My Proposed Change to World Championship Format – Think Outside of the Box!
Before going deeper into my proposal, let me explain why there IS a need for change.
1) We currently have the biggest chess attraction to the mainstream (in Magnus Carlsen) since Bobby Fischer.
2) In spite of this, FIDE has a hard time raising massive revenues (sponsorship, licensing rights, merchandising, etc.)
3) AGON struggles to raise money for the World Championship even with Carlsen’s name. $1 million prize funds is chump change for something this big.
4) No big network TV / LIVE streaming deal
5) Many national federations struggle to sell the benefits of chess to their target markets in spite of massive interest in chess globally.
Without being involved with any national federation or FIDE, I am able to raise $1.5 – $2 million per year for many years for SPICE and Susan Polgar Foundation projects. Therefore, it is obvious that chess is marketable if it is being done the right way!
Now, let’s talk about my proposal:
After seeing this 12-game World Championship match and reading countless comments, I would like to see a change to the format of the World Championship. I believe the new system that I am proposing will help make chess more exciting and make the World Championship more exciting and desirable for the fans, potential sponsors, especially for TV.
Instead of a 12-game classical match, I propose a change to 24 games:
* 8-game classical format (40 moves in 100′, 20 moves in 50′, g/15 + 30″ inc) where each win would result in 3 points (1.5 point for a draw)
* 8-game rapid format (25′ 10″ inc) where each win would results in 2 points (1 point for a draw)
* 8-blitz format (3′ 2″ inc) where each win would result in 1 point (.5 point for a draw)
The total points for the match would be 48 and one needs 24.5 points to win.
After 4 classical games, there will be an off day. After the conclusion of the 8 classical games, there will be another off day. Then after the 8 rapid games over 2 days, there will be the final off day. The 8 blitz games will be played in the final day.
In the event of a tie, an Armageddon game will be employed immediately after the blitz format to decide the winner.
Even though the proposed format will have 24 games, the number of days will be shorter and it will be more exciting for the fans and much more appealing to the potential sponsors and TV.
The chess community is very fortunate to have a dynamic World Champion in Magnus Carlsen, one who attracts the most attention from the mainstream media since Bobby Fischer. It is a pity if the chess community does not capitalize on his broad appeal to further chess. The current system is boring and does not attract adequate sponsorship.
This is just my personal opinion 🙂
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– GM Susan Polgar