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It’s a crusty old editor’s orders, his last instruction before sending his cub reporters out on the local beat for the day’s news stories.  By George, those reporters were practically fired if they ever brought back a news story with innacuracies!


But that’s the news business, and this is scholastic chess.  It has been my privilege to help in the scholastic chess movement since 1988—and for the last 10 years keying names into computers, registering players to play.  It has been very rewarding, and I love giving back to chess something after having received so many good things from it for many years of my own life.


One thing, though, that I’ve noticed with all the tournaments I’ve paired, is that coaches or parents—anyone that registers students to play, actually—have a tendency to send registration information in that often is lacking in accuracy.  I guess collecting information is sometimes just an afterthought, or perhaps there’s not enough time to get the information right.  Whatever it is, I often get registrations lacking critical information, such as the school a player attends, the grade the player is in, or even just a first name—no last name. 


Then suddenly, on the day of the tournament, the coach or parent arrives, and the little innacuracy is now not so little at all.  “How CAN you misspell his name?”  “You have him playing in the 3rd grade again this year!”  “He doesn’t play at THAT school anymore!”  And so on. 


On the other hand, some coaches are, well, for lack of a better word, perfect.  Getting their registrations are a joy and a pleasure.  Students’ names are neatly typed or printed, and where ambiguities exist, a handwritten note is attached, explaining everything.  Thank you!  To all coaches and parents I ask that some time and thought be put into gathering information for registerants.  It saves time, effort, and headache, and will help good feelings to prevail at tournaments!


--John Wise


If you have anything you’d like to say on this subject, you can e-mail me, this website’s administrator.