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A chess tournament -- entry fees and prizes

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Saturday, 22 June 2013, at 4:26 p.m.

I came across some information about a chess tournament, and I thought the information about flights, entry fees, prize money showed a certain contrast to the backgammon world.

The 6th New York International chess tournament, sponsored by the Marshall Chess Club and St. John's University in Manhattan, began Wednesday. It has five sections, with rating requirements and limitations. The top flight, called the FIDE Norm Tournament, attracted 65 players from 18 different countries, including 9 Grandmasters and 12 International Masters. I don't have attendance numbers for the other sections, which I believe all began yesterday.

Entry fees for top flight (FIDE Norm Tournament)
Rating/TitleIn advanceOn site
GMs, foreign IMs, foreign WGMs$0$0
USA IMs, USA WGMs, foreign FIDE rated players$175$225
USA players with FIDE ratings over 2200$225$275
Players with USCF ratings over 2200 and FIDE rating U2200$275$325
Players with USCF ratings over 2200 with no FIDE rating$325$375
All others$375$425

Guaranteed Prizes for the FIDE Norm Tournament
(Eligibility: USCF or FIDE rating of 2200 or above, and special invitees)
(Format: 9 round Swiss)
Total guaranteed$12,500
U2500 FIDE$1,000
U2400 FIDE$1,000
U2300 FIDE$500
Special brilliancy prizeamount not announced

Entry fees for lower flights
Max rating 2200:$129 in advance, $149 at the door
Max rating 1900:$129 in advance, $149 at the door
Max rating 1600:$129 in advance, $149 at the door
Max rating 1300:$79 in advance, $99 at the door

Estimated prizes for lower flights (not guaranteed)
(Format: 6 round Swiss)
Max rating 2200:Total $4,000: $1,500-800-500-200, Top U2100 $500, Top U2000 $500
Max rating 1900:Total $4,000: $1,500-800-500-200, Top U1800 $500, Top U1700 $500
Max rating 1600:Total $4,000: $1,500-800-500-200, Top U1500 $500, Top U1400 $500
Max rating 1300:Total $2,000: $1,000-400-200, Top U1200 $200, Top U1100 $200, Trophy for Top U1000, U900, U800 and Top unrated

Backgammon is not chess. It's not poker. It's not even tennis ;- Among other differences, the chess world subsidizes its best players, and has massively greater participation by players of less than world class ability. I don't follow chess anymore, but this is probably one of the bigger tournaments in the USA. I wouldn't say it's a typical tournament, and backgammon tournaments vary a lot, too. For what it's worth, compare some figures I put together for a couple of recent backgammon tournaments (prize pool figures are not official):

2013 Nordic Open
FlightAttendanceEntry FeePrize Pool*
Open99700 + 100 = $1060$91,822
Advanced101170 + 30 = $265$22,750
Intermediate9633 + 7 = $60$4,752
Beginner980 + 0 = $0Winner got a trip to Monte Carlo

*Not including added prizes (one free entry to next tournament, one free hotel, backgammon boards)

2013 Los Angeles Open
FlightAttendanceEntry FeePrize Pool
Super-3229$45029 * $450 * 90% * =$11,745
Open46$30046 * $300 * 85% =$11,730
Advanced47$15047 * $150 * 80% =$5,640
Limited7$607 * $60 * 80% =$336

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