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Thibault de Vassal (2007-11-09)
An interesting discussion about chess sponsorship started on ChessDiscussions.com (Susan Polgar forums)
Several issues : "How to bring chess to the masses ?", "How to make chess a show ?", "What kind of sponsorship is possible ?"
Susan obviously thinks that OTB chess still has a great potential and that organizations could do much better to promote it... Here's my last response in the thread (reminds some old threads here) :
In other words, you say that chess has a show-potential like any other sport that could be used and that isn't...
For sure traditional marketing methods could help to promote OTB chess, and chess organizations could do much better... but is chess "bankable", just like an actor ? .. I just saw one more comparison between chess & poker in the thread "How to bring chess to the masses", but there's a major problem in chess that doesn't exist in poker or soccer : "everything can't happen", at least at a first sight, actually the way people can see it...
FIDE tried to change some things, ie. time controls, wch cycle but that's not enough, obviously. Anyone can win a lost hand at texas hold'em against any professional player, like any 2nd division soccer team can beat the Real Madrid once... Of course long-time statistics will be always favourable to the best players, but it takes a much longer time... Everything can happen in any event in these games (poker wch, soccer world cup). The probability for a real surprise that makes buzz is much lower at chess, the same best players invariably play the best tournaments, won statistically (ie.) 20% by Anand, 19% by Topalov, 18% by Kramnik and so on... quite boring.
The only interesting chess events follow the same scheme : David vs. Goliath, the buzz-genius 12 boy vs. Kramnik, mystery-Deep Blue vs. Kasparov, Anna Kournikova vs. Fischer & so on... nowadays the man vs. machine match is no more interesting since any home computer is stronger than HAL 9000 or Kramnik and there's no clear world champion (too many FIDE wch, different cycles..)
Chess needs real events and I'm curious to see the ones "that could bring chess to the masses" in the future... Maybe I'm a bit pessimistic, at least for OTB chess, but I'm very interested to see how good marketing methods will be able to transform our chess world... Just wait, hope & see :)
Best regards, Thibault
I'm now working again on SEO (Search Engines Optimization) for FICGS, more and more players find us via Google... Of course one next step is to sponsor the FICGS WCH & freestyle tournaments but it is a hard task for sure... All comment and suggestions on this issue are welcome :)
Thibault de Vassal (2007-11-12 14:33:45)
"People have played chess for over 2000 years and still every game is different from another,"
"It's a great tool for children. It's also a great tool for older people to prevent or delay Alzheimer's disease,"
For sure Susan Polgar do a great job to promote chess in the whole world...
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