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  1. Standard member woodypusher
    misanthrope
    09 Apr '14 14:58
    http://en.chessbase.com/post/1-000-000-open-tournament-announced

    YouTube
  2. 09 Apr '14 15:14
    Originally posted by woodypusher
    http://en.chessbase.com/post/1-000-000-open-tournament-announced

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAwMA8e5lXo
    If they are offering this type of prize money, in what sense is anyone entering an amateur?

    And prizes at this level for non-expert chess players?

    This looks badly misjudged to me.
  3. Standard member woodypusher
    misanthrope
    09 Apr '14 18:33
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    If they are offering this type of prize money, in what sense is anyone entering an amateur?

    And prizes at this level for non-expert chess players?

    This looks badly misjudged to me.
    In what sense? Maybe if they don't make a living playing chess. Maybe if they never made any money previously playing chess. What difference does it make?

    It's great for chess for many reasons. This kind of prize fund hopefully will draw national coverage from the media and increase interest in our game. Many super grand masters might enter, the way they used to in the old Lone Pine tournaments from the seventies. That would also generate interest. If successful, more sponsors might be willing to fund future events. This could be big for chess. And that's what it's about, not about in what sense is anyone an amateur, etc.
  4. 10 Apr '14 12:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by woodypusher
    In what sense? Maybe if they don't make a living playing chess. Maybe if they never made any money previously playing chess. What difference does it make?

    It's great for chess for many reasons. This kind of prize fund hopefully will draw national coverage from the media and increase interest in our game. Many super grand masters might enter, the way t ...[text shortened]... be big for chess. And that's what it's about, not about in what sense is anyone an amateur, etc.
    Why do you think we have amateur status in almost all sports if it is not important?

    Changes like this make a lot of difference.

    Firstly, the likelihood of cheating increases. Secondly, imagine you are on the borderline for some of the categories. Are you going to play in a non-money event just before the cut-off date and see yourself bumped up into a grade denying yourself of the best chance to win money? How would the organisers of an amateur event feel if they think some of the entrants are deliberately playing badly to protect their lower rating?

    We have Sunday league football here in the UK. It's competitive but still very much amateur. If you started offering £40,000 to the league winner, its character would change out of all recognition and we would lose something.

    I think the idea of events like this are a great idea. But the money should just be for the pros. That's why they are called pros.
  5. 10 Apr '14 12:18 / 2 edits
    The very first event, which boasts a million dollars in prizes, is being billed as a game-changer for a sport that has been struggling to capitalize on its huge fan base of amateur players.

    “Chess is ready for this kind of bold undertaking,” says Maurice Ashley, an International Grandmaster and a partner at Millionaire Chess, the company hosting the event. “The game has seen a dramatic uptick in interest recently, and this tournament is designed to ride that wave. With the incredible explosion of scholastic chess as well as the massive increase in the number of online players, we believe there is an opportunity to capture huge market share.”


    This sums it up really. If there is a 'huge fan base of amateur players' and a 'massive increase in the number of online players', then this suggests to me a game that is doing pretty well as it is. 'Capturing market share' and 'capitalizing' on the fan base is not what this should be about for amateurs.
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    10 Apr '14 19:07
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    [quote]The very first event, which boasts a million dollars in prizes, is being billed as a game-changer for a sport that has been struggling to capitalize on its huge fan base of amateur players.

    “Chess is ready for this kind of bold undertaking,” says Maurice Ashley, an International Grandmaster and a partner at Millionaire Chess, the company host ...[text shortened]... market share' and 'capitalizing' on the fan base is not what this should be about for amateurs.
    One mil doesn't mean that's what the winner gets, obviously it would be split up, say first place gets 100 thou and second 50 thou and so forth, with money going to various levels, under 1800, under 1400 and so forth.

    It sounds to me like there will be a lot more money for every level so it can't be a bad thing.
  7. 11 Apr '14 11:28 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    One mil doesn't mean that's what the winner gets, obviously it would be split up, say first place gets 100 thou and second 50 thou and so forth, with money going to various levels, under 1800, under 1400 and so forth.

    It sounds to me like there will be a lot more money for every level so it can't be a bad thing.
    The prize money is set out in the link, so I was aware of that it was not a million dollars for the winner. In fact, I don't have any problem with running a tournament for Super GMs with a 'winner takes all' million dollar prize.

    I just don't agree with introducing high levels of money into competitions for lowly graded amateurs.

    If this were golf, anyone winning a prize in this competition would be stripped of their amateur status and would not be allowed to compete in amateur events in the future.

    I also find it odd that anyone would think introducing big money into an amateur game is automatically a good thing.
  8. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    11 Apr '14 19:21
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    The prize money is set out in the link, so I was aware of that it was not a million dollars for the winner. In fact, I don't have any problem with running a tournament for Super GMs with a 'winner takes all' million dollar prize.

    I just don't agree with introducing high levels of money into competitions for lowly graded amateurs.

    If this were go ...[text shortened]... hat anyone would think introducing big money into an amateur game is automatically a good thing.
    Are you saying it would just load up with dudes who purposely lower their rating to get into say, an 1800 level when their real rating is 2200?

    I think the USCF and FIDE is on to such tricks by using the person's highest rating as the entry rating even though it might now be 300 points lower.

    What other objections do you have? Are you saying there would be that much less for pro's if amateurs are getting a bigger share? You think an amateur should not make over 500 bucks winning his level or something like that?
  9. 12 Apr '14 06:12 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Are you saying it would just load up with dudes who purposely lower their rating to get into say, an 1800 level when their real rating is 2200?

    I think the USCF and FIDE is on to such tricks by using the person's highest rating as the entry rating even though it might now be 300 points lower.

    What other objections do you have? Are you saying there wo ...[text shortened]... e? You think an amateur should not make over 500 bucks winning his level or something like that?
    This event is using someone's highest rating over a period of months.

    Suppose I had a rating of 1599 and am playing my last game before the cut-off point. If I win, I have very little chance of winning my new category. If I lose, I will be one of the strongest in my current category. People would throw this game for a shot at $500. But here I could win $40,000. None of the sandbagging rules would prevent someone protecting their rating if used carefully. Or I drop out of the last tournament with an 'illness'.

    It's odd if you don't think this would happen. I mean, we have people who will use a chess engine to get to the top of RHP where they are anonymous and there is no money at stake. Put big money like this into the equation, and for some rating management will become part of their strategy.

    I don't think all the money needs to be reserved for the big names. But if you play for $40,000 you are not an amateur. And that will change the nature of the game.
  10. Standard member woodypusher
    misanthrope
    12 Apr '14 15:33 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Why do you think we have amateur status in almost all sports if it is not important?

    Changes like this make a lot of difference.

    Firstly, the likelihood of cheating increases. Secondly, imagine you are on the borderline for some of the categories. Are you going to play in a non-money event just before the cut-off date and see yourself bumped up ...[text shortened]... are a great idea. But the money should just be for the pros. That's why they are called pros.
    I still don't see why you think this is all about amateur status. That's such a minor point. The main point is the publicity it brings to the game of CHESS. No one said amateurs are unimportant.

    Are you proposing that the amateurs should not get any monetary prizes? Isn't that choice up to the amateurs themselves? If they don't want any financial gain, or "lose" their amateur status, then DON'T PLAY. And what is the definition of professional? Someone who makes a living at playing chess or ANYONE who wins any cash, no matter how small? At our chess club we gave out trophies and money. Not much, as it was based on the entries. I don't think anyone, including me, who won 20 bucks at a local chess club considers themselves pros. Or are you suggesting some kind of cash limit to keep your amateur status?

    This is a ridiculous argument. The whole point of the million dollar prize fund is to attract the best players in the world, and draw public interest and media attention so we can increase the popularity of our game.
  11. Standard member woodypusher
    misanthrope
    12 Apr '14 15:44
    I just wanted to add:

    Thank you, GM Maurice Ashley and Amy Lee for their work in creating this important tournament. Great job!
  12. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    13 Apr '14 13:55
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Why do you think we have amateur status in almost all sports if it is not important?

    Changes like this make a lot of difference.

    Firstly, the likelihood of cheating increases. Secondly, imagine you are on the borderline for some of the categories. Are you going to play in a non-money event just before the cut-off date and see yourself bumped up ...[text shortened]... are a great idea. But the money should just be for the pros. That's why they are called pros.
    This happens for the World Open and other such events. Sandbagging has been with us for a long time.
  13. 13 Apr '14 14:46
    Originally posted by woodypusher
    I still don't see why you think this is all about amateur status. That's such a minor point. The main point is the publicity it brings to the game of CHESS. No one said amateurs are unimportant.

    Are you proposing that the amateurs should not get any monetary prizes? Isn't that choice up to the amateurs themselves? If they don't want any financial gai ...[text shortened]... rld, and draw public interest and media attention so we can increase the popularity of our game.
    I suspect the difference in our perspectives comes from the fact that I have been involved in games, like golf, where the amateur game and professional games have very clear dividing lines which are jealously protected. Chess has, as far as I can tell, never had such clear dividing lines.

    So, in golf in the UK, you can win up to £500 per tournament and not lose your amateur status. So this is not about amateurs not being able to win anything. In Millionaire Chess, however, someone of not even decent club standard can win more than a nurse earns in the UK as a annual salary at a single event.

    Whether you agree or not, many games enforce amateur status very strictly. You may disagree with these reasons, but they are done for a reason and to protect something that many people think is important.

    So, by all means have money for amateurs, but I don't think that throwing huge money at a game is always a good thing.
  14. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    13 Apr '14 19:30
    Nothing like a million dollar chess tournament to bring elevator heels, fanny packs and berets back into fashion.
  15. Standard member woodypusher
    misanthrope
    15 Apr '14 19:15 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    I suspect the difference in our perspectives comes from the fact that I have been involved in games, like golf, where the amateur game and professional games have very clear dividing lines which are jealously protected. Chess has, as far as I can tell, never had such clear dividing lines.

    So, in golf in the UK, you can win up to £500 per tournament ...[text shortened]... money for amateurs, but I don't think that throwing huge money at a game is always a good thing.
    Again. One more time. It's not about protecting or enforcing "amateur" status. Amateurs don't have to play if they perceive that to be the most important thing. It's not about "perspectives", "jealousy", or involvement in golf.

    It's about publicity, raising interest, and increasing the popularity of the game of chess. I think "throwing huge money at [the] game" will always accomplish that goal over much smaller prize funds. That's always a good thing for chess, though maybe not for your precious amateur status - whatever definition of amateur you choose.

    If it's a success at all those things, then maybe other sponsors will follow their lead and "throw more money" into tournaments...and those who are very good at chess could actually make a living at it, like they do in poker. We need more Morphys, Fischers, and Nakamuras.