Although this was a different type of event from the normal tournaments, we sucessfully launched it. Jax was the only participant that has played a thematic before. At the start of the tournament I gave a short talk on competitor analysis and its relationship to Thematics. I could see that the ideas presented were quite new to the participants.
There are tournaments for selection, prize money and rating but a tournament purely to learn was novel. So through out the 2 days I kept hearing about who won and who lost to "weaker" opponents. Parents were calling up, visiting to see if their child was winning. So I made sure I spent time to explain that in FGM Thematics I am not interested in winning or losing. Apart from the Champion, I just want to know what the players have learned. So I want them to take risks, play new lines, play into the opponents lines to see how strong they really are etc.etc.
At the end of the 2 days I asked for feedback. Everyone had a good time and the feedback was positive. I closed with a repeat of the first morning talk but now using examples from the Thematic itself. And I finally saw the light of understanding in the eyes of the participants.
And there is a unanimous request for Dragon next.
Anyway its back to talking to the sponsors again to see what is the next step forward. Will keep you guys informed.
Coverage here and here and here.
PS: International Coverage here.