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View Full Version : Use chess, dominoes, etc. to increase business?



10-03-2002, 06:43 AM
I've played pool in rooms where one sees people playing chess, backgammon, dominoes, or various card games. You see this at Mother's, in Charlotte, and at Blanding Billiards, in JAX. Some of the people playing these games are there mainly for pool, but many of them aren't. The room where I practice now pulls a lot of kids who come in mainly to socialize and play board games and cards with non-poolplaying friends. These kids seem to spend a good deal of money at the room's snack bar.

I'm wondering whether more poolroom owners could do themselves some good by making a few inexpensive board games available for the use of customers who aren't dedicated poolplayers.

Rinus de Gier

10-04-2002, 02:36 PM
Interesting idea, but how many kids are interested in board games anymore? Video games and, if they aren't available, pin-ball machines, are what I see. Don't get me wrong, I love board games, especially chess; I'm crazy about it, a real chess nut, pardon the pun.

I do remember seeing chess and checkers played in the pool room I frequented as a teenager, but that was over 30 years ago. Of course, I live in Colorado, not exactly the cultural capitol of the US.

I suspect your idea may take off in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York, particularly New York. Then again, I don't know; New York has its Washington Square Park and the Marshall and Manhattan Chess Clubs, so would they come to a pool room to catch a game? You have to wonder. It would be nice.

All the best,
Bob

Barbara
10-04-2002, 05:05 PM
fightingbob,

There are a couple pool halls in the Philly area that use board/card games that bring in the customers. Drexeline, just south of the city, has some board games you can ask for to play with. I haven't been there in a long time (hate the I95/I476 drive), so I couldn't tell you what games the RO has, but I do remember seeing kids playing checkers.

Tacony has its share of card players. The parking lot will be filled with cars (it's an old supermarket store that got converted, so it's pretty damn big) and I'll think that the tables (the good ones - the Black Crowns) are all filled, but it'll be the card players in the back that draws them in.

Barbara

10-04-2002, 05:24 PM
It might interest you to know that my father met Frank Marshall (the elder) while playing in a high school tournament at the old Marshall Chess Club some time in the early 1930's.

My father tells me that Marshall was very gracious to the contestants in that little tournament-that he talked with them casually and put them at their ease in surroundings that were much more affluent than the ones they were accustomed to. My dad won the tournament and Marshall presented the prize to him, a beautifully printed chess book that my dad has preserved fondly for seventy years.

Paul Madvig

10-05-2002, 12:17 AM
Thanks so much, Paul.

I love anecdotes like this, particular from those who met the great grandmasters, or like yourself, is related to one who did.

I read many times that Frank Marshall was a kind, affable man, and it's nice to hear more of the same. So many times the non-chess playing public perceives chess players as being either geeks or plain crazy, and often with good reason. But then there are grandmasters like Frank Marshall, great ambassadors for the game. And make no mistake about it, even though technically superior players like Capablanca would beat Marshall because of his romantic, attacking style, he was still one of the greatest players of all time Your father should be very proud of his book, very proud indeed.

By the way, I have Marshall's book "My Fifty Years of Chess" in the Dover paperback edition. If you play chess even a little, you must play over his game against Levitzky in Breslau in 1912. The final move is brilliant, a real bolt from the blue.

Take care, and tell your father hello from a fellow lover of that magical, 64-square universe.

Yours,
Bob

Harold Acosta
10-05-2002, 11:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: fightingbob:</font><hr> Interesting idea, but how many kids are interested in board games anymore? Video games and, if they aren't available, pin-ball machines, are what I see. Don't get me wrong, I love board games, especially chess; I'm crazy about it, a real chess nut, pardon the pun.

I do remember seeing chess and checkers played in the pool room I frequented as a teenager, but that was over 30 years ago. Of course, I live in Colorado, not exactly the cultural capitol of the US.

I suspect your idea may take off in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York, particularly New York. Then again, I don't know; New York has its Washington Square Park and the Marshall and Manhattan Chess Clubs, so would they come to a pool room to catch a game? You have to wonder. It would be nice.

All the best,
Bob <hr></blockquote>

Hey, back in 1978, when I was stationed at Tacoma, Washington (9th Infantry Division), there was a pool room in Seattle that had backgammon, checker's and chineese checker boards. I also remember chess being played there. We were all kids 18 to 20 something years old, we couldn't drink liquor (unless you had a fake ID which I had), so what else could us kids do? We had good times there, it wasn't an excellent place but it wasn't too bad also.

While you waited for your turn at the tables, you played any of the games you liked. It's been so long ago, that I can't remember the name of the parlor but these games ensured good business for the place!

10-05-2002, 12:29 PM
I go on a room that has chess, checkers and backgammon played in nice booths. It is free, so why would a poolroom want something they don't make anything off of one would say? On a busy night when you have a list you need something to occupy the players waiting. That way you have someone to put on a table as soon as someone else gets off. There is no down time at all, It converts to a lot of money in the long run. If there is nothing to do or no where to comfortably wait for a table. People will leave even if there is only one or two people ahead of them on the list. Before you know it you have five open tables and nobody waiting, result, an average night when it could have been a great night.

10-05-2002, 12:33 PM
In the south gin used to played in poolrooms all the time. They would put you on time just like pool. Then there was some cracking down and places with beverage licenses got a little nervous so you never see it any more.