Summary of Player Feedback
Following the recent Hertfordshire Congress which attracted 135 competitors we sent out an email to canvas views on the event and received 42 replies (31% response rate). The average rating from a maximum score of 5 were as follows:
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The venue, playing conditions and organisation were praised by virtually all participants although some did comment on the insufficient number of working toilets which seemed to be a particular problem this year. Some other areas attracting adverse comment included a noisy door connecting the playing areas; fallen leaves not cleared from the car park on Saturday morning; lack of lighting in car park on Saturday evening; insufficient signposting for pedestrians arriving from the town centre; too small a rest area with insufficient chairs. Despite these niggles, which we will work on, most players expected to be playing here again next year.
Fischer time controls were mentioned most frequently (15 times) in players' comments. Most were in favour of them and only one totally opposed. Some requested more a longer fixed time period and shorter increment and a similar number proposed the opposite. Some commented on the timing of the rounds, particularly the 6:30pm start for round 3 on Saturday evening (which many avoided by taking a half point bye).
One player requested that Arbiters be more vigilant in ensuring that post game analysis is not conducted in the playing hall. One requested that wall charts indicate those eligible for grading prizes.
The cafeteria was much appreciated, although some thought it not to have been as good as in previous years. One player commented that he would have liked us to have a Chess Shop (we did have one!)
A request was made to show live games, pairings and results on the website. (We did upload cross-tables and standings after round 3 on Saturday evening, but didn't show 4th round pairings because some players might have withdrawn over night.)
As in previous years the organisers will endeavour to address each of these comments. Many relate to the venue and we shall bring them to the attention of County Hall.
Finally, thank you to all who played in the Congress and provided so many helpful comments. We look forward to seeing you again next year.