Chess Specter 4 – Chess on TV

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The BBC used to have a show on TV called “the Master Game,” where they’d recreate a chess game that would be interesting to watch (paced well, commentary, great players, etc). Here’s a link to an episode that isn’t ideally what I’m looking at to do for chess in the modern day but there is a basis for what we can do if we look at it. Watch this.

First and foremost, one game per episode. If we have more than 30 minutes to work with, we might be able to fit a second game in (basically, one game per 30 minutes). We can get the commentary from the actual players as to what they were thinking, which would enhance the experience, but I think that the expert commentary (from GMs or our own “experts”) would be interesting as well. Hindsight is always 20/20 but the game should be interesting.

The Master Game isn’t the end all, be all of chess on TV. It is a way to present chess in an interesting manner. Ideally, in the world we live in, we wouldn’t even need a major TV network to jump on board to help this out… we could just put these out on YouTube or Vimeo and get ourselves going as often as possible.

Let’s say my little idea has gotten 4 players interested. We have 30 minute episodes we will put out on YouTube. If we have one single event, in a round robin, we have 24 games that get played (two games per player, one as white and one as black). That would be 24 episodes at 30 minutes each. If we hold events at least monthly, we could be running the YouTube channel release schedule at every week day (Monday through Friday) highlighting whatever game you’re on.

Why don’t we expand that a little? We have our 24 games played, and thus, 24 episodes ready to go. If we look at, say, January of 2015, we have 22 week days to release episodes. Take holidays off, we have 20 days to release episodes. Thus, our 24 games are now rolling into the second month and if you’re watching on day 20 rather than day 1, maybe you’ve forgotten the drama of that first game. Let’s add us a little “our story so far,” or an ESPN style “SportsCenter” segment on that 30 minute episode, bringing us up to about 45 minutes. If we have enough content, we turn that extra 15 minutes into an extra 30 and we’ve got ourselves a real “here’s why this matters” federation going on.

I maintain that this will be a club that has some exciting chess being examined and played. If we have our commentators doing their bit to promote and hype the club as a whole on top of our daily (week day) release schedule, I think we can draw some real buzz.

That’s with JUST FOUR PLAYERS. Imagine what we’d be looking at with 16, 50, or 100 players! Sure, we’d have to pick and choose what we display, then, but at least we could have choices to make!

Your move.