Reports | September 26, 2012 15:03

CNN on the London Grand Prix and Andrew Paulson's plans

CNN on the London Grand Prix and Andrew Paulson's plans

The FIDE Grand Prix tournament in London has attracted some attention from mainstream media already. To name a few: The Financial Times (PDF), the FT's Lex ColumnVogue, the London Evening Standard and even CNN have covered the tournament.

The US cable news channel visited the tournament's opening reception and first round. On Tuesday their report was uploaded to YouTube:

According to Andrew Paulson, who bought the commercial rights to organize all the major World Championship cycle events, 600 million people are actually play chess now. He sees an obvious business opportunity and intends to rebrand the game for global tv and internet audienve. In the video he says:

The first strategy obviously is to bring chess out of Siberia. For the last 15, 20 years most of the major events have been played in small towns in Russia. This belies the fact that now more and more chess players are coming from new and unexpected countries.

Pentagram's Daniel Weil then explans that the playing hall has been designed so that every single game fits perfectly in a frame as it is currently transmitted live through Livestream.

In the future this will be enhanced. We will have many more cameras telling many more stories.

Paulson adds:

We have assured that the players are happy with the idea of being mounted with non-obtrusive biometric measurement tools. We'll be taking their pulse, their blood pressure and their skin resistivity - how much they sweat.

Paulso plans to stream all this over the internet and to package the tournaments into a half-hour magazine-style show. As GM Raymond Keene notes at the end of the report: he's trying to rebrand chess as being sexy.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

noyb's picture

Paulson - “We have assured that the players are happy with the idea of being mounted with non-obtrusive biometric measurement tools. We'll be taking their pulse, their blood pressure and their skin resistivity - how much they sweat. ”

Wanna bet?! Players will never stand for this...

bayde's picture

Yeah... the biometric thing is a bit much.

But not since Kasparov has chess been on the likes of CNN. This kind of media exposure is itself progress. Of course, it's not Paulson himself who got chess on CNN, it's his PR company, MissionPR. But the fact that he's smart enough to hire a PR company to do this kind of thing is good news.

It looks like chess is finally starting to be run in a businesslike manner, and not a beeznes-like manner. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Horst's picture

"As GM Raymond Keene notes at the end of the report: he's trying to rebrand chess as being sexy." I am glad the reporters found the guy with the perfect appearance to convey the message that chess is sexy...

Niima's picture

I was thinking the same thing! :-))))

Bob's picture

Paulson - “We have assured that the players are happy with the idea of being mounted with non-obtrusive biometric measurement tools. We'll be taking their pulse, their blood pressure and their skin resistivity - how much they sweat. ”

Privacy issues???

chesshire cat's picture

Can't wait to see the Sweat Elo of the top players.
Maybe also the sweat produced after each move in the PGN. ( g4!!! 2mg-underarm - pulse - 300)
Guess deodorants will be banned during the testing on pain of forfeiture?

golec's picture

good one! +1

Bartleby's picture

I wish him luck but I'm not convinced he got his priorities right. Those gimmicks may illustrate the story. But right now, I miss live commentary in London.

fen's picture

I couldn't agree with you more.

Everything Paulson is doing to hype chess seems to be geared to get the general public to think of chess as the next big thing to follow, but there is no substance behind it and people get off the bandwagon as quickly as they get on it.

To me, the Tal Memorial set the standard for internet broadcasting and this presentation in London doesn't even come close. That Paulson didn't include live commentary or in-depth press conferences shows that providing coverage that real chess fans want isn't a priority.

noahses's picture

well spoken!

odradek's picture

I find his comment about "getting chess out of Siberia" and "small towns in Russia" rather agressive. And I join the other commentators : this tournament has a long way to go to reach the Tal Memorial standard. And indeed I do find that chess is best dealt with in Siberia, in Khanty-Mansiysk for example.

What an arrogant person !

Chris's picture

Sorry but in the case I agree with Paulson.

Goendi's picture

Nice comments for a guy who got chess to CNN. Most people are valued for their merits. Think twice before speaking.

Sakis's picture

I don't see how some biometric measurements would attract the interest of the audience but I do like the live trasmission fom each chessboard separately.This and a nice commentary easy understood even by weak players would bring some new fans to chess.

Casaubon's picture

All sounded great until Raymond Keene started talking about 'sexy'

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