What do players demand?
In different amounts, they demand all three options (Postal, E-mail, Web Server - sdo).
However, a quick look at numbers shows the levels of demand in the three available methods.
During 2006, the Direct Entry office processed 389 entries.
6 were for postal events (1.54%).
41 were for e-mail events (10.54%).
342 were for webserver events (87.92%).
During 2007 (up to May), the DE office has processed 248 entries.
5 were for postal events (2.02%).
31 were for e-mail events (12.5%).
212 were for webserver events (85.48%).
This is pretty significant in showing how Web Server correspondence chess is preferred.
Now let's look at what Mike Nolan posted over at the USCF Forums back on June 19, 2007:
Assuming my data is complete, comparing the 2005-06 FY to the 2006-07 FY:
Collins Class registrations are up from 109 to 214
Golden Knights registrations are up from 170 to 277
Electronic Knights registrations are up from 122 to 154
Walter Muir E-Quads are up from 42 to 150
The Walter Muir E-Quads represent the only USCF correspondence events available on web server (using the ICCF server). The Muirs tripled in activity while the other events lagged far behind in growth. It should be noted that before 2007, USCF correspondence chess was hampered by serious reporting problems. However, the closest competitor in growth was the Collins Class events which almost doubled. Assuming consistent growth, the Muirs will soon out pace all other correspondence activities very soon.
The USCF has an opportunity, an opportunity that has an expiration date, to be the American organization for correspondence chess. History suggests that the USCF will let this opportunity slip by. It is time for something different. I think this board is different from those past and I hope action is forthcoming.
The USCF should immediately:
- Respond to the crisis facing American representation in ICCF in co-ordination with the CCLA, should that organization be willing able to participate, and Ruth Ann Fay to make sure the USCF and America are represented at ICCF Congress this Fall by a person who will take over the responsibilities borne by Ruth Ann Fay and Max Zavanelli;
- Make most, if not all, correspondence events available for play via web server;
- Return correspondence chess to the magazine, or at least Chess Life Online, as a monthly feature or column.