Hope everyone is well and getting ready to enjoy tomorrow’s Super Bowl. The Super Bowl and most sports have extremely easy to understand scoring systems. This is not always the case with other activities. This week two questions came up about scoring the awards and I thought since we are approaching a new award season, I would make a post about it.
The first concerns 1 entry categories. This happens all the time that for some reason only 1 item is entered in a category. It is clearly not the fault of the entry that others didn’t enter. It also shouldn’t just be given the award no bad or good the entry is. Otherwise, people would just wait until the last day and enter any old thing in categories with no entries, giving us all a great deal of unnecessary work, just to pick up awards they don’t deserve (and yes, I have had people try to do this type of trophy hunting.) So, these entries are judged based as best judges can on the sort of works that traditional win this awards (yes, in some categories that is barely possible), and are awarded an HM or Yes if it deserves an honorable mention or a full “yes, it deserves the award” As we are getting more people spreading word about the categories groups won, and of course the organization is ecstatic about this, but we don’t want any group or organization to feel that being the only entry in a category should take anything away from that entry earning the award.
The second concern that has been brought up is that of Chess Journalist of the Year. I would say of all the awards, this one causes the most problems, and it is not even close. I tried to do away with this category early on in my awards work. I was talked out of it and I am not suggesting that we get rid of it now. I do want to highlight the “of the Year” component. This is important because it leads us, or should lead us, to disregard the undoubtedly many wonderful things that the person did before the award work. Other issues such as quantity vs quality? Importance of audience size? Printed vs/ online? How important is the material covered? These are important questions and ones I am sure that the judges take into consideration, but those are questions for the judges to solve for themselves. All that I can do as a coordinating judge is to give them the appropriate materials or try my best to get those materials for the judges.