Many people asked me why I chose to play in Dresden (and the NY City Mayor’s Cup) and not other events. It is a fair question and here are my reasons:

– I have basically accomplished almost everything I wanted in my professional career as a chess player. I wish I did not have to face so many obstacles and various types of discrimination. But there is nothing I can do to change the past. Some people will be who they are and there is not much anyone can do.

– Today, I am a single Mom. My #1 priority is my children. Then my #2 priority is to help fix the many glaring problems in the chess world.

– One of the biggest problems in chess in the lack of proper and professional marketing and public relations.

– Another problem is too many chess organizers are spending so much money for the same BORING tournaments that only a small percentage of the population would care for. 99% of the people who play chess and practically 100% of non-chess players cannot tell the difference between the quality of play of 2700 versus a 2400 players. What the public wants is a storyline! They want excitement! They want something different! They want something unique! They want something fun!

– What is so fun about watching two 2700 players play for 7 hours and have them spend less than 7 minutes in a press conference? Some cannot even put two coherent sentences together. This is NOT going to attract anyone from the mainstream, fans or media. How does this give the sponsors the value of their sponsorships? It does not. And people wonder why sponsors are hard to find. It is much better to have good players with excellent personality, communication and people’s skills that can connect with the fans, sponsors and media. I was told that Elizabeth Pahtz attracts more attention from the media and fans than male players with ratings 200 points higher.

– This is why I chose to play in Dresden. The format is unique! The time control is short enough to be exciting and long enough to produce good games. The theme is perfect because of the FIFA World Cup. Soccer / Football is the most popular sport in the world. Why not ride their success? It is more important to organize good events and not everything is about good ratings.

– In addition, I have many good memories in this city. I first visited Dresden when I was approximately 6 or 7 years old. I know of many well organized events in this city. I played in Dresden a number of times. They respect chess players and they work hard to make their events as good as possible. This is why I chose to participate.

– This is also why I agreed to help them promote the 2008 Chess Olympiad. After 2 consecutive scandalous Olympiad, it is time to change things for the better. I believe Dresden will be a wonderful host for the next Olympiad as well as the European Championship in 2007.

– This is also why I agreed to help the organizers in Mexico City promote the 2007 World Championship! As I mentioned before, these two organizers are world-class and very professional. I hope other organizers can take notice and emulate this system.
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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