Monday 6 October 2014

Millionaire Chess

The much vaunted Millionaire Chess tournament in Las Vegas is just a couple of days away. When launched the major question would be whether the big prize money would attract players to pay the sizeable entry fee. As an experienced tournament organiser it always seems that there is never quite enough players entering any event to cover the prize fund, and I think this is the case for this event. At the time of writing this there were 525 entries across all the events, which seems to leave the organisers a little short of covering the full $1,000,000 prize pool. However the event is still taking entries at $1500 a pop ($2000 on the day), and players can restart events with a $400 re-entry fee, so their is a chance that the shortfall will be reduced.
The other point of interest is how such a big cash event is going to operate in practice. It is fair to say that USCF have some unique features and I suspect the organisers may have their hands full. The temptation to try and gain an extra advantage (through various means)  is certainly a large one, and the arbiting team clearly needs to be extra vigilant.
The whole thing begins on Thursday 9 October, and more information can be found at the tournament website. I probably keep a weather eye on the tournament (for a couple of reasons), and it will be interesting to see if it proves successful enough to make this an ongoing thing.