I hope for big changes in chess in the near future
I strongly disagree with the many “so called experts” in chess who say that chess is boring, not marketable, and can never make a dent in the mainstream. It is 180 from what I believe in.
Chess can be very valuable, extremely marketable, and even more popular than poker which is on many channels on TV. The problem is no one has thought outside of the box yet. How can we expect different results if we keep on doing the same failing things over and over.
I do not promote chess the same way others do. I have no problem raising money each year to host the SPICE Cup for 10 years (Free EFs + serious prizes + conditions for foreign GMs), SPF Girls Invitational for 13 years (Free EFs + Free Room and Board for 75 girls + over $200,000 in scholarships and prizes) and many other big events over the years. The budget to organize these events are well over $300,000 each year! There are always sponsors stepping up to sponsor because of how we market these events. I can raise more money by myself for chess each year than most chess federations.
I have more speaking engagements (some with huge mainstream companies), interviews, and TV appearance requests than I can accept. I am scheduled to speak at one of the biggest companies in the world next month in the West Coast right after a major event in Vienna. My schedule is booked solid for the next few years.
Chess can be exciting. Chess can be marketable. Chess can thrive in the mainstream. But the way we approach chess has to change. Today, with Social Media, Computer Technology, Blazing Internet Speed, and everything LIVE LIVE LIVE everywhere, chess cannot remain with the 20th century mindset with dead woods running it.
Chess promotion will not succeed if a chess game lasts 5-6 hours when commentators no longer have anything interesting to say after the first segment. Chess cannot be marketable if players no longer use their brains but instead purely rely on their home prep then accept uninspiring theoretical GM draws.
Companies do not want boring speakers. Fans do not want uninteresting chess personalities. Viewers do not want boring games. For chess to stay ahead of the competition, we need to think differently and promote it in a way to stay current with the Millennials.
Chess is too important to fail. Changes are coming. Stay tuned 🙂
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