An Open Letter to AGON by Mr. Chris Wainscott
Well, it’s finally here. After what seems like an interminable wait, the Candidates Tournament has begun. So far it’s been fairly exciting. Vishy getting off to an early lead in the first round again. Decisive results. Missed tactics. You name it.
And yet the lead story from this even so far is you. You’ve decided to try to force exclusivity of the broadcast rights regardless of well established legal precedent. Rather than trying to win over the viewers, you’ve decided to try to force them to watch you. What is this, state controlled media? Have we regressed back beyond the Iron Curtain where choice it limited and we’re told that your solution is the best one so that is why it’s the only one?
Keep in mind that your same heavy handed tactics were tried back in the Kramnik-Topalov match. They didn’t work then, and they won’t work now. The demands of the Bulgarian Chess Federation were laughed out of court back then, so why do you persist with this same ridiculous course of action now?
If you want to have chess fans watch your broadcast, then provide the best one. This is how the real world works. Hire the best broadcasters, build the best website, and provide the best content.
Write some checks and get World Champions such as Kasparov, Karpov, and Carlsen to call in and give their opinions form time to time.
Put Kramnik in the broadcast booth along with another solid guy like Kamsky. Hire someone for color commentary that has a ton of great stories. Larry C comes to mind, as does Seirawan, and I’m sure that there are dozens more.
Build a website with tons of interesting and relevant information, such as previous head to head matchups between the various players. Provide the pgn for those games. Put up a lot of interview clips from the players talking about their chances and expectations for the event. I can go to competitor sites and see this, but not yours. I see that you link to www.chess24.com for their Svidler interview. Why not produce one of your own?
In fact, why not produce eight of your own? I can pretty much guarantee you that if you had quality content package in an appealing way and delivered with ease then you would be the leading web destination before you knew it.
The choice is yours,
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– GM Susan Polgar