament, prize money or no prize money. :-)
Parent - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:21
Thanks for the feedback.
Parent - - By The Truth (**) Date 2009-08-03 06:26
I think you can organize that tournament on playchess.com machine A or B and you can have ducats as prize fund. For a start maybe you can do a small prize fund of 500 ducats (50 euros) tournament in there and see how it goes. And maybe you can do this like weekly or grand prix style instead of just a one shot tournament where it can seem to be more of like a gamble.
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:22
Interesting idea, thank you. It seems the 'big dogs' would come out for a real prize money though. And the logistics effort for getting this right and big would be the same from my side. So I'll probably go for the real thing.
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:30
"a real prize money" will be in most cases in the 1K order. In the last Infinity tournament we had Eros, Anson and O'Neill (among others) going for it. You just leave out a few by not going all the way to 10K.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-03 20:53
The last Infinity tournament was supposedly part of some kind of series, plus we were willing to support to the overall cause.  For a one-off tournament 1K would not be enough to get Anson interested.  If you want all the big names in, and a bunch of aspiring contenders, you really need five figures and a publicity machine so people know about it.  That can only come from Chessbase these days.
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2009-08-04 05:50
If you want a tournament which is accepted as a de-facto 'World Championship' (even if you are too modest to call it that), you need a prize fund which is comparable to the CSS/PAL Freestyle tournaments. That's where the bar has been set. IIRC those were around 10,000 Euro.

Smaller tournaments are also perfectly fine of course - anything is better than nothing. :)

Vas
Parent - - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2009-08-03 07:33
That would be really great. If there is anything I can do to help with this (space on rybkachess.com, or some contacts, etc), please let me know. You can also try contacting Arno Nickel.

A 10,000-Euro prize fund will most likely get the serious participants. Iweta and I would certainly play, and our cluster almost certainly as well (depending on Lukas' schedule).

Vas
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:27
Sounds good - thank you.

I'm leaving for the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador on Thursday for all of August. But as soon as I'm back I've now made up my mind to get something like this tournament to happen.
In life I've learned that when I want something I often don't wait for it to happen but make it happen. So since there's no such tournament at the moment, I may as well make one happen.
I'll probably be able to start getting the logistics started on mid-September, so a tentative date should be mid-November for such an event.
Should be fun getting something like this to happen! I already have some nice ideas.
Parent - - By David Evans (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:43
Arno may or may not have a schedule already for freestyle in november if your choice of month for such a event is this said month...... for the prize money u are talking about Team Ultra-d would play in such a event iam sure u could get over 100 and more to attend such a event.

U need to contact Arno and try and get some dates out of him as u would not want any freestyle tours to clash as that would be counterproductive.

Also can u concider not playing tours on a friday like Freestyle does if u play say over a saturday and sundays maybe two weekends or three u would get more poeople involved as at the time of the year people are low on holidays to cover such tours.

Famous film quote (IF U BUILD IT THEY WILL COME)

Just not on a damm friday ...

Ultra-d

Good Luck Highend
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:58
What you say makes a lot of sense, except for the bit about asking Arno to advance him with an schedule, as I don't think he can provide one. That would be a waste of time.
Parent - - By David Evans (****) Date 2009-08-03 10:02
Then maybe they could work something out together as Arno has posted a schedule will be ready in october what if then the first tour is november and it runs over Highends proposed tour that is what worries me but that could easliy be overcome with dialog with Arno.

Anyway maybe times are about to get exciting in the world of freestyle we can only hope

Ultra-d
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 10:09
Again, I understand what you say but "that could easliy be overcome with dialog with Arno" should be put into question. Just check Infinity's track record.
Parent - By FWCC (***) Date 2009-08-03 13:09
This sounds like a nice idea for a Tour,I would definantly play provided my schedule allows it.Count me in now that I've had my first real experience at it.
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2009-08-04 05:55
This is excellent news, I really look forward.

Between 2006 and 2008, there were 7 or 8 very good freestyle tournaments, run jointly by PAL and CSS. The rules were not always perfect, as freestyle play turned out to be different than over-the-board play in ways which were impossible to anticipate. You may want to go back and read some of the reports and discussions from those events, or talk to some of the guys who participated (and to Arno).

Anyway, good luck!

Vas
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2009-08-03 09:32
What's the lowest prize fund you'd play for?
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:35
That sounds like asking a girl what her age is.
Parent - By Sesse (****) Date 2009-08-04 09:21
I heard that if you ever were to guess at a girl's age, you should round your initial guess towards 24. :-)

/* Steinar */
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-03 20:56
That's like asking a girl how much is the least she would take to....never mind.
Parent - By Vempele (Silver) Date 2009-08-03 21:05
I suppose that answers the question of what you're going to do with the prize money.
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2009-08-04 05:57
It depends on what the community accepts as "serious".

Vas
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-08-03 16:34
Great idea, thank you! As InfinityChess hasn't yet fixed its new tour schedule, I think we will be able to cooperate with you. I myself will do my best to help you setting up a successfull event, which may perhaps also include co-sponsoring. Nov./Dec. would be fine, so we would have enough preparation time.
From my experience the schedule and the entrance fee may be even more sensible points for the total number of participants than the total prize money. The most accepted standard (if we can say so from 8th PAL/CSS tours) has been like this: 60min+15sec rate of play, 9rds, one weekend: main tour, other weekend: final, and low entrance fee, esp. as many titelholders and subscribers of CSS magazine were used to be free of charge.
Btw, I also feel, it would be good for freestyle chess to have its own independent platform, some kind of association, which will be able to regularly negotiate with sponsors and organizers and which runs its own website. I just started working on this idea. For anyone who likes contacting me, please use
freestyle-nl@web.de (or)
arno@infinitychess.com .

Arno
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-03 17:11
Hi Arno,

Email sent to you with from my 'real' identity :)
Once I'm back from vacation on September 1st I'll be looking to get such an event to happen. And I'm happy to sponsor the prize fund for it as well.
Also your idea of creating some formal association for future freestyle events makes a lot of sense. I'll be happy to join forces.
I'm quite new into computer chess / centaur-games, but to my credit if I may say so, I'm quite good at getting logistics set up - I'm much better at that then I am at Centaur chess, as it's been what I've been earning my living from hehe.

I look forward to touching base with you when I'm back from vacation, and I'll help make sure we not only get one off great tournament, but also some recurring tournaments for this wonderful sport.

Kind regards,

-High
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-03 20:58

> Email sent to you with from my 'real' identity


Hey...who was that masked man?
Parent - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-08-04 10:18
Hi,

just for the forum... Thanks Highendman we are in touch, and I am optimistic, we can succeed in making a good comeback for freestyle in November/December. I will be on vacation too, from August 8th until August 22. Actually, I can start preparing some things in the last week of August.

Arno
Parent - By Miroslav Kvíčala (**) Date 2009-08-03 18:31
Cool! I think that there are many players who would like to take part in tournament. From my point of view there can be lower money prizes (e.g. 3000 Euro - overall) and also not too high entry fee (remember that many players from Eastern Europe are not so rich). But anyway you have my support! Good luck...
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2009-08-04 05:58
Hi Arno,

this is all excellent news. If I can help somehow, please let me know.

Best regards,
Vas
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:25
10K would certainly be more than enough, it all comes down to what you want to get out of it.
If you want every top freestyler to take part, then that's your safest bet. On the other hand, if you want to play more games, a series of tournaments with lower prizes and free entrance will leave some (like the Railich clan) out, but you will get more people on the lower end. It's a trade-off.
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2009-08-03 09:35
I guess everyone wants to see the high end guys :)
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 09:39
It's my impression that playing is what interests him. Would he rather play guys A, B and C once, or just A and B five to ten times?
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-03 17:17
It's a combination of things. Not only do I have enormous fun playing these games, I would also like to see this turn into more of a 'sport', with predictable schedule, events, ratings etc.
And as it seems there's no such coordinating body at the moment, I'm up to helping make that happen myself. Maybe after one or two events I'll see that there isn't a large audience for this sport, or maybe we will see that actually there is. It should be possible to get computer-hardware companies I know to possibly sponsor prizes and H/W once we are able to show there's enough attention - in terms of participants and audience. As I haven't been into this before while I understand there were 8 tournaments previously I don't know what went well / poorly in them, what was the number of participants / spectators etc. I'll try to get up to speed on all of that to make sure I make only new mistakes ;)
Parent - By Miroslav Kvíčala (**) Date 2009-08-03 18:32
Cool! I think that there are many players who would like to take part in tournament. From my point of view there can be lower money prizes (e.g. 3000 Euro - overall) and also not too high entry fee (remember that many players from Eastern Europe are not so rich). But anyway you have my support! Good luck...
Parent - - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2009-08-04 06:01
There seems to be a core of around 50 serious freestyle teams and something like 10 really good ones. The chess level in the tournaments is phenomenal.

We never really succeeded in making it interesting to a wider audience, but I don't see why it shouldn't be possible. The main attraction is the great chess.

Vas
Parent - - By The Truth (**) Date 2009-08-04 06:39

> We never really succeeded in making it interesting to a wider audience, but I don't see why it shouldn't be possible.


Common misconceptions of people on computer chess like computers are always right and computers make chess more boring and not challenging enough are the ones hindering you from a wide audience. That's also the reason why playchess mainhall maxes out 4000-5000 people a night and engine room to only 100-150 (one of the lowest player count every night, only next to children room). You'll need to debunk that misconception to most of people in order for you to gain wider audience.

Maybe another way to attract more players is to create two tournaments, low prize-no entry fee and a high prize-with entry fee. Schedule them on different dates and at least you'll get both players that do it for fun and players that do it for money.
Parent - By keoki010 (Silver) Date 2009-08-04 16:27
That sounds like a good idea!
Parent - - By Dadi Jonsson (Silver) Date 2009-08-03 09:46

> what would it take to draw the 'big guns / top dogs' to play?


Based on your performance so for, I think that your own participation should go a long way towards securing the the participation of the real fighters among the top dogs. You only need a small prize fund on top of that. But of course, there are those among the top teams who seem to run away when they are offered a chance to face what they perceive as a stronger opponent ;)
Parent - By David Evans (****) Date 2009-08-03 10:15
hehe Dadi who runs away shame on them .....
Parent - - By Uri Blass (*****) Date 2009-08-03 10:41
I do not like all the idea of the free style.
I think that it is possible that the winner can be simply the player who can fix the result of more games as wins and it is impossible to know that Centaur X has friends who play for him that means doing their best against other opponents when losing against X on purpose.

Uri
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-03 10:50
Very true. Cheating in every sport is a reality that organizers need to plan against and circumvent.
A way to solve this is probably a qualifier tournament leading to top 8 players and then maybe a double round robin final.
And a TD who has the authority to disqualify results of the qualifier based on suspicion of a 'fixed' game result, although if someone does it well it's hard to prove the game was fixed.
It will require more thought and I'm sure that between the members here we could come up with the best possible format for this thing.
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 10:58
A qualifier and then a final it's probably best, it's not likely that any team could place more than one nick among the best.
Parent - - By David Evans (****) Date 2009-08-03 11:44
A qualifier and then a final is fine but top 10 is a must top 8 is a little short out of maybe 100 to 150 players maybe more.

Ultra-d
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 12:21
8, 10 or even 12. Depends on how many people take part, which will be a factor of both prize fund and entrance fee.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2009-08-03 13:46
This has already been disproven. There was massive collusion in the eighth freestyle final involving more than one set of teams. A large Swiss is certainly less prone to being fixed. A knockout is even harder to fix, but less satisfying for those that get booted early on.
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-03 19:21
"Collaboration" between different teams is unavoidable, I was talking about the same team having different nicks. There are way too many strong teams and chess entities nowadays to make those nicks useful for anything other than getting the team captain to the finals, something I'm sure any of such teams can manage with fair play.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2009-08-03 13:52
Cheating is too strong a term for what was apparently acceptable behavior. So much so that Eros posted on this forum after the eighth freestyle, that he won, that he had an agreement prior to the start of the tournament to share prize money with two other teams. There was also a comment about "not killing himself" playing in the finals against another team he was sharing prize money with. There were a number of other very suspicious games as well...
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2009-08-03 17:20
Thanks for this info. We'll make sure the tournament rules for this events cover all these topics in advance; and we'll have them reviewed here to make sure we've covered as much as possible of these contingencies.
For example some sort of the Sofia rules, not allowing draw offers before move 50, or not at all without the TD approving them for the finals, should be considered. It can't help teams 'fixing' draws in advance, but maybe I'm overly optimistic in that I believe that with sufficient rules / incentives we could drive the right behaviour from the majority of participants.
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