A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a friend to let me know that HB will be closed down. A few days ago, the Daily Dirt (Chess Ninja) confirmed the sad truth.

The website is no longer up and this is what was posted by Mig:

“Unfortunately, the HB foundation went completely out of business as of Nov 30. Their 2 million dollar endowment now has nothing in it. There are a group of concerned folks doing a letter writing campaign to get it started again…let me know if you are interested in helping.”

Brian Ribnick — HB Foundation Advisory Board Member

This is sad news for the entire chess community. I met Brian Molohon (HB Executive Director) a few times in the past year or so. He seemed to be a very nice person. My friend GM Maurice Ashley introduced Brian to me at one of the National Scholastic Events.

I know they worked very hard to make the HB Challenge happen. Unfortunately, I disagree with the model of the event. I felt that the event was too costly and it had very little chance to break even in money. It sure was a wonderful spectacle for U.S. chess but a lot more could have been achieved for the same money. In addition, I don’t think the event was targeted to the right people.

In order to succeed in promoting chess, proper marketing has to be one of the most important and vital areas. This is what the chess world sorely needs, serious and comprehensive marketing plans. I don’t claim to be the #1 expert in marketing. That is why I make sure to consult the experts. The problem that I see is chess players usually do not have the proper marketing experience and marketing people usually do not understand much about chess.

Brian did ask to consult with me about some ideas but there was no follow up from HB. I wish I would have had a chance to share with him my opinion. We all need to stick together and help each other to help chess. Thanks Maurice for giving it your best shot with HB. Maybe next time! Posted by Picasa

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar