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potus 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Short Draws Should players be banned from making draw offers in an attempt to make chess more marketable?
marinvukusic 46 ( +1 | -1 )
Absolutely not in general. Draw is a natural result of a chess game, besides noone has the right to interfere with the players' free will (except captains in team play).


In a tournament where players themselves have to pay registration fees - let them do as they like.

In case of a closed tournament where the players are actually payed appearance fees by the organizer - yes. But this should be solved by organizers and not change the rules of the game.
More: Chess
ccmcacollister 557 ( +1 | -1 )
IMO . . . "No" !! Unnatural, unworkable, and unnecessary ...
* * *

A DRAW is just the natural result of many games. Would we really want to watch someone play the last 50 moves of a K+Q vs K+Q or K+R vs K+R endgame for eg. ?
Worse yet to watch players forced to play out a game that really was highly drawish to their level of player, since move 15 or 25; have it become instead a 110 move draw, perhaps? Suppose it is K+R+4p vs same for the opponent, all on same side of board ... and the "50 Move Rule" restarts everytime one of those pawns move. Would that be interesting to watch for 200 moves?
But, players Can circumvent such a rule change by cooperating to repeat position 3 times.
That is what some did when attempts were made to add the Rule that no draw-by-agreement could be made before move 30. Or before move 20 at another time.
GM's especially may have agreed before starting the game to split the point, and so would simply play for a known drawish position and repeat position 3 times. Some however made it clear they protested the rule by making sure their game included things such as hanging the Queen and opponent doesn't bother to capture it, so as to repeat position instead. Making some obvious ridiculous games in protest.
Despite such circumvention potential, however ... I personally believe the restriction of no draw agreements before move 20 (or 25 or 30) can be fairly workable in most cases. Simply because sitting two players down to compete, and they make that many moves, chances are good that one will develop some advantage. So there is always the chance he may change his mind (aka renege) & play to win after all~! And I HAVE SEEN this happen too.

[Particularly were it players of rival countries, rather than the same one.]
It is probably even more likely that one player Will get an advantage if one plays lazily from knowing he is "supposed" to get a draw anyway.
IMO a better way to insure fighting Chess is to just offer the players some incentive(s) to play for Wins. There are many ways to do this, for eg.:
* Using the tie-breaker system which values a win and a loss as greater than 2 draws.
* Use weighted tournament scoring (as some postal tournaments have done) where a win is worth more than two draws. Such as 1.25 per win(or even 1.1) vs 1/2 point per draw. Or the more novel idea; give .25 points for a LOSS, and other scoring stays normal. But surely this would encourage sharp or risky/exciting play if a Draw is only with .25 more than a Loss, but a win is still 1/2 point more than a Draw. Granted that changes in scoring are considered a rather radical incentive for OTB tournaments. More usual would be:
* Offer a Brilliancy Prize, aor prizes for Best Endgame Win, Best Played Win, Biggest Upset Win, Most Consecutive Wins, etc.
* There have been tournaments where prizes are not paid for tournament finishing position, but rather paid a certain amount Per Win. Perhaps paying thus to everyone who finishes above an Even score. Also this can be improved by paying an Increasing Amount for each game won, thus making Wins near the end of the tourney to be the most valuable of all! That would help vs those last round draws being made early!
* Pay to the winner for game with Best TN or Improvement, whether it be the creator of such or the defender of it. Admittedly this idea is hard to judge & administer tho. And very subjective. But then its very subjectiveness may serve to allow any player to feel they might be able to win it ... maybe even for winning a game where their TN is simply where they forgot the Book Moves or their Book knowledge 'ran-out'~! :) heheh
* Publish a Tournament Book of only the decisive games.
In addition to WIN Incentives, some other ideas for trying to broaden an audience might be:
* Use of faster time-controls and Sudden-Death T/C as well.
* Make it a Thematic event where players blitz out the first dozen moves (looking more impressive to the uninitiated at least). Or make it a Gambit Opening(s) event.
Or just restrict from playing into certain opening sequences considered boring. Then it would at least require transposition to get into The-Boring.
* Hire Nigel Short for color-commentator and pre-game interviewer /

[ SAMPLE ] =
Interview by Nigel("The Sport")Short /
NIGEL: "Give us Word now, GM Winski, what's going to happen in your game with that Baboon, GM Kaspoffkov? ... Can I call you "Bods"?

GM RUSTAM ("BodySlam")WINSKI : "Sport, Do you want to die? I'm gonna get that little monkey and put him in The Bind; twist his tail till he squeals; I'm gonna knock him out with his autographed board; then I Kkkkarrrrrrushhhh him good! "

NIGEL: "So, you say you're going to polgarize him ?!!" (... smiles slyly)

GM RUSTAM: "Do you want to die Sport ?"

NIGEL: "What do you think of his references to you as 'Winky' Winski !? " Pretty clever isn't it? Better than Rusty Rustam, hey lad ?!"

GM RUSTAM: (slam, bop, ...Whammo, ker-plop) "Nigel, I'd like to change the subject for a moment and say, that IS a very nice board you are wearing tonight."

NIGEL: "Yes, it's a Kaspoffkov . . . "

RUSTAM: "BTW; Checkmate, mate" (smiling slyly)
NIGEL: (groans...) "Just so it's not a Three-Time-Repetition . . . "

* Have a bikini-model who will enter, in the Vana White fashion, each move from Board #1 onto a large Demo-Board . . .
ganstaman 99 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't think chess is very marketable to the non-chess playing community. I could be wrong, but I think you'd need faster time controls for them to not lose interest, but then everything happens so fast that they don't know what's going on. FOr those of us who like chess, I'd think we'd stick around it no matter what.

Also, as Craig says or alludes to somewhere in there, the 'problem' is incentive. In tournaments, the players are trying to win the tournament. They apply what they consider to be proper tournament strategy to maximize their chances of winning the whole thing. What too many don't realize is that this isn't the same thing as trying to win each and every game.

So, you could make incentives to win each game, as Craig gives suggestions for. Or, instead of changing how the players play, change how the viewers view. Don't focus on each individual game and how a player played it. Instead, focus on the tournament as a whole and how the player played that.
ccmcacollister 511 ( +1 | -1 )
I like that ... fascinating idea there; to change the viewers/viewing(!) & 're-focus upon the tournament as a whole' ! You've really got me delving into such ideas now. Thoughts, perhaps:

Having several viewing groups of TV monitors [ or electro-playerboards sending direct to wall mounted Diagram-Boards !?] that could do one or more of:

### Rotate from board to board as moves are made from one particular section aor demographic in the event. That might be:

* Rotating boards of a chosen nation; [probably Team Boards] in an Olympiad
[-type] event. Chronologically as moves happen; or better - show ALL the team's Boards at once allowing viewer choice, and so having time to analyze for him(her)self. Boards of the nation being broadcast to/in, or score-leading team(s), or all board #1's in the event, are possible natural groupings.
* or Top boards [ 1-10 eg?!] in a Swiss, or
* focus onto The Most Interesting game, when such becomes clear. [Aor at least the Most Active games]. Between moves therein, show moves of similar positions /
games by Chess greats of the past aor current Int'l competitors. ...How they chose to play it, & the traditional strategies of it. Also point out TN's & alternate or non-traditional strategic concepts available. [That is HIGHLY Interesting to me, IMO :) ]
* Definitely have some ready to display games of "Time-Trouble" as they occur. & besides fast moves, those will often be where interesting, amusing, or desperate Claims to the TD will be made :)
* Have background info / bios ready to speak about competitors and past greats as cited. Such as this one I am working on, listed in the PS below.
* A monitor or demo-board grouped according to being the same opening that's ongoing during that round. Later could be changed or added to group current event games together by type of End-Game reached. Perhaps even by theme or pawn structure during middle-games.
* Also grouping(s) by several or assorted demographic(s) of Chess strength [ or knowledge, actually ] to which the commentator is aiming his remarks.
Might also develop some less knowledge-of-Chess driven presentations such as
lecture, appearance of Mystery Grandmaster and tales from his Life & Career, & then there is always Chess-Kickboxing[no-joke, it IS out there ... and Out There as well of course] to turn to. {Perhaps adding some "All-Star Chess-Wrestling" !?!

This all above would seem to present viewers with a maximum of diversity and selectivity, plus sheer quantity of information available, which I would personally be hard-pressed to feel as if it were slow and boring.

It also looks very useful, that Chess play and particular games played, can be easily cut and spliced into a shortened & more intense time frame of play, if "filmed". Maybe with over 2 hours of activity, postures, and facial expressions, a given game might be made to present quite a dramatic or varied appearance(s). It might be an interesting challenge to immerse oneself into such raw moments and Direct them into a presentation possessed of a particular essence or emotion. Can a Chess Game presentation not leave one with a lingering feeling, perhaps of satisfaction, goodwill or general glow of well-being after viewing ... such as a very
good movie or triple-overtime sports event may do? How much empathy and participation in the lives of the protagonists can Chess create; like does an excellent novel? What might develop if we ever find a Shakespeare of Chess presentation (Seriously) ?!
PS.// "Velimirovic, a player of outstanding tactical skill; seeming to one day appear out of the blue, play a short, brilliant career, then disappear ... Perhaps back to whence he came; with no more fanfare than any other Shooting-Star that has spent itself with furious & majestic intensity but inevitably dimmed and faded back into the night. Yet leaving us with the image of its remarkable path lingering still upon our retina's and indelibly in our mind.
Yet it would not be surprising if 'Drago's' meteoric rise was discovered to be
simply predestined. Looking into the childhood of this woefully untopical
Chess-great, we would find his mother had been a very talented and successful Chess personality before him; The Womens' National Champion of their country. And even his name beckons him to be fulfilled in Chess. This "Dragon" of Int'l Chess
is only living up to his Given-name thru the amazing aggression of his tournament play. Yet even moreso. For we can find that even his family names fits him well. Velimirovic. A translatable name, when combined with his Given name and depending upon where its elements are divided at, & subject to varied interpretation might be rendered as meaning something on the order of "World Dragon" or "Son of the Sky Dragon" . . . the most powerful beast of myth and folklore, who once swept all from before him as he burst into flight ."
marinvukusic 119 ( +1 | -1 )
There is a solution to making chess more popular This is NOT my idea, I am merely repeating it here (expanding a bit maybe).

Poker tournaments are shown only through their most interesting or key moments, and in a manner that is very superficial but understandable to all. Presentation is the key here, objectively poker is hardly richer than chess (although the money MAKES it interesting).

Chess tournaments can be popularized in the same manner poker tournaments were: by delayed TV presentation (a report) of the most interesting moments, with expert commentary. Pretty much the stuff on Chessbase, but for big Open tournaments and on a larger scale (more games).

The presentation could (should) include not only the top boards with best players, but also upsets made by amateurs over IMs and GMs (those always happen). I am sure the viewing public would also be interested in the fate of some of more presentable female players (like some are in Mrs. Jenifer Tilly when it comes to poker) :) I know for a fact there are some female players that draw pretty noticable amount of spectators, not entirely related to the quality of their play.

We are talking about popularizing chess, no holds barred :)
marinvukusic 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Advantage of chess over poker Larger base of people who know it and love it - and this is with no global tool for popularization (like huge TV coverage for poker).
More: Chess
potus 38 ( +1 | -1 )

Thanks for the feedback. There has been a similar debate on the chess scotland forum, although there was a more even split of views. Personally, I think any such ban is unenforcable in practice. Dvoretsky has some interesting views, see the above link
heinzkat 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Talking about chess marketing... Alexandra Kosteniuk does some promotion now in the form of podcasts (or how is it called) - see - actually, it has some interesting content...
lighttotheright 471 ( +1 | -1 )
People need to be able to follow the action of the games being played without disturbing the players. That is how to make chess more popular. You make chess more visible to the non-playing world.

This was not possible years ago; but it is today. You have the players play on real 3D boards that have sensors to detect moves, which are also hooked up to a network. Those moves can then be seen anywhere in almost real time...even over the Internet. This allows more natural play without having to deal with intimidating clocks. The clocks are still present, but a computer keeps track of games automatically. Displays for remaining time would inform the actual players. These displays could also inform the players (and audience in a separate room) of all moves already played.

The audience could review play even during the game without disturbing the players in any way (as long as the tournament room is sound proof to outside noise)...very similar to the way it is here at GK. Yet, this would be OTB play. There would still be active Judges. If a problem occurs, then a Judge could back the moves of play up as necessary for whatever unforeseen reason (perhaps there is a bad sensor or something). The computer would also prevent cheating. Any anomalies in play would still be recorded by the computer and could be review at anytime. But the ultimate decision of any dispute would be for the Judges during the tournament. Once a game is complete, it is automatically downloaded into a database. Printouts of the moves could easily made for each of the players.

Players who finish their games could then move to the viewing room where they could watch others, again without disturbing anybody. Crowds can affect play, if the players see them around the board. With this idea the crowds are removed from the actual center of play, but become even more active. The idea is to build up the crowd to create some real excitement. Once more people feel the excitement, then the popularity of the sport will grow. Spectator sports are not meant to be quiet. Take the crowd to a place where it can watch and yet be as loud as it wants to be. This would create a solid foundation for the sport.

Then TV can better participate, by presenting the highlights in real time. Even the crowd's reaction can be part of the news report. People seeing the highlights now know that they have somewhere to go and watch much more actively. Chess then becomes a spectator sport. You could even sell tickets to those who are only spectators. Perhaps many people don't want to spend 50, 60, or even 100 dollars to play in a particular tournament; but they are much more likely to spend 2 or 3 dollars to simply watch in real time!

It is all about marketing Chess properly. I don't believe anything like this has been tied before (at least not the whole program together). It would require some solid financial backing. With enough money, it would work. Eventually it would ease the burden currently placed upon the actual chess-players. Fees could then be dropped, and yet prizes for doing well could substantial increase. This would in turn attract more and better players. More and better players would in turn attract more of an audience. It becomes a win-win situation for everybody involved.

A lot of people love football; but many are not willing to actually go out onto a professional field and get 'beaten to a pulp' or 'crushed to death'. Why should the Chess World expect 'Average Joe' to do exactly that playing Chess? Let's face the fact that even a 1200 to 1300 player in tournaments can easily beat 'Average Joe'. Yet, 'Average Joe' still loves to play chess. If 'Average Joe' doesn't know that you are a Master, then he is happy to play you when asked. But if he has the idea that you are much better than he is, then 'Average Joe' usually says no.

Give 'Average Joe' every opportunity to say yes. How many people (who never would actually gamble) love to watch Texas Hold 'em on TV? I know I do. But I would never play in one of those tournaments. Neither would 'Average Joe'. I would, however, pay a small fee to watch an exciting program covering the tournament.

Get TV involved, and advertising dollars can then indirectly support Chess too. When Advertisers get involved, then fees can be lowered. Lower fees let 'Average Joe' participate with very little risk.