My old friend Don Aldrich, from Minneapolis, offered a suggestion as to why it has been difficult to get people from Minnesota to come to the Red Wing Chess Soiree. To be fair to myself, I had thought the same thing, though thinking something is so doesn't make it so unless at least ONE person admits that in their case, that's their reason for not coming. It's WEIRD economics!
That is, Red Wing is too far and too close! Not close enough so the "party goer" can commute back and forth, and "too far" to want to pay the hotel bill. But, it's almost ALWAYS like that! I live 60 miles from Iowa City, an hours' drive. I played in a chess tournament there a couple times and drove back Saturday night and to it Sunday morning. All I can tell you is I was TIRED--probably played like crap. If it was Des Moines, I stayed overnight in a room in the corner of the Hotel Des Moines where I couldn't have been more cramped had I been in a big closet.
So that may be a reason, but in the end, it's not to our BEST interests. This kind of reasoning can be used in many other places too:
1. I won't buy that book because I can get it at the library (unless it is one Major library that is pretty unlikely);
2. I won't buy that book because it's probably online somewhere (ANS: probably not, just a delaying tactic);
3. I won't buy that DVD because it's on YouTube (a preview segment is not the same thing as the whole DVD nor the experience).
In the current issue to come (#6) of Chess EXTRAS Andy Ansel wrote (many years ago) about the cheapness and laziness of chess players. Truth be told, this is true of other hobbyists too. Funny, yet something as "flim-flammery" as Texas Hold 'Em holds the "opportunity" of quick riches! I was in a Barnes & Noble one day when I saw a young guy, holding his daughter, and thumbing through a book on Texas Hold 'Em. Another genius!
I have a friend who plays in Black Jack tournaments and I've watched him play numerous times. The MAIN reason he does well is because so many of the other tournament players do so well at cracking up (in some cases, actually clueless). Then to spread his expertise he goes to a Texas Hold 'Em event, bluffs his way "almost" into the next round (more riches) until someone calls his bluff and he is OUT of the event. He went to the well WAAAAY too often. He's an average strength chess player (1700). Quick but not-so-rich riches! Cheapness? In chess (the last few years), but not in poker or craps, and yet they are so ephemeral. Lazy. No... what is operating here is "too-good-to-be-true." I've seen players lose $150 at the craps table (locally, here) just to get a FREE $13.00 meal at the buffet! Think about that.
So... I am still attempting to get more than seven to Red Wing. I have decided that I will go through with the event anyway because the people who registered to come deserve it. Most likely the hotel rate will be $120 for those staying overnight, but I don't think they care. They are there to meet people, have fun, work with Yermolinsky and myself, and to get in on the ground floor of what Thinkers' Press will be doing and previewing. These are the chess people who, over the years, I have found to be ardent supporters and absolutely the finest people to be around and have a good time with. To them, it's a chess vacation.
PS: Do you have a Comcast account? Don Aldrich, who does, says he doesn't get my PDFs on Sales, etc. Do you have a similar situation? Comcast has been involved in "throttling" disputes and everything else. They decide who is going to get what, or not. I remember being in a Comcast office in Savannah, GA. Lousy customer service, long lines of people with problems. If you are interested in getting PDFs from me and haven't been getting them, I can send them to you singly--labor intensive, but until there is a better solution (you can download from my web site for example) that will have to do. BTW, my web site is not up yet, but I am still working on it.