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Chess MasterMinds

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A few days ago this press release appeared all over the chess place. It's an internet rapid match over four boards between US and Russian GMs. As presented, the big deal is that it's being produced for TV by "Nashville International Studios" and "will be aired Sunday, July 24th, 2005."

But nothing says where it will be aired. Nashville International Studios doesn't appear to have existed prior to this event. I tracked down their site www.nashvillefilmstudio.com, which mentions the event and little else. The domain was registered two months ago. Weird. I hope someone can enlighten us as to where the match can be viewed.


At the bottom of the website referenced in the blogmeister's item, is the following note: "Have questions? Need help? We would be glad to help you; contact us at: operations@nashvillefilmstudio.com."

I did contact Nashville, relaying the blogmeister's questions: At what time and on what TV channels will the U.S-Russia match be aired?

Weirdly enough, in fifteen minutes I was speaking with the Nashville media person who told me they'd have this info posted on their website, probably by the end of the week.

Sounds like they are trying to get clearance and haven't gotten everything finalized yet. But that's not important. The important thing is Bering Strait's new single. Oh, and were any of the US team actually born in the US? Or grew up in the US? Curious Yuriy.

Okay. SO what markets do you want to know? I can tell you some cities. NY, Boston, San Fran, Nashville, St Louis, Minn, Tampa, Winston-Salem- Dallas.

Networks are either Abc, Fox or Pax depending on the market availability.

All of the American Grandmasters are Americans, naturalized or native born should make no difference.

No one is more anxious than we are to get the website up and running. There is an enormous amount of information and data to be set up and tested. Patience is a virture best learned from playing chess. The wait is going to be worth it.
Rob Mitchell

As a natural born US citizen it makes a huge difference to me. There are no "great" players here and not one is US chess "born and raised". Seems like a scam to me. I don't plan to watch.

LOL. If you really cared about the game, you would watch.

I find the tone of Mr. Mitchell's post above rather annoying. Seems like the webpage could have been ready before the press releases were put out. If patience is a virtue Mr Mitchell, then maybe you should have waited longer before putting out the press release. You got us curious, don't patronize us, give us information! I'm also not really sure I understand what the point of this whole thing is. Depending on the answer to this question, the choice of players may very well matter. If the purpose is to attract as many eyeballs in the USA as possible then surely it does matter and the organizers have chosen their players poorly. If the audience is primarily Eastern Europe then again it does matter but the choice of player may be quite good. If this is a promotional event for Bering Strait then the chess is not at all important and these players are probably as good as any. If it is just a promotional ad for the NIS or IEP production companies, then the chess does not really matter, I guess it all just has to look pretty.

What's with chessplayers?!

Here's someone giving us a chessmatch on free TV, just the sort of chess publicity we've been begging for. Why try to find something "weird" in his efforts, or criticize his choice of players or the timing of his press releases? Why not wish him well and look forward to the event?

Good luck Rob!

I read this blog daily, and most often disagree with gregs posts (no offense greg). But he is right on target with this one! Free chess on TV...priceless! Do chess players whine about new ropes?

Point taken, sorry that my previous post came across as overly critical, I do wish the organizers luck and I hope the event is a success.

I am still distracted by the choice of players though. Given that any number of pairings would result in high level play, the choice of one elite player over another may not seem too important. But again, if the goal is to promote chess in the US and to see even more of it on TV, then who plays and how the whole event is spun is terribly important. It has got to play well to Joe public or it will be a one time shot. It is the promoters who have chosen this east vs west format then packed the US team with Eastern Europeans… I would not chose the word “weird” as Mr Koster did, how about ‘silly’, or ‘overdone’. On a related thought, who are the commentators? That would seem to be one of the most important parts of making this entertaining enough for people to want more…

Sorry I see the choice of 'weird' was Mig's not Mr Kosters...

It's straightforward enough...it's being produced by an independent, and shopped to local stations. So it's not a network production, but so far they indicate it will appear in a number of markets.

Since each deal is individual, it may appear at different times in different cities.

This is no different than any other independent production in the US, and it's the reason why different "ABC" stations in different cities have different shows during local programming hours. Being a network affiliate only defines about 1/3 of the broadcasting day. The rest of the time is up to the individual station manager to fill.

Just as an example, check the broadcast schedule for Michael Holigan's Your New House, a well established independent program.

It appears in several dozen cities, but based on separate local deals. So sometimes it's on NBC, sometimes on CBS, sometimes on FOX, sometimes on UPN, depending on which local station decides to carry it.


If the chess program can get any local stations to carry it, that's a good thing. :)


So to whom do I lobby here in my local market to have them carry it? We have ABC and Fox of course but not PAX. Is it the station manager? Or is there another position for someone whom might be in charge of programing?

Interesting that neither of the top 2 American players, and probably the two most talked about, Nakamura and Kamsky, will be playing. I know Nakamura will be in Biel but perhaps having Kamsky play would've raised the excitement of the match. As it stands, I really couldn't care less about the people playing.


I'd just call or email all your local stations (there can't be more than 8 or 9), and ask if they'll be carrying the event. Give them the website address so they can check into it. Local interest is what usually drives local programming decisions, so make sure you tell them you live in their broadcast area.

Nakamura and Kamsky declined their invitations after they originally accepted.


Sorry if my tone was curt earlier. There is a tremendous amount of stree involved in this entire process. If someone wants to see the program in a market where we do not have the show planned to apprea, please lobby your local ABC affiliate. We will be happy to provide a feed to any station that wants to carry the show. Nakamura and Kamsky had scheduling conflicts as we had to change the date several times to get the scheduling for all parties to work.

Ironically,the same company that syndicates Michael Holligan's SHow has also approached us for syndication as well. As the show grows, we will have more and more players of differing stregnths competing. We hope to provide solid and exciting chess that will introduce new people to the game yet still excite the chess community with the level of play.

It is a lofty task. I hope we are successful. I would like to see more American's become excited about the game. As the "chess person" in the production group I came up with this idea out of my love of the game. I want to share the game and excite people as they have not been excited about chess since 1972.

Any help the chess community may provide in lobbing local stations would be appreciated.


Chess MasterMinds
Wanted to say hello and give some additional information on the Chess MasterMinds Show.
The show will air in over 30 major cities and over 50 countries on Sunday, July 24th, 2005, look in your local listings for show times in your area for that day. We will be advertising with commercials prior to the show. You can also call your local cable companies to request the show is aired in your area.

And you are right, I am not a regular chess player but my father, an immigrant to this country from Lithuania, taught me how to play chess, when I was a young girl. I can only respect those who play - and play well - because it is a game of the mind. You are only as good as your next move!

I hope you all enjoy the show.

Diana Macys-Staley


It would be very helpful if the website could at least list the stations that have contracted to carry the show.

"Check your local listings" has become increasingly difficult as communities may offer dozens of stations.

The Michael Holigan site has an excellent format for this that may give you some ideas:


Wow, chess on TV, in any form or shape that is just lovely! Good luck to the organisers.

Let me bring up another idea which might appeal more to TV-stations which need to reach a broad public:

Currently "Celebrity Poker Showdown" is shown on Swedish television. That is celebrities playing rather low class poker commented upon by an expert. All in a humerous but also educative fashion.

Why not arrange a "Celebrity Chess Showdown" or something like that?!

Jens in Stockholm, Sweden

I'm an avid reader, but first-time poster. I had the opportunity of attending the taping of this event yesterday. The exhibition match featured some very exciting chess and the production is first rate. I'm not sure the organizers are publishing the results in advance of the broadcast, so I will levae that to them.

I can assure all chess fans that the program is worth watching for many reasons but especially to see an incredible game by Boris Gulko where as white he sacrificed his own queen and trapped black's Q on a2 with pawn on b3, and surrounded it with White Knight on a3, p on b2, R on c1, B on c3, and K on c4!

It was a wonderful match! Inagine an audience filled with primarily non- chess players being "glued" to television monitors. Children watching as intently as any x-box game!

This was great television and great chess!

This was nothing but a farce. Chess Masterminds are con artists with no real business established. This publicized match never took place.

The Truth

This was not a farce, Chess MasterMinds did take place and it was in a studio in Nashville. I was there so I know. If you want pictures and details just email me.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 5, 2005 2:58 AM.

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