This is an example of the TV show created by Mr. Leo Battesti in France. It is working and he proves what Paul and I have been saying for a long time. Chess can be promoted on a large scale. It can be very successful.

But the problem is chess players themselves. An amazing example that was shown here was an organizer went from a unknown person in chess to having more than 200 sponsors for his annual events now, including some of the biggest companies in his countries. World class players like Anand, Topalov, Bacrot, my sister Judit and tons of other world class players look forward to come to his events. But the success did not come from the top players. It came from working through the grass roots and building chess and education. Then companies started to notice the numbers and opportunities and they started to invest / sponsor. But unless we can conduct ourselves properly and professionally, this would never work.

Instead of learning from business people on how to make things work, the problem is we have too many idealists who want to retain the status quo and chase away any possible opening for new and better things. For example, my larger chess events can draw up to 30-40 sponsors while most tournaments in the US cannot. Instead of treating our sponsors and supporters with respect, we have “personalities” who like to be opinionated about every issue, including issues they know nothing about, and insult / attack our biggest assets.

Many other people in this conference have shown that they can make things work in their areas / cities / regions / countries by doing things themselves instead of bogging in down on chess politics, bureaucracy and personal ego. I can tell you first hand that this is a fantastic conference and I am very glad that I attended. I hope to be able to create similar chess and education conferences in the US, hopefully at Texas Tech University, and invite friends and colleagues from all over the world to come and share ideas.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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