Time to get Chess back on TV?

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.

Do you like the idea?

Yes
51
94%
No
3
6%
 
Total votes: 54

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Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7532
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: Time to get Chess back on TV?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:55 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:
Colin Patterson wrote:I like the idea of a BBC4 show, 1 hour long, with many fragments - a magazine show if you like.
Perhaps Top Gear should be the underlying model - a car show for people who don't know much about cars and care even less (as long as their own car actually works), but who want to be entertained on a Sunday evening.
I was thinking more The One show (BBC early evening, I think).

EDIT: Oops, I see that has already been mentioned. Though talking about playing chess for money, the only time I did that was a side-trip to Washington Square in New York City in 1997, to see the famed hustlers, and innocently agreeing to play one of them, and taking the guy's $2 when I won and apologetically saying I had to leave before being able to be trashed in the return game...

Stewart Reuben
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Time to get Chess back on TV?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:41 am

We can have chess on one of the very minority TV stations. I was approached. It is so minority I can't get it on Virgin and can't remember the name (I could look it up). We would have to pay for the programme production. They thought it is much cheaper today, perhaps £1500 for 25 minutes. I think that is a hopeless underestimation to get a good programme.
FORMAT. There are several and you can disagree or suggest others.
Master Game.
Blitz Championship
Consultation games (How many have seen the Kasparov/Short/Vorderman Game against the commentators in 1993?)
Alternate move no consultation, probably pro-am.
It should be knockout whatever the system. Increments would be a no, no. Too complex to explain.
It would be cheaper to take an existing event such as LCC or Gibraltar. But neither has the ideal format for TV. Write to the people in Gib at The Caleta Hotel and suggest they do 10 TV programmes. The money could be available. Don't mention my name! I have already suggested it, several times.

I first suggested poker on TV about 1980. The format virtually as is used today. They listened, agreed it would be good TV, agreed it would be cheap and said they had no intention of doing it. It is sometimes exasperating to be so far ahead of the times.

Stewart Reuben

Brendan Brown
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:50 am

Re: Time to get Chess back on TV?

Post by Brendan Brown » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:39 am

I'd love to see the Master Game back. That programme was truly ground breaking and I haven't seen chess presented better anywhere since. William Hartston is also the best presenter. They got audiences in the millions.

And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE:-
* No "Top Gear" style stunts
* No re-branding to make chess "sexy" or "down with the youth" 8)
* No over the top flashing graphics with explosions when pieces are captured
* No 3-D
* No "Celeb" players

Paul Cooksey

Re: Time to get Chess back on TV?

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:20 pm

I disagree with Brendan Brown. TV has changed since the 80s, when there were a limited number of channels. In those days the testcard got viewing figures which would be impressive by modern standards.

Chessbase, ICC, even Chessvibes, have videos for serious players. I see myself in that category. But if we want TV to popularise chess, we need the program to be populist, to some extent.

(although I'll admit the mention of top gear makes me shudder :) )

Colin Patterson
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:27 am

Re: Time to get Chess back on TV?

Post by Colin Patterson » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:37 pm

Indeed, from a chess purist's point of view, Brendan's thoughts may be endorsed by us all - Bill Hartston musing about some highly technical aspect of chess while a long and absorbing battle of wills plays out before our eyes - sounds great.

But times move on and I suspect audiences for The Master Game would no longer be in the millions or presumably, the programme would have been resurrected by now.

A 'Top Gear' style format just might allow us to get a foot in the door and spark some interest with a wider crowd. There may be parts that will be unpalatable for serious players, but a few will be watching when Carmen Kass drops in for chess's equivalent of "Star in a reasonably priced car".

Brendan Brown
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:50 am

Re: Time to get Chess back on TV?

Post by Brendan Brown » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:59 pm

Colin Patterson wrote:Indeed, from a chess purist's point of view, Brendan's thoughts may be endorsed by us all - Bill Hartston musing about some highly technical aspect of chess while a long and absorbing battle of wills plays out before our eyes - sounds great.


In fact, Bill's great skill was explaining things in a manner that players of all abilities could understand and follow. Don't remember him musing for ages.
But times move on and I suspect audiences for The Master Game would no longer be in the millions or presumably, the programme would have been resurrected by now.
True - doubt we'll get close to that again. But a lot of those people who watched it back then are still around. You'd only need to get a fraction of those to watch.
A 'Top Gear' style format just might allow us to get a foot in the door and spark some interest with a wider crowd. There may be parts that will be unpalatable for serious players, but a few will be watching when Carmen Kass drops in for chess's equivalent of "Star in a reasonably priced car".
I think TV executives underestimate the "wider crowd" and always go for simplification, or dare I say it "dumbing down".

matt_ward
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Time to get Chess back on TV?

Post by matt_ward » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:27 pm

If people are sad enough to listen to a yorkshiremen on Top Gear. Then I am sure chess can make it, it is very specific audience for chess, and so is Top Gear.

If I was not a chess player I'd much rather watch chess then Top Gear.

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