We all lose on time in the end.
To the general public, joint British Chess Champion and tied but lost the play off isn't a greatly important difference. Both convey the "seriously" good at chess image.I would agree that the "million" for the UK Chess Challenge has to be an exaggeration. At its greatest extent and using extremely rounded numbers, the UKCC had perhaps 100,000 entrants every year. In any one year, that's spread over all the school years. With the usual drop out of older juniors, that might be 10,000 new players a year. It's been running 20 years at least, so that multiplies up to 200,000. Perhaps the drop out rate is higher, 20,000 new players each year taking the lifetime total to 400,000. Given that every participant received some form of award, a plausible count of the participants in the UKCC should be feasible. RdC
The highest annual figure Mike quoted was somewhere in the region of 75,000, but it had declined quite a lot over the last few years, apparently because he couldn't afford to contact new schools. In earlier years it was also a lot lower. I suspect he was taking 50,000 as an average and multiplying by 20.a) Many players (probably at least half) would take part in more than one year.b) The basic entry per school is for 30 players: many clubs will have fewer than 30 players but he's counting each basic entry as 30. The entry points thereafter are, I think, in multiples of 15, so if your chess club has 32 pupils you'd have to enter for 45.c) There's a small amount of duplication - players taking part both at their school chess club and at their community chess club.d) Most players will have been introduced to chess at home or at school before entering the UKCC. Many, though, would have been introduced to competitive chess through the UKCC.e) You might well argue that it may not be a good idea to introduce very young children who don't know all the rules to competitive chess.f) You might also argue that the whole philosophy behind the UKCC (fun competitions but little in the way of encouraging skills development) is one reason for the decline in standards of junior chess in this country over the past 20 years.
On the plus side, this has encouraged Justin to start blogging again!
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