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Forum Home > Tournament Announcements > Kentucky Open Proposal

Stephen Dillard
Posts: 210

I am going to post here a proposed prize structure for the Kentucky Open for this year.  I would welcome comments and suggestions.  The goals of this post are to help the Kentucky Open to be successful and plan it in a break even format.

Step 1. How many players should this event draw?  I propose to base the budget of the event on 60 entrants..

Step 2. How to handle KCA membership fees.  Have an entry fee of $35 with a $5 discount to KCA members.  Require State membership for all Kentucky residents. USE KCA DUES in the budget for the event..

Step 3. Entry fee - $35 + state membership required (discount of $5 for KCA membership) $45 site entry

Step 4.  60 entrants X $35 = $2100  Prize fund $1800 with $300 for expenses (rating, TD fee, Building rental)

Step 5.  Sections and Prize fund.

Open $400, $200. $100 , X $150 , A $150 (build a Junior Prize to encourage Junior Invitational entrants)

Under 1800 $200, B $100, C $100

Under 1400 $200 D$100, E/and under $100 (no unrated players in this section)

Step 6.  The prize fund is large enough to make the event grand prix so get the advertising in in plenty of time.

Step 7.  Promote by - early advertising - reaching out to student entries - posts on chess websites and state association websites - Courier Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader calendar events (free) - AAA magazine (free) - Email blast from USCF email list - get creative offer suggestions to this.

November 20, 2011 at 1:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 1

When is the Kentucky Open?

November 20, 2011 at 5:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Stephen Dillard
Posts: 210

LPrice at November 20, 2011 at 5:37 PM

When is the Kentucky Open?

The Kentucky Open is the 2nd weekend in June.

November 21, 2011 at 3:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ryan P Miller
Posts: 30

It would be nice to see some discussion regarding this, and for advertisement to start early so we can get more out-of-state players a chance to consider joining us.

For the first time I can remember, I may be available to play in the KY Open this year. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed...


November 25, 2011 at 11:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 39


Excellent proposal - thanks for getting the ball rolling!  I've emailed Mike Amos to see if running the Kentucky Open would further his aspirations of upgrading his TD status.  If not, we have two other very good options (Steve Dillard and Matt Gurley, both of whom have kindly offered to run the event if needed).  Below is a similar prize structure submitted by Matt Gurley (note that an outcome of fewer than 120 players - a likely scenario - would cut the prize distributions in half).  Let's allow a little more time for discussion (hopefully!), and then I'll submit the itenerary to USCF.  St. Francis High School will again host us this year; the prize structure and the TD are the only things left to be sorted out.  We will advertise the event early for the first time in a long while.  In addition to Steve's suggested advertising outlets, I'll also submit the listing to publications like the Leo and the Velocity.

Matt Gurley's Proposal, as he submitted it:

$6,000 prizes

b/120 entries


30 Grand Prix Points


A state championship event!

A heritage event!


KCA membership required, $10 for in state and out of state


3 Sections




X (U2200): $300-$200

A (U2000): $300-$200




C (U1600): $300-$200




X (U2200): $150-$100

A (U2000): $150-$100

Explanation of Finances

The first thing you should note is that I do not expect there to be 120 players. The previous KY Open is pretty representative of what we can expect for the coming year, and is what I am anticipating. In that tournament there were 63 players total with 31 players in the Open section, 21 players in the U1800 section, and 11 players in the U1400 section. The prize structure I have listed works for 60 players.


Tournaments listed and advertised as "based on" require the tournament organizer to guarantee 50% of the advertised prize fund, which only puts the KCA on the hook for $3,000. In the event that only 60 players show up, (which I would consider a low turnout) the open prize funds will be reduced to $500-$250-$150-$100, and so on for each advertised prize.


Additional Accounting: There will be a $1 fee we have to pay USCF per player in the Open section, as well as $2.50 per player for rating fees, for a total of 30x$1 + 60x$2.50= $45. The TD will probably get a fee say...$150. Also say $100 for advertising expenses. KCA fees will bring in $600 for 60 players, which should allow us to kick in extra money if we want to pay out slightly more than required (e.g. 50% turnout could be paid $3300 or 55% instead of $3000)


Anyway you look at this KCA will make money or break even while growing the size of the KY Open.



November 29, 2011 at 9:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

"Jerry" Weldin
Posts: 25

I would like to suggest that "corporate" sponsorship be sought. Yum headquarters are in Louisville, Subway's and Chik-Fillet sponsored the Blue Grass events this year. The worst that can happen is they say no. Politicians are also eager to give money, even if it's not an election year. The money raised in this manner would allow a bigger prize fund which would attrack the Grand Masters. Also give "free entry" to all Masters with their entry fee to be deducted from their winnings.

December 4, 2011 at 12:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Stephen Dillard
Posts: 210

I would like to see sponsorship as well. 
So far I have never been good at getting it.

December 4, 2011 at 7:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 39

Perhaps I'll investigate securing some sponsorship; there's no harm in asking.  I would encourage the entire chess community to ask around in search of prospective sponsors.  If you have a lead, but you don't want to make the prerequisite phone calls, I'll be happy to handle that part of it.  The foremost problem facing the KCA with regard to sponsorship is that at present, donations made to the KCA are NOT tax deductable for the donors.  Allen Priest and Chris Bush, both of whom have backgrounds in tax law, have spoken out in favor of switching the KCA from a 501(c)4 organization to a 501(c)3.  This change would allow donations to the KCA to be tax deductable, which would encourage philanthropy toward chess.  I did a lot of reading and decided not only to approve this switch, but also to expedite our pursuit of it.  Unfortunately, this reclassification with the IRS can take up to 2 years - they have to approve us, and they are picky.  Allen kindly offered to handle the process, and I believe that his savvy in finance gives us the greatest opportunity for switching successfully.  He knows what the government wants to see and hear from an applicant.  Allen is a busy guy, but when I do get ahold of him, I'll ask if he's made any inroads into the transition.  In the interim, let's do what we can with what we have.  Maybe we'll find a donor or two anyway.


December 7, 2011 at 4:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 39


I’ve looked over the two major proposals for the Kentucky Open, and here are my thoughts:

First off, a huge “thank you” to Steve Dillard and Matt Gurley for submitting the two proposals upon which I have based my own proposal (it is largely a synthesis of the ones they submitted). The foremost difference between the two proposals I received is that Matt put the U1800 prize fund at roughly 75% of the Open prize fund, and Steve put it at roughly 50%. Based on the rating demographic turnouts we have had in past years, I’d recommend putting it at about 66%. Steve has the U1400 winners receiving the same prize denominations as the U1800 winners, which strikes me as a bit too high given the anticipated turnout in each section. Matt has the U1400 winner receiving only one-third as much as the U1800 winner, which strikes me as a bit too low. Mind you, both Steve and Matt have far more skill than I do in selecting appropriate prize distributions, but I feel that the best solution is likely between the two suggestions. We have a $500 site fee. Matt Gurley cleverly factored in $100 for advertising, and I like the idea of listing the tournament payout based on 120 players (when the most likely scenario is that we have between 60-120, meaning that our actual payout will be half of whatever we advertise). I tended to favor Steve’s approach of awarding 3 section prizes and tended to favor Matt’s decision to award more than one class prize for all but the D and E classes. I like Steve’s idea of having a specific Jr. prize for the top under 21 finisher. Here is what I came up with:

Based on 120 players (so the likely payout will be halved in every case)

$10 KCA membership required for in state and out of state.

Open Overall: 900 600 300

X Class 300 150

A Class 300 150

U1800 Overall: 600 300 150

B Class 150 75

C Class 150 75

U1400 Overall: 300 150 75

D Class 75

E Class 75 (unrated players are NOT eligible to win either prize in this section)

Top Jr. 75

*Remember, the historical ratio of players-per-section tends to be 3:2:1 for the Open:U1800:U1400

The site fee is definitely $500 unless Ryan indicates that I can drop it to $400 – I’m deferring to his judgment since a) he is our contact for the site, and b) the price is already much better than any of the 20+ prospective alternate venues I called. The TD fee would probably be around $150. Advertising might take up $100. Open section fees and rating fees should account for $180, right?

All told, my present draft has $4950 in prizes and $930 in other costs. This means that based on 120 entries, we need to clear around $5880 to avoid losing money. That comes out to exactly $49 per player; is this reasonable?

My questions are as follows:

1. Steve: If a Jr. wins say, $150, is he eligible to get the $75 Jr. prize on top of that money, or would the Jr. prize default to the top Jr. who doesn’t win at least $75. What did you have in mind?

2. Matt: In the “additional accounting” section, As you have listed them, the Open Section fees and Rating fees would accrue to $180, not $45. Could you verify this?

3. Steve and Matt: I talked to Mike Amos, and running the Kentucky Open is something that he would be willing to do. However, doing so would not benefit his TD aspirations, and he said that he would prefer that either Steve or Matt run the event.

4. Anyone: What is the formula for determining how many Grand Prix points an event is worth?

5. Steve: What do you mean when you say “Use KCA dues in the budget for the event?”

6. Anyone: Going by the above draft, what should the tournament entry/KCA dues be per player?


ALL suggestions welcome.


December 15, 2011 at 2:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 39


A similar possibility with a bit more mathematical structure...

Open Overall: 800  400  200

X Class 200  100

A Class 200  100

U1800 Overall: 400  200  100

B Class 100  50

C Class 100  50

U1400 Overall: 200  100  50

D Class 50  25

E Class 50  25(unrated players are NOT eligible to win either prize in this section)

Top Jr. 50


December 15, 2011 at 3:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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