Or, The Commodity of Chess
Fungible is one of my favourite words to say, it’s a perfect banter word during a blitz game! Basically it means ‘easily exchangable’ – the opposite of unique and valuable.
In 2020, chess is easily available, free and anonymous. There is nothing unique, special or valuable about it. Add the suspicion players live with where they aren’t confident that they are playing against another human and sadly we find chess is sinking deep into the fungible category.
This is an absolutely existential threat to the long-term survival of chess.
We need to maintain the value of chess.
Value is created by providing a unique experience. Something which cannot be easily exchanged or replaced. Almost all human-to-human experiences are unique.
So please, organisers, stop sending all the chess players of the world to fungible mega-portals tournaments that happen instantly and automatically, with no consideration of who is playing. Events where quantity is more important than quality (yes, I’m talking to you Arena). And which no unique experience is had by players. Lest they forget the joy of unique chess experiences and chess is doomed forever.
Schedule events. Use real names. Wait 30 seconds for the person who arrived late. And schedule rounds so that they mean something again.