World Chess match stumbles on…
Carlsen 2-Karjakin 2
Struggle for audiences shows lack of insight
The FIDE arm of commercial chess, AGON, had a full year to prepare for the World Championship but still got it all wrong. Almost 100% of the organizers’ efforts went into catering to the on-line transmission of the moves, virtually ignoring the on-site public interest. Did AGON not realize that NYC has a population of almost 9 million and has the largest concentration of chess players in North America?
When the doors opened this past weekend for the first games, the organizers quickly realized that they were caught unprepared. Hundreds showed up to watch, and many were bitterly disappointed by the virtually non-existent access to the games or to the players. Only if a paying spectator was willing to wait for hours until the game was over would he/she be able to get a slight glance at the players as they attended the press conference.
Unlike other sporting activities, the AGON organizers completely isolated the players in a sound-proof room. Only a couple dozen spectators could approach the window looking in at any given time. Frustrations and tempers flared. Some refunds were granted…
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