Thursday, November 21, 2013

Crowd pleaser

Been a busy few days for popular chess bullshitter Susan Polgar, who only last weekend was making quite remarkable predictions about the likely number of people watching the world championship.

No sooner was that figure being bandied about (and subsequently, as they say, clarified) on Twitter and Ms Polgar's blog than the Times of India had her making the following somewhat ambitious claim about the possible future of our sport.

Heh, cheerleaders. You reckon? Personally the only connection I can think of between chess and cheerleaders is the, ah, "beer bitches" (not my phrase, I hasten to add, nor one to my liking) who appear at chessboxing, lending it even less dignity than it already lacked - but Polgar definitely seems to thnk it would be a good idea.

No quotes in that passage, I accept, and I would really hate to be accused of misquoting Ms Polgar, but given that the piece has been reproduced on the house blog I assume we can take it that it accurately represents her considered sentiments.

So where are these cheerleaders going to fit, you wonder? On the front of the stage? Will they take out some rows of seating?

Lord no. They're going to be on the pitch, or on the side of it at any rate. We're talking chess in stadiums, Lew. And not just any old stadiums, either. Big ones.

Ho ho. There's something big here, that's for sure, but it may not be the size of the stadia chess is going to be played in.

Still, perhaps this is one of those "new event formats" that somebody else (of equally reliable reputation) was talking about the other day.

Maybe we could combine all these ideas? Throw in live chess with dogs and we're on to a winner. World championship rapidplay chess, live pieces dressed in boxing gear, on stage at Wembley Stadium with dogs as cheerleaders. With a billion people watching.

Make it as silly as you like. It won't be any siller than what Susan Polgar comes out with.


Anonymous said...

For live coverage , you want to give the commentators something to talk about. From that viewpoint, you want to avoid long periods of inactivity. Thus instead of 40 moves in 120 minutes, try something like 20 minutes initially followed by 150 second increments. That allocates 120 minutes for the first 20 moves but reduces the quality of play by disallowing lengthy thought. Beyond move 40, you revert to 30 second increments.

It's an idea that first occurred to me watching one of the Kasparov-Short games, when one of them, Kasparov I think, sank into deep thought after a few minutes of the live coverage of the first hour's play. It might have been the Nimzo-Indian game where Nigel came up with a repetition drawing idea. After a while, the Commentators were running out of things to say.


Anonymous said...

Don't knock it until they've tried it. Most Countdown viewers are only watching to see Rachel Riley.

John Cox said...

Seems fine to me. If Lawrence T dresses up in a short skirt and starts waving pompoms, what’s not to like?

Niall said...

Chess bullshitter? It's snappy, I like it!

Olinho said...

Heaven forfend that chess would be perceived as the slightest bit difficult to grasp to the outsider. Just keep dumbing it down, Susie, why don't ya?