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Friday, October 16, 2015

What's the solution?

Las Vegas - October 8-12, 2015 - $1,000,000 PRIZE GUARANTEED 

     Nakamura won a hundred thousand dollars after a controversy involving his 9-move draw in the last regulation time control game against Luke McShane. It was against the Millionaire rules, but after 97 minutes and consultation with FIDE arbiters all over the world, the draw was allowed to stand because the rule of three fold repetition takes precedence over the tournament rules. 
     Organizer GM Maurice Ashley made the rule out of "respect to the viewing public" and all the participants agreed to it before the tournament started, but "Who cares?" is the question I guess. Ashley, of course, was in a snit saying, "If we're ever going to be a televised game we cannot have games like this...I consider it a stain on our game." 
     What's the solution? First, quit trying to make chess a spectator sport...it never has been except for a handful of diehard individuals. Second, quit offering tens of thousands in prizes.
     When a top level GM can make a comfortable living by playing chess, the money is going to be their main consideration, not chess. Who's going to risk tens of thousands of dollars just for the benefit of the organizers and spectators? I wouldn't. If I could win a hundred thousand by taking a nine move draw, guess what? I'm taking it! So, the solution is simple...go back to the days when players played for pride and prestige and keep prizes and entry fees low. OK, so a lot of players would quit playing. Who cares? Most of the old time players had jobs just like the rest of us and they never complained. As for the organizers, in the old days they did it for love of the game too, not so they could make money.

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