Saturday 24 September 2016

Overs and Unders ( a continuing series)

It appears the Millionaire Chess tournament, which is being held in New Jersey USA in October may be the third and last of the series. A message from event organiser GM Maurice Ashley points to continuing financial losses as being the reason.
This of course raises the issues of how to make big money tournaments work in chess, without a big sponsor behind it. In the more successful examples, the organisers have generally done everything as cheaply as possible, and poured as much into the prize pool as possible, although this has been a bit hit and miss.
However chess players seem to have some expectation that an event will at least be comfortable, and having a good venue with plenty of other nice touches seems to be required (at least in Australia). But for this to happen, money needs to either be taken away from the prize pool, or entries increased, at which point players start to have second thoughts about playing.
This balancing act reminds me of an old software development comment. "On time, on budget, on spec. Pick any two". In this case it might be "Cheap entry, large prizes, quality event. Pick two".
So I sympathise with the organisers of Millionaire Chess, but without being able to provide any solutions to this problem. Hopefully future events of this type will either find the "sweet spot" to attract the right size field, or create an event that will be supported by sponsors. I have my fingers crossed.

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