Streetwise & Blasé
How are you today? Super, I trust. I don’t know where the time has gone, but today is already the last Monday of July! Is it just the technology-driven age we live in, where human perception of time is being replaced by something more robotic? Everything seems to be getting faster and faster. Please, is there a way to slow things down, even a bit?
It may seem to be becoming an ever tougher thing to do, but you have to fight to CONTROL your time. Make the time for doing the things that make you feel human. It is worth the effort…that is one of the things that I like best about coffee. Coffee time is your time. The world is not invited.
In April of this year FIDE announced the hiring of Nielsen to conduct a thorough research/survey of our noble game with the intention of sizing up its global market potential. A great idea, in principle.
In 2009 , here on this blog, I published the results of a 2009 comparative global survey of all sports (including chess), and the findings were not very positive for chess. Chess ranked somewhere near the bottom.
The findings were that chess, dollar for dollar, did NOT provide an appropriate vehicle for a company looking for a sport to sponsor. More precisely: chess lacked both PRESTIGE and VISIBILTY.
Fast forward to 2019, things could only have gotten worse. Today chess does not appear on TV, except under the most exceptional of circumstances. And – worse still – chess is rarely even mentioned in MSM, much less so than in 2009.
If you do an English GOOGLE search of ‘chess/news/recent-24 hrs’ you will find an almost COMPLETE absence of any MSM interest. Google’s algorithm instead feeds in stuff from ChessBase and ChessCom.
In Spanish the search results are a bit better with respect to MSM content, but not much more. The trend is clear: chess’ relevance in the day to day world is dying. And FIDE has only itself to blame for this.
The 2018 World Championship match between Carlsen and Caruana was a DISASTER with respect to the image of chess. Twelve straight draws! I doubt very much that in 2020 any self respecting (non-Russian) corporate sponsor will be interested in being associated with FIDE’s flagship event, even though Carlsen himself is quite marketable.
Reality is that FIDE’s continual experimentation with the rules and formats (rapid and blitz tie-breaks, for example) has been very unsuccessful and damaging to chess’ image.
The general public’s perception of chess has nothing to do with FIDE. No doubt most of the world has no idea that chess is even run by any organization. The general public’s image of chess is derived from what they see on TV, from films, from literature and especially from historic traditions.
Chess is supposed to be a thoughtful, difficult game. This is in stark contrast to FIDE’s dumbed down version of faster and faster chess. As the president of the ACP – Grandmaster Alex Colovic – has recently asked, where is the DIGNITY in this?
Getting back to Nielsen, most of this kind of market research is quickly done, almost always by telephone sampling over a couple of days. No doubt the ‘global’ research has been finished. I do not know whether Dvorkovich has already been privately given the results or not, but I would assume so.
Typical of Dvorkovich’s way of working, he tries to ‘sweeten’ the cup of hemlock before he offers it to you: in early July FIDE announced an internal survey of 60 questions (!) for its membership to answer. If you fill in the questionaire, you might get a 2-hour lesson from Kramnik.
Of course, this is all nonsense, and an unnecessary distraction. (Not the Kramnik part: any chess player would LOVE a private lesson with the former world champion!). What does FIDE want to find out? That tournament chess players like chess?
Try selling that to a potential sponsor! Good Luck!!
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