SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The website chessbase has often been criticized–sometimes unfairly– in the chess press and amongst chess players for portraying a chessworld that is too elitist , at times even fictional. Slanted by political bias and often serving little more than the personal agenda of its owner(s). On focusing too much on items far removed from its core business….
HOWEVER, sometimes–not often enough, perhaps– chessbase actually produces something truly great: today’s interview with the chairman of the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) Ilya Leviton is a must read for any serious fan of the game. Leviton is asked some very direct questions and in return he provides some insightful responses…
Making chess interesting…
(On the topic of chess and television, Leviton talked of creating a product–a 15 minute video summary of a turnament–as a means of promoting chess.)
Question: Will you be able to sell it to them?
Leviton: I don’t think so. Moreover, I am sure we won’t. TV will not buy chess. However, the important thing is for chess to be on TV.
Question: Sorry, I would still like to clarify one issue; on what terms are you prepared to give your product to the TV officials?
Leviton: On any terms at all. It’s highly important that they take it, the terms don’t matter at all.
Question: So, you just want to be on TV?
Leviton: Yes, that’s one of the goals we are pursuing, not the main one though. But I must admit, we do want to be on TV….We want to show the most exciting, memorable episodes of the tournaments accompanied by very clear and understandable explanations, without going into complicated and hardly comprehensible details. Our aim is to demonstrate the most beautiful bits.
Question: Will it be interesting to the TV viewers in your opinion?
Leviton: I really don’t know! I have never done it before. We’ll do it and see if it works, evaluate the result.
Question: Is your goal to make chess spectacular?
Leviton: Not in the slightest. Chess is not spectacular by definition. Football, tennis, even curling – in fact, any action is spectacular. Chess is not as it hasn’t got a moving picture. Our ultimate aim is to make chess interesting.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS