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Chess on TV Online

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I'm still not clear on where this "Chess MasterMinds" event came from or where it's going, but it did happen and it will be shown. The "masterminds" title didn't appear in the latest press release I received, but it did include some tiny photos of the players. (Onischuk, Gulko, S. Polgar, Stripunsky vs Khalifman, Sakaev, Alekseev, Vitiugov.)

The online rapid match between teams from the USA and Russia will be shown online at www.martinbroadcasting.com at 12 noon NY time on Sunday, July 24. Inexplicably, the date wasn't given in the press release, sent to me yesterday by "Chess One," apparently Phil Innes, who is listed as a commentator. The date was given in a testy post here in an unrelated item by "J. Martin," apparently actually Paul Truong, who is also listed as an event commentator. So I'm assuming the date is correct, though the reason for the false name eludes me.

I finally tracked down some information at a hitherto unmentioned Flash site www.chessmasterminds.com. (It confirms the date and time.) They give some TV listings, although the web seems a better bet for most. (Actually, the Martin Broadcasting site seems inert, so cross your fingers or send a prayer request.) It seems an interesting project, much hampered by a decentralized PR effort. Looking forward to actually watching the thing at last. Let us know if you get the "click to view" link to work or see it on TV.


Does www.chessmasterminds.com have a spanish webmaster?

The web provider, "Martin Broadcasting" did not seem to have any active content on their site, they have many inactive/broken links, out of date content, etc. Also, as they appear to be tight with fundamentalist/radical Christian groups, it may be best to find an alternate source to watch.

What a bizarre way to set up an event. Is it any wonder chess doesn't get more attention when organizers of interesting events can't even formulate an adequate press release? It doesn't need to be perfect, but not having the time, date, and place in everything they release is terrible.

I think the organizers deserve a lot of credit for organizing this, and I suspect it's not that easy to do. I certainly am going to try to watch the program. But I wonder if the broadcast might not be more of an attraction if the games and results of this match had not been available on the Internet for some days now? Perhaps there should have been some attempt to maintain the secrecy of the results until after the broadcast.

The time constraints werecompressed. We could have had more information sooner but we encounter many difficulties with our counterparts"accross the pond". It has been more frustrating for us than for you, believe me. But I know in my heart that once you watch the show, your chess playing hearts will glow with pride and excitement. We want to find a format that brings good chess to television in a way we can encourage people to play the game we all love.

The games results coming out prior was also another problem caused by our friends from accross the pond. We tried but ultimatly were unable to prevent it from happening. Please watch the show and judge the quality from that.

I live in chicago and I dont even have the channel that they say it is going to be on so I cannot watch it on tv, what a joke that they organise this great event and then it is so badly advertised for where to see it on the TV. I would have loved to have watched this. Is it any wonder then that chess is not as popular as it should be ?

If you have a cable Tv the channels may not be the same as the broadcast listing. It can be seen on the internet at

www.martinbroadcasting.com They will have information 30 minutes prior yo the show on their site. They didn't have time to do it sooner as we had delays getting video from our Russian friends.

Weird. Chessbase.com reports it will be on WLVI-TV (Channel 56, get it... LVI?) in Boston 7/24 at 12PM, but there's no mention of it in my TiVo listings, nor the station's web site.

What up with that?


According to the Chessbase article, the idea came about when GM Susan Polgar met with some television producers in Nashville during a scholastic event.

There are quite a number of independent television shows produced out of Nashville, by the way.



It may be listed as "paid programming". To be honest, I do not know what happened with that. Locally, I have called my station and they said it was running but it isnt in their listing

The SHow Starts in four hours... today.

Nope. They still show a movie at 11:30 - 1:30...

See http://www.wlvi.com

I guess I'll TiVo from 12-2 "by hand" and see what happens.


12:05 anyone watching chess? I can't find it online

martinbroadcasting.com says 1pm EST, and by setting that time zone on my chess server, I learned that's in 2 hours

What's up here?

I have it on here in CT (channel 29 for Comcast costumers). I'm not sure what I think yet, but it's nice to see chess on TV.

It's 12pm on Sunday, July 24, and here in Boston, WB Channel 56, the channel Chess Masterminds is supposed to be broadcast on, has a Hugh Grant movie being aired. Where's the chess? What a disappointment. Has this happened in any other city?

Howard Goldowsky

Yeah, the station that they said it would be on in Washington has the Nationals game at 1.

To me this whole thing seems like a nice idea, but it was very poorly advertised and the TV listings are a joke. I don't know who said that the show would be on all of those channels on Chessbase but they just obviously didn't do their homework.

18. bsanders Jul 24, 11:14 am
Newsgroups: rec.games.chess.politics
From: "bsanders"
would like to watch webcast but can not get it to work. has anyone been been able to? thanks

19. Doom & Gloom Dave Jul 24, 12:17 pm From: "Doom & Gloom Dave"
Sadly the listed Tampa affiliate is showing some Humana Insurance infomercial unless I've gone wacky or my cable provider has slipped
something else in. Too bad.

20. bsanders Jul 24, 1:01 pm
From: "bsanders"
likewise, Washington, D.C. WDCN-UPN 20, is showing Buffy. what a dissapointment that this thing wasn't pulled off very well, if at all.

The online broadcast is listing as 1pm EST or 2pm EDT for the start time of Chess Masterminds.

Yeah, and it's not working either. Probably a great event, but when the TV listings are erroneous and the online broadcast doesn't happen, WHO WOULD KNOW?!?!

My point is that's it not working because the time scheduled from the broadcasting website hasn't arrived yet. I don't know what it listed the time as before, but now its stating 2pm Eastern which is now in half an hour.

Yup, at www.martinbroadcasting.com it now says:
"Click on this viewer to watch Chess Mastermind (starting after 1PM EST July 24th, looping continuously thru July 26th)"

Next one gonna start in about half an hour...waiting in anticipation... :D

Btw Rob,

Have you thought about putting the show up at The Internet Archive at some time in the future? (http://www.archive.org/details/movies) They have humongous bandwidth, so you can use high resolution (big file size)... and it's all free. :)

The choice of modem, cable, broadband came up. Chose cable, did its think, popped up saying ready... and then nothing.

this working for anyone still at Ready here

My computer froze...Any other site to watch?

I keep getting this:
"Your connection was lost.
To reconnect, click on the link below."

I got to watch the whole thing on my local Fox station (here in Columbus, Ohio). The end was a bit confusing. Gulko thought his opponent had run out of time, left the table to confirm this and then it was announced that it was a draw. Wierd.

Overall it was okay. The commentary was mediocre, but the chess was good. Someone on one of the chess servers commented that it was like a 2-hour infomercial for chess (or at least chess products). When I checked the website for the products they advertised, it stated that it would take 4-6 weeks to ship. That's outrageous!

If they can put together more events like this, I'm sure things will improve based on this experience. And to be honest, I was just happy to see chess on television.

For those of you who missed it, they were advertizing dvds of the event for about $25. I don't know if the games will be available on-line. So far I haven't had much luck with any part of the website other than the store.

I kept getting told online that my connection was lost on the martin broadcast website. It wasn't on TV in chicago at least not through comcast. This whole thing has been a joke. For the first time in many years they show chess on TV but it is not there. Whose fault is it anyway the organiser of the media segment I think.....Why wasn't it on a known tv channel if so many people would have watched it anyway. This is why chess is not so popular cause when we have a great chess event and we want to show the rest of the world the media segment failys miserably. I am very disappointed by the fact I couldn't watch this great event on the TV or on the Internet !!!!

Get your act together organisers !!!!

Who won the match anyway does anyone know ?

I believe the Russians won. Surprised?

I watched the whole show on TV. The website - which I finally got to work on Foxfire (even though they said IE was best) now says the show is tomorrow (Monday) at 2 PM. Guess they really do have technical difficulties.

The show was an infomercial - and had a number of faults. First of all, there were four games and they kept hopping from one to the other, so just as you got interested in one game - they were somewhere else. And, of course they weren't showing all the boards at the same time.

Also, it might be exciting that the US team was playing a Russian team - but the fact that they weren't in the same room facing each other took a lot out of the drama. In fact - there was no drama!

I can't really fault the commentators, because it has to be impossible to comment on four games at a time - jumping back and forth.

I have to make another comment. I don't know why they did it, but they made Susan Polgar, a really beautiful, sexy lady (and I mean this in the nicest way - she is a charming person) look like a nerd without glasses. She really looked awful. Her hair looked like it hadn't been washed in three days and she was wearing the most boring outfit they could find. I might have mistaken her for a man with long hair.

If this is supposed to promote chess, it certainly didn't. Any girl or woman looking at her on this show would say: "forget chess if it makes me like her".

I was just up on the playchess server watching Raffael and Arres play. There were 300 people watching. It was very exciting. Yes, it was blitz and over in less than 10 minutes. But, I could follow it - and didn't get cut off just as I was getting into the game.

I think chess should be on TV. But, let's have a REAL chess show, not an infomercial disquised as chess.

There were T-1 problems with Martin Broadcasting. They are working to get that fixed and will run it on continous loop this week to make up for the delay.

Technical issues..
There have been many questions as to why things were so late getting done and information being relayed as to where it can be viewed.

well we can thank the Russians for that.We had to hire three different crews to get the filming done in St Petersburg,just a technical thing, they didn't put time codes on anything. 42 hours of tape had to be edited to make it match up.

Satellite that was to carry the show over Russia was dropped on Friday as we refused to pay an "additional last minute fee" to secure the satellite.(This was after we already paid for it)

PLease check back on our website for rebroadcast times. In the markets where it didn't air and was supposed to, they promised to rebroadcast. We will make sure you see the show.

Generally the comments have been favorable. Chess players want to see chess on TV and we want to give it to you. Please know that your support is needed for us to continue forward.

Thanks for your patience and support.

I watched the first hour or so and taped the whole thing. First off, Susan looked very awesome (as she always does) and is an inspiration to many. They did jump from board to board so quickly it was impossible to concentrate on any one game. Since it was taped and edited, perhaps it would have been better to cover one game at a time in it's entirety.

Overall it is a good move in the right direction to getting more air time for chess. I don't think it was polished enough to grab any new fans yet. However, something similar to the celebrity poker showdowns on ESPN would definitely spark a chess boom.

Let's have Madonna square off against Arnold Schwarznegger! ;) (j/k, sorta;)

I think the group "Bering Strait" got the most publicity. (From Moscow to Nashville)

poor Gulko had a win and didn't- typical age problems

The DVD will have more game analysis and interviews with the players. I agree that there was a lot of "cutting" from one board to the next.

The match was set to happen anyway and we simply worked to document it and promote it. A match truely "made for TV" would be designed a bit differently. We will continue to fine tune things.

GM Gulko has been the #1 or #2 Quick Chess player in the US for many years. Age doesn't seem to be a factor for him in that regard.

August 2005


June 2002


August 1998



He has not been playing any quick rated games for a long long time. He has just kept his rating high by inactivity.

Can anyone explain why Gulko's last game was a draw? He thought his opponent's time had run out, went to check on it and the next thing I knew the announcers were saying it was a draw.

Is there anyway to know the current score? or even download the games?

The show was on in Boston, but not on Channel 56 as advertised. I stumbled upon it on Channel 68 at 2 pm and caught the last hour (so presumably it went from 1-3 pm in Boston).

I didn't like the way they kept cutting from one game to the next, and the small screens made it hard to view the position. The commentary, IMHO, was mediocre, mostly because they had to jump from one game to another.

It sounds like this whole thing was a disaster. Nice idea, incredibly poor execution.

Oh well, I guess I'll just keep watching poker on TV...

i hope in near future there will b more chess events on tv it was n xciting event im a chess fan player n watchin chess on tv dreamcome tru for me hope someday chess will popularized thru tv Thanx for listening Joe

John at July 25, 2005 16:41 wrote:
... the small screens made it hard to view the position. The commentary, IMHO, was mediocre, mostly because they had to jump from one game to another.

Chess on TV will always suffer from the usage of chess pieces that were designed to serve the needs of the wood lathe operator above the needs of all others. The cylindrical shape grossly over-dominates the chessmen as a set.

I believe that chess pieces could be alternatively engineered to maximize their perceptability from a distance.
People say the players could not get used to new pieces quickly enough, but I doubt that. In a previous life I ran humans through cognitive psychology experiments, gaining some intuition for what people can adapt to and what they cannot.
In any case it is moot since the TV production could involve real boards for the players to study -and- real boards optimized for the TV audience.

Paul T. said their live commentary was greatly hampered when their in-studio monitors failed, and the commentators could not even see the games they were supposed to comment on. They had to semi-fake it.

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