Friday, 28 November 2008

Growing a chess club

Barnstaple Chess Club itself is not in a bad way at the moment. We have, by my reckoning, fifteen active members, of whom thirteen are signed up for this year's Club Championship. We are not losing money, we have a good club atmosphere, and our internal club events are well attended.

But the long-term trends are not good. We've suffered a slow decline in membership that's been visible during my six years at the club; if we are to survive, we need to do something to counteract this. At the moment, we are engaged in the passive strategy of making the club known to anyone who actively seeks out the information (for example, having it listed in the ECF Yearbook), which is all well and good, and some people occasionally come along on the strength of it.

The question is: is there anything more active we can do? This one is over to you, blog readers. In particular, I'd like you to post your suggestions using the comments option on this post, so we can all discuss them.


Tom Chivers said...

Good links with junior clubs! Or even the establishment thereof.

Simon said...

At Exeter we are looking to work with a firm shipping chess equipment, to put in promotional material for sets shipped to Devon.

I'm sure we could do this as a Devon wide thing with this supplier. Worth a try.

If you find a good solution let me know. Exeter seems to be reasonably stable in total numbers, but we have quite a high churn rate. I think mostly due to people moving around more these days.

I fear we do fall down on the Junior side. Dr Dave does great work, along with a couple of members who help him. But the two clubs (junior and regular) don't mix enough, let alone interacting with other junior clubs.

We were thinking perhaps inviting a FIDE International Master to give a simul would be a good idea. If only I could think of one to ask ;)

Jack Rudd said...

I'd be very happy to do a Simul at Exeter, Simon. When do you want it?

Simon said...

Re: Exeter Chess Club

Can you drop me a note of when you are likely to be available, and contact details to

Looking at the ECC calendar April or any time after would be good for a simul.