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Seeds of Content

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Resisting the urge to scoop myself (why does that sound dirty?), I waited until I finished updating the US Championship website before breaking the news here. First off, the dates have pushed back a week so the opening ceremony is on February 28 and the first round is on March 1. They wanted the time to make sure construction on the venue is completed with plenty of time to avoid the Elista Olympiad syndrome. It's early enough that this shouldn't bother anyone but me. Changing the images and other things on the site is a pain.

[On the other hand... IM Irina Krush points out below that "the new US Championship dates clash with the dates for the Women's World Championship that have been on the FIDE website for months (March 10-27, 2006)." Those dates are listed as tentative, but it would be a real shame to have America's best women be forced to miss one of these events. I don't yet know who would be playing in Ekaterinburg.]

The seeds have been announced, the 14 players who qualify directly by rating. The eight overall spots include four who have already qualified in tournaments, which means three spots go back to the tournaments. After some figgering, this puts John Fedorowicz, Josh Friedel, and Blas Lugo into San Diego through the back door. See you in San Diego, gentlemen!

The official write-up is still forthcoming, but the more interesting news is a twist in the format. The field will be broken up into two groups of 32, both nine-round swisses. The top finisher in each group will go to a final rapid match to decide the title. This is a "made for TV" final day idea; there will also be a women's final match. Details will be posted soon.


The top finisher in each group will go to a final rapid match to decide the title. This is a "made for TV" final day idea; there will also be a women's final match. Details will be posted soon. -- Sounds like Ilyumzhinov-style cheapening of the event, though actually it's worse because it's not even a tie-break, just a rapid ultimate decisioning. I suppose that Tiger Woods should play miniature golf to make golf more TV friendly. It's bad enough that the title of champion gets decided by a tournament, let alone a rapid finale. I'm disgusted by this spectacle.

"The field will be broken up into two groups of 32, both nine-round swisses. The top finisher in each group will go to a final rapid match to decide the title." Yuck!!

It's a little weird, but it's basically what we would have with tiebreaks anyway, which are practically unavoidable with a swiss. Would you rather flip a coin or spin a wheel? Or use formula tiebreaks? By that point both players will be deserving winners; this is just a way to try and spice things up. Nakamura won his title in a similar match last year. Had Stripunsky won that rapid playoff he would have been a deserving winner too.

You cant have it all. TV is a key to get more sponsorship into chess, and making the sport more popular. Of course having a rapid match is some kind of sacrifice, but perhaps "a sac that leads to a winning position". Anyway, why not experiment and learn.

I'm with Jeremy on this one. The finalists from each of the groups will have achieved success through one time control. Why should their talent and hard work be gambled on a different kind of chess? If anything, shouldn't they be given a longer time control so they can really dig in to discover who is the better chess player? My apologies, in advance, to the person who loses the rapids and the chance at legitimately earning the title.

again, Friedel is an IM....

Argh. The change in date forces those of us who have booked our tickets to pay a substantial fee to change them. It also embarrasses those who have made arrangements to be absent from work or school. Why set dates in the first place if there is no determination to honor them?

Of course, force majeure is an unanswerable argument--but San Diego isn't New Orleans.


Best at one time control is not automatically best at another.

The fact that you narrow the field to two before moving to the rapids doesn't change that fact.

Now the US Championship will have to have an asterisk as well, and people will be arguing all next year whether the winner is the "true champion."

Ick, again.

Would I rather have it decided by a spin of the roulette wheel? Honestly, yes, IF there is a dead even tie between two players both playing long time controls AND every standard tiebreak still leaves them even.

The cconcept of flipping a coin or roulette wheel is simply that, "yes, they're even, let the gods decide."

The concept of moving to rapids is different. It's, "OK, they're even at A, let's see who's better at B."

The problem with that is that it's NOT the Rapids Championship. So letting Rapids rule at the end changes the nature of the title.

Let them play standard chess. Use tiebreaks. If they're still tied, get out the roulette wheel.


Oh, to be clear...

I know many standard tiebreaks don't apply when the two players play in different sections. But some do.

So I'd have the two section winners play a standard mini match of 2 games. Then if they're tied, either use tiebreaks from the section play (such as number of wins), or just spin the wheel.

I'd rather have the gods decide than the state of their reflexes.

This is AWFUL

1) Date Change. We saw this in the "2003 Championship". I and several other suffered financially and in terms of general organization due to this. Why should we trust that this 2006 championship is going to happen at all? Wouldn't it be more convenient just to push it to the end of 2006? We should just admit that we have a championship only once every two years.

2) Rapid. I thought we were going to play chess.

3) Internet Qualifier. The Internet Qualifier was supposed to happen in early October... Again pushed back and back with NO transparency as to when it will actually happen. Imagine a state championship, New Mexico's is held on Halloween weekend: Now should the winner of 2004 or the winner of 2005 be the state rep. to the internet tournament?


Does this mean Kleinman is now leading the grand prix?

I guess it is Ippolito, quite a good player

how are they dividing the field in half? odd and even pairing numbers? random lots? birthdays? height order? will we know in advance who is in our half?

height order? I could be the top seed!

Looking at the list of qualifiers by rating I was surprised to see that Goldin wasn't there. I guess he dropped a lot of points between the last Ch. and now.
As far as I know Alexander didn't play in any of the earlier qualifying tournaments, counting he'd be seeded anyhow. Now this.
Expect Goldin to make a run for it in the two remaining attempts.

This idea of having a rapid match to decide between the two winners of the 16-game sections is NOT going to be popular.

Mig: the difference between this and the usual setup in the past it has always been POSSIBLE for a player to get to be champion on the basis of winning standard games. A rapid tiebreak might legitimately come in when standard games fail to settle it. But here, as you've described it, there will be no standard games between the two section leaders at all before the rapid playoff. In fact the two sections won't even interact, if I read this right! (What prevents them from being very different in strength or form?)

We are playing the "World Series" baseball playoffs in the US now.... what do you suppose would be the reaction if the 7-game series between AFC and NFC conference champions were replaced by a single softball game?


The final tie break between two groups winners should be pocker for sure. Then it would be definetely made for TV. Moreover, why not use pocker to determine the winners of both groups? Since the main objective is to make appearance on TV, why bother with chess at all? If the 2005 US Championship was played in 2004, then why the 2006 US Chess Championship couldn't use pocker?

If they divide people based on rating order (odd/even, etc.), the trick will be to make sure that the women are also divided equally. Maybe they need to form a separate list for female players to draw from. In any case, I wonder when this division will occur. Knowing your group in advance would certainly help in preparation.
In general, though, everyone seemed to be happy with the old format. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Do they really think some major TV sources will get interested?

"The seeds have been announced, the 14 players who qualify directly by rating."

In the past some US championship player have been from other federations e.g. COL.

What effect will this new USCF policy have on future 'seeded' players:

"The name of the USCF top one hundred list be changed to "Top 100 American Players" in all categories (overall, junior, senior, etc.) and that the list be limited to those players meeting the eligibility requirements for representing the USCF in FIDE competitions. "

Yep, date change is by far the worst of it. Four months is not all that short a time though, and it sounds like they didn't have much of a choice. They are hosting championships as sponsorship and venue allow. Their committment IS for every two years. If you would prefer to put over half the prize fund into the costs of organizing an additional tournament every year, you should recommend that to the AF4C. Having fewer events saves a few hundred thousand on organization so it can go into the prize fund.

I know the online state championship thing has been a disaster to organize. Too many schedules, too many champions and state federations. Nice idea but very hard to put together. No matter when you hold it it's going to be right next to at least a few state championships.

The pairing split must be done by rating, can't see any other way to do it, which means it can't be done until all 64 participants are known. I suppose the champion could be made the #1 seed as in other events, but I don't know how it's to be done. They will surely distribute the women AFTER splitting the men's field.

I don't like the format much either, but it's disingenuous to be horrified by rapid games at this point, or to say 25+10 is an entirely different sport based only on reflexes. And if you can get your roulette spin on television and want to say that won't make chess into far more of a joke than rapid or blitz, best of luck to you.

Look at the big US open tournaments. A healthy majority end up with a tie at the top just like the US championship last year. This is a way to try and deal with that reality in a useful way, by actually scheduling them into a dramatic match that can be publicized in advance. Only four players are going to play rapid games; it's not the entire event. It's not what I'd prefer but it's not outlandish and it's worth experimenting with. I don't think they'd have tried it if they didn't have some interest lined up.

If spectacle replaces chess, why not have the Swiss winners enclosed in a wire cage and fight to a finish. Chess would have a champion and television fans would have a program. We might even have a steroid controversy down the line to really put chess on ESPN... Whom the gods destroy, they first make silly.

I am not from the US, so I will not have a strong opinion about this new playing program with rapid games. However, I remember reading about the playoff between Nick DeFirmian and Larry Christiansen in New in Chess. They decided to play some blitz games, and an armagedon blitz decided, if I remember correctly. And it happened just after the last round, no time to rest. Now that was far more “circus” or “toss of the coin” compared to the coming schedule, or what?

Next championship Shabalov won, but it could easily been a playoff, as it was very tight before the last round.

Last championship had a playoff with rapid.

The difference is two groups and that you know there is going to be rapid games at the end. And perhaps it will be a really good TV-show. A tradeoff. An interesting and bold move by the organisers.

Yes, but how do you know each group will not feature a tie at the top.

So, now not only do we have to have tiebreaks to determine the winner of each group, but we also have to rapid tiebreaks to determine the winner between the two groups.

Totally ridiculous idea.

Rapids for the Championship!?! Who's idea is this, Sam Sloan's?

BTW, I will miss Sloan's lunatic rantings in Chess Life's candidate statements. Best comedy in chess.

By the way, the Website is, as usual, excellent--congratultions.

The format is still bad, though. :)

And the notion of a women's final is flawed as well...suppose, for example, that Susan Polgar decides to play, has a great event, and is one of the top 2 overall finalists.

So now what, she has to play the regular Finals AND a separate Women's Finals?

As for what looks best on television, I'll stick with my professional opinion that television is not necessary to getting more sponsors into the game.

The LPGA generates literally millions more in sponsorship dollars for its participants than Fear Factor does, even though FF has much much higher ratings.

To design a chess event so it "makes good television" is to misunderstand the business model for niche sports.


p.s. I first discussed the issue of chess and television on Chessbase, for those interested in a more detailed discussion


Hi Mig,

Just wanted to point out that the new US Championship dates clash with the dates for the Women's World Championship that have been on the FIDE website for months (March 10-27, 2006), unless you know something I don't...

Not good.

I am totally against the idea of ever using quick chess to determine classical titles. If you want to use quick chess or blitz chess, then set aside different tournaments and titles for them! Many players are good at one form of chess and not so good at another. What if one of these types totally dominates one of the two sections (perhaps winning every game!) while the other section is barely won by a blitz specialist? This turns into a joke, where the truly stronger classical players loses just because he has to go up against a quick chess specialist.

Hey Irina. What I know that you don't is likely reserved for Perl scripts and Argentine wine, I'm afraid. I don't write'em, I just post'em. The FIDE calendar does indeed list the women's world championship for March 10-27 in Ekaterinburg, Russia, although the FIDE news item says the dates are tentative. I'll add this to the item and I know some of the AF4C people are reading this closely anyway but I'll ask them for comments. Who are the US invitees?

As for the rapid final match it's AFTER the regular nine-round classical swiss. A "blitz specialist" isn't going to win this thing unless he also happens to put up a 2700+ performance in the main event. Formula tiebreak are used to choose the two finalists, which is how it was before. (I.e., if three people had 7/9, only two would go into a final match.) Again, the idea is that since rapid tiebreaks are very difficult to avoid, may as well make them into a strength we can market (big final head-to-head conclusion and we know the date) instead of a confusing scheduling problem.

The AF4C is doing this largely based on what happened in 2003, when almost all of the top boards agreed to teen-move draws in the final round. Unpredictability is the bane of the organizer's media relations. You have to be able to tell people what to expect and deliver when you say you can. The way things were you didn't even know on which day the tournament was going to end.

My own preference is to stick with the way things were since I prefer not to mix time controls if it's possible to avoid it. But since rapid tiebreaks are there anyway - and there is no good substitute for them - this isn't shocking or unreasonable. And it also has a chance of being quite successful in promoting the game if live cutaway TV coverage can be arranged. It's a worthy experiment at worst. The AF4C has a committment to promoting the game, and not only by distributing money to America's top players. (Although that is a good method of promotion in its own right.) This means media coverage and value for sponsors. It has been unsatisfactory so far and the format is one of the reasons.

I don't think even a 9/9 player will complain about being guaranteed around twenty thousand dollars before starting the last day's work of a pair of rapid games.

Surely a more dignified way of handling short draws, and one more amenable to players, is the Ashley rule. Here is an idea for us chessplayers: Let's demand respect for ourselves first and foremost. We can't get the love we desire from the broader community if we don't have respect for the game. Just a few days ago, we had a post from Kasparov - perhaps the greatest chessplayer of all time - complaining about our American champion's style. Kasparov suggested that it shows evidence of a player who is not serious, a player who has spent too many hours playing blitz. Mig points out that this player, our champion, won last year's tournament in a rapid tie-break. Coincidence? Instead of demanding that our champion defends his title in a serious, classical game, we say, simply "Goof for TV." That may be all well and good for preserving the title, but meanwhile, it may be that the greatest casualty of our format is the play itself. Stendec has it right. "If anything, shouldn't they be given a longer time control so they can really dig in to discover who is the better chess player?" Building on that idea, here is my proposal: Instead of a rapid tie-break, the two main qualifiers should go on to play a match against one another and all future chess championship tournaments should merely decide who the qualifier for the next match will be. That would be something to appreciate. Ask yourself: What do we really want here? A made-for-TV moment or a guarantee that we demanded the best style of play to produce the best player we can possibly produce? Let me tell you what I don't agree with. I don't agree with the idea that by foreshortening itself, chess will be more media savvy. Chess in the USA will become popular again when we produce the next world champion, the way it was with Fischer, a champion who can win in tournament / match play and establish himself / herself as the #1 rated player. That was when the sports world took us seriously. Chess won't become popular because American chessplayers are willing to sell themselves short for some great media event that we all know is not going to happen without the prestige of a real contendor. Nakamura has that potential, but this isn't the way to bring it out, folks. Hope you're listening to me, Hikaru.

Jeremy, if you are talking about "us chessplayers", then please sign with your full name. I cannot take your group affiliation seriously if you are anonymous. Not that I am defending the new format. I guess in March, we will find out who is the US Champion of the randomly selected half of US chessplayers, and who is the one for the other half, roughly equal in strength to the first one. The final match would be a media event, not a chess event, and indeed I would propose strip-chess in addition to poker and other ideas mentioned previously, as a viable alternative.

Best player at what? Until this year the FIDE world championship was decided with a time control only slightly better than rapid. The first step toward the world championship, the world cup in December, will also use the g90+30 control. Note that Hikaru did quite well in Libya, which was the only world championship on offer. You're saying he should prepare for something that doesn't currently exist.

Plus, this whole argument is a mountain out of a molehill. The US championship represents only a small fraction of the games a player plays each year. Adding two rapid games is hardly going to traumatize anyone's style. Obviously it's a lot more important to do well in the nine classical games that precede the match. They aren't going to much worry about the difference between the $25,000 and $17,000 decided in the final match. The idea is to have an exciting showdown between two players both deserving of being the champion. Could it be two classical games over two days with less media coverge and more money needed for the venue? Yes. Could it be ten games? Sure. But those events have different goals and require new sponsors.

As for the format, where are you going to find sponsors for a preliminary event? At least one important USCF board member proposed something similar, using the tournament to find two players who, weeks or months later, meet in a match. Dandy, but it's very hard to find sponsors for a final, let alone for a qualifier plus a match. If money were raining from the heavens in such a way we wouldn't have to worry about media attention in the first place!

It doesn't surprise me that you don't think that this is a big deal--after all, you play a mean 3 minute game. I am a mere expert who can barely hold an A class rating in the Quick time controls. Assuming that I am not the only player in the country whose strength varies with time controls, this presents a variable to the championship that cannot just be brushed off as non-consequential. It is possible that the winner of group A is like me and has not spent the time to develop Quick game skills. He/She will likely lose the championship although, say, a clear favorite in traditional time controls. Infact, number 5 from the same group may be able to beat the winner from group B blindfolded at the rapid rate. The winner of the final may rely more on happenstance than on the skills and preparation that got the players to the final.
As for the media coverage, is it possible that the organizers are not creative enough to find other sources of funds? I see all the stupid things on TV that get air time. I can't believe that any talented marketer could not do better than to change a traditional element of our game for the sake of appealing to the ever-waning attention span of the general public.

Where are these specialists? Where are these 2600+ GMs who suck at rapid chess? I've never met one. These are professionals. 25+10 is not bullet or blitz. There are maybe a dozen, perhaps 20, top candidates to make the final match in San Diego. I would be stunned to hear any of them claim to be significantly weaker or stronger at rapid games. (Preference is another matter. E.g. Gelfand always criticizes the faster time controls but is a fabulous rapid player.) Blindfold?!

I'll cede only that rapid chess increases the randomness. More blunders, fewer chances of a smooth victory. But there is no way it will unbalance the competition; it's not a separate sport. The favorite in the final match will be the player who has shown the best form in the main tournament. I con't even imagine a pairing where that wouldn't be true, can anyone? Okay, if the final is Gulko vs Nakamura I might be a little more sympathetic to this argument, but even then not so much. Lev Psakhis once told me that he and most veterans prefer the short games because they take short bursts of energy, not endurance.

They have a pretty experienced media team at NTC and AF4C and have done a fair job of getting attention for their other programs. But marketing chess as a sport that merits live coverage, or any coverage at all, has been nearly impossible in the US. That we never know what hour/day the tournament ends has been, so I'm told, a stumbling block. Having playoff games on the same day is terrible, as are formula tiebreaks for the title.

Mig, sometimes a game of football ("soccer") is tied and the winner is decided by penalty kicks. We can live with that. But suppose that you heard that the World Cup Final was going to consist entirely of penalty kicks. Wouldn't you think that this was unfortunate? Even if you were told that there would be more media coverage and more money that way?

Let's look at this another way. There are going to be two nine-round Swiss tournaments. In tournament A, let's say, the first round is going to pair player 1 against player 63, 3 against 61, 5 against 59, etc., and in tournament B you get 2 against 64, 4 against 62, etc. For several days, you will have mostly two kinds of games: (a) games where everyone knows the outcome ahead of time, unless lightning strikes; and (b) games where it doesn't matter what the outcome is, because the winner of 31 vs. 33 is not going to be the US champion anyway. But each of these games gets the full time control, regardless of the fact that from a purely statistical point of view they are wastes of time!

However, if the favorites win their respective tournaments, and you get a playoff between GM #1 and GM#2 for the championship, THOSE games will be rapid. THOSE two, who are the pair whom you would most like to see play standard chess, are NOT going to play any standard chess. Are you really going to say that this isn't weird?? In fact, if saving time were the key, wouldn't you get a more accurate procedure if the first four or five rounds of the tournaments were taken care of in a couple of days of rapid or blitz, and the survivors then fought it out at classical time controls?

There was a time in the distant past when the U.S. championship was decided by long classical matches among players like Marshall, Edward Lasker, Showalter, and so on. Nobody expects to go back to that. But I don't think anybody ever expected the U.S. championship to be decided by a procedure that rules out the two top seeds playing each other in even one classical game!

Now, I understand the argument that "we need media and sponsorship money, so we have to do what is necessary." However, that is about one step away (maybe two steps) from the argument that I hear on the ICC these days, which is, "there is no money in chess, so I'm spending my time on on-line poker now."

Furthermore, if we are going to make a substantial concession on the format, do we have any assurances that there will in fact be any media or any money coming out of it? Is this certain, probable, possible, or in the fantasy stage? Is this going to be like all those things that FIDE did because "we have to do this to get chess into the Olympics", but chess is no closer to being in the Olympics than ever?

IF it is true that the media will only cover rapid events, and that big money will only sponsor rapid events, then why have nine days of Swiss tournaments ahead of the playoff as an uncovered and unsponsored prequel?? Wouldn't it be better to just have a weekend rapid event among the top 4, say, like these ad hoc TV golf shoot-outs that they have, and then try to mooch off the coverage and sponsorship of that event to try to promote and sponsor the real championship somehow?

By the way, I'm not at all convinced that rapid chess is easier to cover on TV than classical chess. In the first place, the major stumbling block is that nobody enjoys watching chess unless they are already good at chess. In the second place, if you try to get around that with commentary, and you have the commentators educate the viewers as they go along, then you might not have enough time to do that in a rapid game; GM #1 bangs down a knight, the commentator yells "My God, Fritz has him up 3 with that", and the game is over in another minute. In the third place, the whole paradigm of continuous single-event live coverage gets abandoned in a lot of sports. Look at the Olympics, where you so frequently find yourself watching edited highlight films! The lesson of that is that IF there is interest in the event, then the media will themselves find a way to deal with the problems of format and schedule.

As for the "nobody knows what day the tournament is going to end" argument - well, nobody knows what day the World Series is going to end, either.



If you're implying something about Gulko's age and rapids, he's actually very, very good at rapids, and has been #1 or #2 on the USCF Quick Chess list for a almost 10 years (seriously) any time he was an active player. As you point out, rapids is a different game than blitz, and one that Gulko plays often and well.



So I don't Nakamura would perhaps have leess of an edge in Rapids against Gulko than some of the other players.


I know back in 97 or 98 when it was first decided to use blitz (not rapid) for tiebreaks at the US Championship (I was the webmaster for the USCF site at the time, so got some of the behind the scenes comments), most of the players preferred to break ties with more chess. That's probably still true.


My concern isn't for the players, though--it's for the fans. We've spent five years arguing that you can't define a top level title with rapids playoffs. The end result was the former FIDE knockout "World Championship" is now the FIDE World Cup--and the FIDE championship was decided in San Luis, without any rapids.

To take the US Championship in the opposite direction just at this moment seems a bit odd.


p.s. I am be confused, but as to 2600's who are particularly good at rapids and therefore advance further in that format, wasn't FIDE Champion Kasimjanov considered in that group when he won in Libya?

In the early rounds, Topalov was winning his games in the longer time controls, but Kasimjanov was winning the rapids tiebreaks. Do you think he would have ended up with the title playing against Topalov, Adams, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Almasi if rapids wasn't in the mix?


Hey Mig,

From the last exchanges with the USCF, I understood that the USCF intended to make the last championship retroactively a zonal and for the top three finishers to qualify for the women's world championship.

I was thinking that maybe the USCF should write to FIDE and ask them how solidly those dates are set; maybe FIDE has some information that they would be willing to share with us.

Look, here is a positive suggestion, in case AF4C people are really reading this. I know that the AF4C people are intelligent people who really care about chess and have thought a lot about these dilemmas and put a lot of time into working out the format I have been criticizing here, so the idea is to not tell them to just go back to the drawing board. This is a "friendly amendment" to the existing plan:

(a) The winners of the two 9-round tournaments play the rapid match as provided for in the existing plan. However, only half the total 1st/2nd money is at stake, and the title is not at stake. These rapid games can be called the "Morphy Cup" or whatever you please.

(b) The same two people then (maybe after a rest day) play a four-day, four-game match at more or less classical time controls for the title and the other half of the money.


Actually Gulko doesn't play anything often anymore. He maintains a high rating through inactivity.

Kasimdzhanov advanced in rapids by drawing his classical games. It's one of the flaws of the KO system. That's hardly possible in a nine-round swiss. And based on his later results he's not too shabby at classical either. But even if we credit him with another 50 elo points at rapids it's not as if such performance is predictable, or relevant here. The finalists will need +5 or so at classical chess first, which I certainly consider sufficiently rigorous. The rapids are being tacked on, they aren't replacing. And when did Gulko last play rapid chess, or any chess?

FIDE does whatever they can get money for. When the KO ran out of steam they went to this tournament. Now that it worked they want to do it again. They have no compass at all. The AF4C has the luxury of a block of sponsorship and can then try different things to see what works for getting media coverage. This led first to a big swiss and now to adding a rapid match at the end. They are experimenting.

60 of the 64 players are going to play the exact same tournament as last year. IN FACT, THIS IS THE EXACT SAME TOURNAMENT AS LAST YEAR, which went to rapid playoffs with both men and women's titles! The only difference is splitting the field at the start. This year the playoff is forced and scheduled.

If title and money aren't on the line, no one will care. Adding even more later is beside the point. When chess is at the level of baseball we can compare them. Right now chess is at zero and we are casting around looking for a way to get to level one. Scheduling is important. Knowing whether or not a game will last one hour or five is important. The entire tournament is not rapids, no overreaction necessary please.

Actually, two separate groups are unecessary. I agree with p that the best players should be able to meet each other in the long games. With two groups, the two most worthy winners might be in one of the groups, but only one of them go to the final.

With two groups, and same points in one group, you are probably let tiebrak rules decide the winner to the final anyway. A playoff to get to the final playoff is a bit much?

So, all in one group, and the two best players decided by the defined tiebreak rules could get to the final playoff. Number of wins could be one good tiebreaker, then a win and a loss is better than two draws, favours those playing for a win.

Often there is a tie after nine rounds anyway, and it would be a playoff regardless of the new concept.

Yes, you're right, I"m behind the times--he hasn't been playing much since 2003, although enough to stay on the active list.

He did play in the World Open a few months ago, and some exhibition games.


Hey, if you think *OUR* Championship has problems - the Russian SuperFinal has had to find a new location after *one* (count 'em, ONE) year in operation. Seems the Rossiya Hotel, site of last year's grand & glorious Final, is "na slom", which my (imperfect) knowledge of Russian idiom thinks is about the same as our "for the wrecking ball".

So anyway - where are they gonna hold it? In two months? Answer: (ten kopecks if you guessed this)the long-abandoned Central Chess Club of Moscow! It's apparently - according to this photostory -


- getting "the Full Kirsan" to try desperately to be ready for THE major tournament on the Russian calendar by mid-December. Hang onto your hats!

"This is a "made for TV" final day idea"

Wow, you guys have chess on TV? They covered the US Championship? Nice. :)

Heh, thanks FBF. The Moscow offices of KasparovChess.com were in that building, behind the main room. They would hold more weddings there than chess tournaments...

This isn't the same as FIDE tiebreaks. In FIDE the players had a shot at each other before the rapids - and yeah, they sometimes broke even in the first two games, but sometimes they didn't.

If they want TV excitement, put it at normal tournament time controls but make them play in the middle of a spinning carousel. I mean, that's exciting too, isn't it?

I think there is a lunacy competition between FIDE and AF4C. With both changing rules left and right without consultation, it seems to be survival of the craziest.

No consultation? You mean the format should be voted on by the players? Or the fans? Who, then? There was considerable consultation...

I'm a little confused by all the "why not make them play in clown suits?" guff. They play the same nine-round swiss at classical time controls as the last few championships. The haven't lowered the quality of play or lowered the chance of the best performing player winning. This championship will be THE EXACT SAME as the last one other than the split field. I don't recall all this sky-is-falling routine last year when Nakamura and Stripunsky went to a rapid playoff.

I am not a big fan of the new format. I understand they are trying to make things interesting, but it seems like a strange time to change things around. the date conflict with the women's world ch seems like it could be a big problem. either they will have to conflict with it or change the dates again. either way, it doesn't look good.

The construction company suddenly said they would need the extra week to make sure the would get the state approval permits allowing the building to be used. I'm amazed they can be so precise four months out. The championship is to be the inaugural event for the venue, so walking away from one of the main sponsors isn't going to happen.

Hey Mig,

thanks for addressing my concerns. Could you say more on how/why the AF4c is only obligated to hold the us champ. only once every two years? Also, you mention there were consultations concerning the new format, could you outline who took part in these?


I agree they don't need to consult--but I do still think both FIDE and AF4C should have the format defined before the qualification process starts.

And there is a difference.

Last year, a player could avoid the rapids phase by playing well enough. Here, the rapids finish is set in stone.

It probably wont matter UNLESS one of the playeres puts together a Topalov-type run and wins one section with +7 or so, and the other has a more normal +4.

Then if the +4 wins the playoff, there will be a lot of complaints.

Of course, we could "get lucky" and not have that kind of discrepancy.

But I'm uncomfortable with any format where a superb performance by one player would be "unlucky" for the format.

The AF4C has done wonderful things for chess. And if it comes down to "this is what the sponsor wants to see," OK, so be it. Certainly this is better than no championship at all.

But I still believe we're trying to turn chess into football, when we should be studying the LPGA as a economic model.


The winners of two groups play for the title. And who gets the bronze medal? Is there another match? If there is qualification for the World Cup (say the top 5 players), then how those players will be determined? Another match? Total mess!

What about people who are shooting for norms? The pool of GMs a norm seeker is fighting against is reduced.

Jesse: I'm not privy to all the AF4C goings-on, only what I hear. You can get official information from Henderson, who is delighted this board has turned into the front lines in place of his voicemail!

They decide the format, but I'm aware that discussions went on for a while and that suggestions were taken from the USCF board and at least one GM. But at the end of the day, Erik Anderson decides. Someone has to, I suppose.

To my knowledge, the every-two-years thing comes from their original agreement with the USCF. They have almost complete control over the championship, but they guarantee there will be one, which wasn't what was happening when the USCF had control of it. I participated in early talks for KasparovChess Online to sponsor it when the USCF was shopping it around in 2000 because they were going to cancel it. Then the AF4C stepped in.

This is not the first time a split-field format has been used for the US championship. It was broken into FOUR groups once. And it's not as if a swiss is the most fair and balanced system around anyway. Someone who loses in the second round and then comes back to tie for first can have a performance rating 100 points lower than the other winners, maybe more. Every format has its flaws. You could take the two top finishers of a single-field swiss and put them in a match, but then you'd really feel strange if someone had a great result.

Chess isn't football or golf or anything else. It is a hobby in the US, one with no background at all as a broadcast sport beyond a few glitzy man-machine matches and a 1972 world championship match where the moves came in on teletype. We all love chess traditions but we also like $300,000 prize funds, don't we? It's okay for rich sports to say, "hand over the money and leave us alone" but chess can't afford to do that. There is no long line of sponsors begging to contribute half a million dollars for an event with next to zero publicity.

If Susan Polgar, or any woman, plays and makes it to the overall final, there is no women's playoff match. She gets the larger prize, the overall first or second, and the women's prize is distributed down to the other women. They had to consider this sort of thing the first year they added the women to the field. Kooky.

Formula tiebreaks decide the other places if necessary, just as in previous years. I think most wins was first.

Re norms, the likelihood of facing a GM is the same in a split field. Why wouldn't it be? It's a question of ratio, not body count. In a field of 64 the pool of GMs increases but so does the pool of other players you might face. Etc.


A few things about the qualification process. First of all, when do you think all 64 players will be known and when will the groups be announced? Do you think the wild cards will be selected soon enough?

When dividing the groups, it's probably not fair to take even and odd numbers since in this case the odd group is guaranteed to be stronger (1>2, 3>4, etc). It's better to have groups like 1,4,6,7,9,12,14,15, ... and 2,3,5,8,10,11,13,16,..., this way the strength would be more evenly distributed. In any case, the division principle should probably be announced before all ratings are known to avoid possible accusations of favoritism towards some of the players.

The event of state champions, do you think they will have it anytime soon? Most weekends in November don't have any major tournaments or state championships as far as I know, so they could have it almost any of those weekends. It's not like organizing an ICC tournament takes so much work. They did it the last time, after all.

Isn't there also supposed to be some other playoff between juniors? That should be really easy to organize, considering it's only between 4 players.

For the Grand Prix qualifier, will it be taken into account in any way that the American Open has 8 rounds and the NCC only 6? If not, anyone who is competing will be better off going to LA that weekend.

About the date change, I certainly don't know the situation, but it sounds like it might be possible to have it a few days earlier if necessary. Maybe it's not even that big of a deal for the construction company? I mean, you know how it happens. Somebody just thinks, like, wouldn't it be nice to have an extra week for this construction, just in case, and then after it goes through the bureaucracy, it becomes an official necessity. It would be really nice to avoid conflicts with the Woman's World tournament, as well as the U.S. Masters.

True. I wonder if guys like Ippolito who are in the race but live on the East Coast will go to LA or play in the Congress.

"If Susan Polgar, or any woman, plays and makes it to the overall final...". That's about the only thing that will get headlines.

If you don't want change then you don't want money. Nobody will put up the cash if they can't try new things because the old ways don't work, the game is too boring to watch.

I'm not sure what the attraction is of chess on TV anyway, as there is no physical action unless they kick each other under the table. Otherwise it seems better covered on the internet... the most you need is play by play voice commentary, and at least on the internet you can run forward and back through the moves at your own pace.

" Nobody will put up the cash if they can't try new things because the old ways don't work, the game is too boring to watch."

That's true. And you know why? Because if a total pocker beginner hits pocker books, in 1 month he'll have a chance to bit Mr.Moneymaker in one out of 20 games. If a chess beginner hits chess books he won't have 1 chance out of zillion to beat Mr.Nakamura. That's a secret of pocker popularity. Maybe instead of lowering level of chess games we should increase the general chess culture of broad audience? Wasn't that the dreaded secret of Soviet Chess School where tickets for their National Championships were always sold out?

I enjoy your style of engagement, Mig, AND I want to point out that you actually invest a lot of rhetoric in defense of positions you don't actually agree with. You don't agree that Topalov shouldn't play against Kramnik. You don't agree that the US Champion should be decided in a rapid finale. At least we agree in form, if not in spirit.

I don't do any organizing or participate in those loops. I'm too busy not getting paid for all the work I do now! I don't know dates about the other qualifying events like the online state championship. If you need official info you should really contact the AF4C. I don't want to give out anything inaccurate, or have people assume I speak for AF4C policy. It's not like I've been talking directly to contractors in San Diego, I'm just relaying some info here and there. Anyway, I'm sure they will appreciate input regarding pairings and other such things. Robert Tanner is better qualified than anyone here, I'm sure.

I don't think the Grand Prix scores are weighted in any way. The events and their formats are known well in advance, some are longer than others, they are scattered around the country.

I'm mostly interested in getting constructive dialogue. Jihad is easy and fun but terribly impractical. A forum like this can be valuable or it can be a steaming pile of ranting but it can't be both.

gg, the general chess culture will only increase with public interest, which will only increase if someone is successful with something different. Western governments will not promote chess culture as the Soviet Union did.

Well I read it all. all of it. and of course like everyone I criticized it all. wow. did my mind ever go negative. I slashed and burned everyone and all their ideas. I am the king of negativity.

but by the end I came to realize that the format is just fine and great. I am so pleased that AF4C is doing such a wonderful positive job. I want to say thank you to all of them.

and give them one bit of advice. Don't listen to all the super negative people like me. I am just exercising my Negative Mind. I was born with a negative mind. I have lived my whole life with a negative mind. and I think i fit in just fine with all the people here who are posting.

In reality. the format change has to be wonderful. if it works then we will have a great new format. if it fails then we will know not to repeat this experiment. but experiment we must.

It is so refreshing to see people work to help chess in the usa. for me I vote to give AF4C all the support and confidence to do whatever they think is best. And I know that after awhile they will succeed.

As I remember it anyway. the us championship was no longer going to be held because there was no interest in it. Now AF4C has brought big money into the championship. and all the people who sat around doing NOTHING are now COMPLAINING again. oh well nothing new.

all the negative farts on this web site. keep complaining. stay negative. what else can you do but be yourself.

Peace and Love


Tommy, do you work for the Bush administration? They have the same idea that no one has the right to criticize anything. Yes, we are all very happy that the AF4C is promoting and doing good things for chess, but you have no right to say that people can't criticize things when they see something being done the wrong way. You say that IF the format is proved bad at the end then they can change it later, however a good number of us can see right now that this is not a good format. It has NOTHING to do with being negative, but rather has to do with common sense and many decades of chess experience. Classical events have no business being decided by quick or blitz chess- that is a stand we have the right to defend without someone like you calling us negative.

gg: "Because if a total pocker beginner hits pocker books, in 1 month he'll have a chance to bit Mr.Moneymaker in one out of 20 games. If a chess beginner hits chess books he won't have 1 chance out of zillion to beat Mr.Nakamura. That's a secret of pocker popularity."

About beating Moneymaker - Not true. Any competent basic strategy in no limit hold'em involving moving 'all-in' preflop is only a 35-65 dog AT THE VERY WORST to any opponent, no matter who he is. You could take a person who has never played poker in his life and teach him enough in 2-3 hours to easily be better than 1-in-20 vs ANYONE. If a guy is drawing to just 4 outs twice, he is still about 1 in 6 to win, and 4 outs is pretty bad in poker (i.e. an extremely easy position to get into if you wanted, your opponent would be glad to give it to you). Hell, you could GIVE MoneyMaker AA preflop, take two other random cards that do not have an ACE, and be much better than 1 in 20. You do not understand the mathematics of "pocker", gg, not even closely or intuitively, which makes me doubt all your logic.

About rapids vs classical time controls for TV: the key is not showing chess live. There is no pressing reason to. Poker is way more popular, yet it is now just showing the World Series of poker today, an event that happened months ago. Chess is even more obscure. If they taped the chess final and then edited it they would not only know EXACTLY how long the footage takes to air, but can easily accommodate commentary at the key positions. There is no sane reason to televise chess live, be it rapid or classical controls. There is no better mix than normal time controls with taped and edited footage with expert commentary in 6-8 key positions.

Mig and others: if you think I'm being negative about this, you have forgotten what negativity in the USCF looks like. Seriously. The first thing I said about this was that the format as you've laid it out is "not going to be popular." In fact I think it will be a new source of division, the latest "scandal". I think that will be a bad development, and for that reason, aside from the other problems I see in it, I hope that the AF4C does not take the position that the new format is set in concrete.


Actually I agree that we need to experiment to learn, but we must find out how much are we willing to sacrifice first. The critical point about the new format is that it absolutely ensures that the two most important games in the championship will be rapids...

If you belive (as many here does) that this is too far, then it's a waste of time to find out wether it will help get TV coverage.

What also puzzles me about this DD-item Mig, is that it seems to me you have a diametric oposite wiev of this format vs the KOs. You have said a few things about the differences between the two, but to me the KOs were actually better: You could go all the way to the top without playing any rapids...

Sorry I read what I posted and I thought I said I was the king of negativity. I dont find where I said you were negative.

However, let me add something. the mind of man is based in negativity. it always runs on negativity. it always chooses separation. never unity.

negativity and love are opposites. negativity comes from the mind of man. Love comes from the heart. the mind is totally incapable of choosing unity or positive or love. that decision must come from the inner self, from the feeling self and must be a choice in which we jump over our thoughts and choose love, positive, unity inspite of our negative minds screaming at us what is wrong.

Sorry but this is the way the world is. or it is the way man is. nothing I can do about it except be awake and aware of the negativity in my own mind and choose to jump over those negative thoughts and find the positive.

by the way. any time we are thinking about things. or especially analyzing things we are caught into the negative. analyzing is alway alway always the process of finding the negative.

so if you sit there and think about what I said. and then analyze what I have said you will find the negative in what I have said and criticize me. of course the fact that the mind will mis-read what I said to criticize me is normal. that is what the mind does. it changes the truth into what it wants so it can be negative.

sorry about the triple post. the web kept coming up with error messages. I would delete 2 of them if I could.

Superficially I agree that it would be nice to pick the chess champion based on slow games. But what is happening here is that more things need to be balanced into the equation. so AF4C is trying to find a balance between money and chess.

ps. I have no affiliation with anyone else in chess. I only play on the internet and have met no one who is anyone in chess. I did learn back when fischer played and I love the game. I became discouraged back in the early 1970's because no one was making any effort to bring money into chess. Now finally I see that AF4C is making that attempt. I applaud and will support them while they try to do something. better than wasting the past 35 years of doing nothing. and that is basically what the last 35 years has been. finally someone is doing something and everyone is criticizing them for trying. well hell get off you fat ass and do something besides criticize. chess does not need your negativity. it needs your support. come up with positives. do some work raising money for chess tournaments. find out what it takes to do the job.

now all I can say is SHUT UP.

Peace and Love


I am slightly confused. I did not read the entire structure, so maybe this is easy to understand...if so...someone please explain!

Let's say in Group A, There are 2 players with 7-2, and 5 players with 6.5-2.6, and 5 players with 6-3.

In Group B, one player gets 8-1, 2 players are 7-2, and 4 players are 6.2-2.5 ...(I made all of that at random, to get to my point). How are prizes distributed?? I do not see any reasonable way to give out prizes! I see two ways to do it...but both seem unfair! Are the prizes in each group TOTALLY separate (which makes more sense to me), or does getting 7-2 in Group A mean that you will AUTOMATICALLY get more $$$$ then 6.2-2.5 in Group B?? In my opinion, it makes more sense to simply give out prizes to each group and they are non-related.....but if one person wins their group clear, and there is a tie in another....this could work out somewhat strangely, with a HUGE financial swing for the one who loses out.

Also....if (I am only saying *IF*) there are an odd number of women in the field....then one group will have more women then the other, and this seems unfair to the women, as one will be "easier" to win, as there are less women to beat out. This may seem trivial, as it will be only 1 less...but 1 is 1! :)

The new format confuses me, so maybe I am making no sense at all.

One last note....IF someone drops out the last 2-3 weeks, after the groups have been set, and a replacement player is not within 200-300 points of the player who suddenly cannot play, this MIGHT skew the strengths of the groups, to a SMALL degree. Just food for thought.


Ben points out the problem that may arise when dividing women into two groups. I don't think it will be much of a concern if the overall number of them is odd, as female players rated under 2200 are not likely to be able to compete for the championship in any case. This may have some small effect on the distrubution of women's prizes, though.

What is more significant is that if Susan Polgar decides to play, it will be hard to fairly divide the top women. Right now, there are exactly 7 female players who already qualified and who are rated above 2300 (Polgar, Zatonskih, Krush, Goletiani, Baginskaite, Abrahamyan, and Shahade), everyone else being much lower (although Laura Ross is picking up some rating points recently, but she is still only 2235). How does one divide 7 players into two equally strong groups? Also, if you are one of those players, would you like to be in one group with Polgar, who is rated a hundred points above the rest (even more in FIDE ratings)?

I am assuming here that all of the above players will actually show up and will not decide to go to the Women's World tournament instead.

I understand and sympathize with the theoretical concerns, but I find most of them unlikely to have any practical effect. A difference of even fifty or 100 points between two players in the lower third of the overall field will not unbalance things. There won't be any "group of death" a la the world cup!

I don't see why they can't just distribute the entire field, women included, and then swap one or two of the lowest-rated ones if necessary. I'm sure Tanner and the other experts can work out something equitable for both pairings and prizes. No, I don't know when this information will be made available.

Pokermetrics at a chess website? I find it appaling.
Move out please.
As far as the "pentathlon" proposal goes - no way! Chess cannot be downgraded into yet another board game. Chess is the Royal game! Keep the Moneymaker-wannabes out of it.

Well, no one said anything in a while about the US Championship here, so why not have some fun? I guess we are finished with that discussion anyway.

On a chess note, there were 24 players who played in all three U.S. Championships since they went open in 2002. 17 of these players are already qualified for the 2006 Championship.
The remaining 7 are Yermolinsky, Kraai, Lapshun, Battsetseg, Hahn, Levina, and O. Sagalchik. These 7 haven't tried very hard so far, playing in a total of 3 qualifiers. Yermo, are you planning to join?

I have a question:

I have a bet Fluffy that three women will place ahead of him in the upcoming us champ. This involves a substantial sum of money (undisclosed). I'm concerned that the new format changes will obscure the terms of our bet. Can anyone off any legal advice?

probably 3 women in each section will score more points than me. I have come to realize that I am really not a very good chessplayer. But I will abide by the lawyers' decisions.

Hmmm...I wonder if they will use the fact that there are two sections to separate the spouses. How many married couples are there likely to be in this event? The Christiansens, probably Baginskaite and Yermolinsky, the Finegolds, Ivanov and Epstein ...anyone else? Even with just those 8, you'd have an event where 12.5% of the players were married to a competitor!

Mig: if you just distribute the entire field, women included, and then swap one or two of the lowest-rated to even out, then theres a very good chance of uneven groupsfor the women. If you don't have clear rules about how to fix this beforehand, there will be discussions on whether this was done fairly. (Hey they managed to make a discussion out of Topa's chair...)

Jesse: Even if Fluffy is right about his chances, there's a general rule about legal counsel in such matters: "when the law is unclear, it is good to be a lawyer". Even if you believe you win the (substantial) bet, there'll be enough lawyer-food to spend all your winnings.

Of course they will announce it in advance, as well as figure out what to do with late dropouts; they have professional arbiters who have been working on this and the event is four months away. I was just tossing out a suggestion. Uneven grouping at the bottom end is not terribly relevant in such a strong field. Having a 2200 instead of a 2100? Plus, while the Polgar issue is important because it affects the overall field, the women's title is far less an issue. It should be as fair as possible of course, but it's an affirmative action title and an afterthought.

1. I applaud AF4C's efforts and willingness to experiment to help popularize the royal game.

2. I don't see how live TV coverage will work for chess, because live coverage relies on regular breaks in the action to provide space for commercials. Baseball has half-innings and relief pitcher warmups; football has timeouts and changes in possession; basketball has TV timeouts every 4 minutes along with the timeouts that a team calls irregularly. Golf is a slow enough game to allow a commercial or two while Tiger walks from his tee shot to his second shot without making the viewers miss anything. Chess has nothing of the sort...

3. It is probably much more realistic to aim for an edited, after-the-fact televising, similar to the coverage of the minor Olympic events and the World Series of Poker. Or like the US vs. Russia match this summer!

4. That being the case, why not make the 2-player final a four-day, four-game classical match with a rapid tiebreak only in the event of a tie after the four games? The current proposal resembles the idea of having a penalty shootout settle the World Cup soccer winner without playing 120 minutes of regulation beforehand. Yeah, it's better than a coin flip, but it's not as good as giving the 2 finalists an opportunity to settle matters with a classical mini-match first.

My $.02

Another problem with live coverage of chess that is not faced by any other sport is the long "thinks" that can occur. I remember watching the ESPN coverage of Kasparov vs. Junior, and growing more and more restless as the commentators groped for interesting things to say as G-Kas spent over a half hour coming up with a plan to convert the one pawn advantage he had rapidly gained with a home-prepared TN.

Of course this is not quite as bad in rapid chess, but you can still have one or two long thinks (5 - 10 minutes).

Rapid has another problem with live coverage, though; the game can have rapid, hard-to-follow sequences at the opening stage and in end-of-game time pressure. This could be remedied by televising thoughtfully edited coverage after the fact.

In fact, a four-game classical match could provide an ideal format for edited television. With control over the presentation, you can easily place the commercial breaks wherever they make sense (between games, for example, or at a crucial moment in a decisive endgame when one of the players has to make a decision between two critical plans...).

Salām to all,

Just a couple of thoughts from an old Ghost.

Mig says: “A forum like this can be valuable or it can be a steaming pile of ranting but it can’t be both”.

Ahh, but it can, Mig, it is, and that is why we love it.

When dealing with the issues of “chess popularity” in a densely stimulating world, especially in the U.S.; and in considering all of the corporate necessities with which the AF4C must contend, the experimental solution under discussion is probably the most balanced despite not being ideal for “purists”. It would be a shame, however, if our best and brightest women were forced to choose between championships.

As for me, I am fascinated watching a game play out between any two chess players, the higher the level and longer the time control, the better. That does not mean great chess cannot be played at faster time controls, just that it is less likely to occur: Blunders increase as time controls decrease. Nevertheless, I am a fan and will watch regardless.

Who to blame for the state of chess in the U.S. of A.? There are myriad potential villains: Shrinking attention spans, media bombardments of sound and color, 15-second sound bites, and/or glorification of action with noise over quiet, thoughtful contemplation to name a few. The new format of the US Championship is unlikely to change this state of affairs.

Why? Because chess is unfathomable to a vast majority of citizens and along with it, the level of energy and sacrifice involved in order to participate at the highest level. In almost any other sporting endeavor, the sacrifices necessary to perform at the highest levels are well understood. Not in chess. Corner ten random individuals on the street and you would be lucky if any understood the basic moves of chess pieces, much less the subtle differences between a Najdorf or Sveshnikov Sicilian variation. MS Word ’02 considers these as misspelled words even when capitalized.

What is the goal here? I believe most professional players would agree the goal is to achieve a substantial standard of living doing what they love to do: Playing chess. A young friend of mine loves to drag race motorcycles and still holds, as far as I know, a world record in his class. However, without increased sponsorship he is unable to continue, and in order to get this sponsorship he must “dance” for the money. He does not want to do this so is considering other business opportunities.

Chess has the opposite problem for our young players: No money for which they can “dance”. It will be a long row to hoe but perhaps the USCF & AF4C are on the right track. Nevertheless, they need to listen to the professional players and us fans, too. Chris Falter and several others have suggested a taped television event with which, at 30 minutes or 1 hour per show, an entire tournament could be shown as a series. The “US Chess Championship Series” if you will, rather than a “Live” event. I support this idea.

Such an approach solves quite a few problems with televising chess tournaments and could give a great educational opportunity to the general public (really, just how many people a few years ago even knew how to play “No-limit Hold’em?”). It would be unnecessary to reduce time limits for “classical” games; lends itself to sponsorship (caps, shoes, ties, etc.); and could easily be expanded to include team events as well as other forms of chess such as Rapid, Blitz, “Fischer960”, and “Bughouse”. Once again, perhaps “purists” would object to players wearing logo merchandise, but isn’t the point to make money playing chess? Wouldn’t you wear an Amex or Nike tie every time you appeared to play if guaranteed 50 thousand annual?

Cheers and Peace

It's kind of a horrible thought to have chess players as same kind of advertising boards as athletes have become these days, isn't it? Even for golfers it's not yet that bad cause the outfit has something to do with the sport and is appropriate, so Tiger wearing a cap with Nike logo doesn't look utterly horrible, but chess players really should wear something decent or whatever fits their personality.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 23, 2005 4:36 AM.

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