Resignation Rumours

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
David Robertson
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by David Robertson » Mon May 12, 2008 4:17 pm

This thread has come along way since it opened with my post to the Atticus forum :) But never mind. TV & chess: my view.

Chess is the least visually attractive game imaginable, at least for as long as the current visual language of our TV dominates the visual discourse. Quite simply, nothing happens; and even after the tightest editing, not very much happens. We know what's going on because we've invested in a separate language to make sense of chess activity. But to everyone else, it's just a couple of people moving their hand about. If you don't believe me, go watch a blitz game on Youtube, but 'turn off' your chess language. It looks visually ridiculous. Perhaps there is a little more visual mileage if the players have special qualities. After all, millions watch Posh 'n Becks being interviewed, and even less happens there.

I see no future whatsoever for televised chess in this country. The flow of TV is in the other direction. For similar reasons, TV rarely shows live, or even recorded, classical music, not because of dumbing down, but because, after a certain point, watching an orchestra adds very little to hearing it. You might as well use radio. Broadcasting chess by radio doesn't get started of course, not this side of a comedy sketch anyway.

And so to broadcast by internet - which is the ideal medium.

David Robertson
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Paul Stimpson
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Paul Stimpson » Mon May 12, 2008 4:30 pm

David,
And so to broadcast by internet - which is the ideal medium.
For the converted this is probably true.

But I think you are missing the point, we need chess on TV to raise public awareness.

This might take the form of :-

1. A documentary.

2. The history of Chess series.

3. Follow the England, Scottish Teams at the Olympiad.

4. Learn Chess TV series.

It doesn't have to be about portraying the actual act of playing, although I still see that this should also be doable.

Justin Hadi

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Justin Hadi » Mon May 12, 2008 4:31 pm

Why is poker on TV then? A game which is equally boring. There is obviously money involved, so people think they can make money out of it, this could be one reason. I don't share the despair.

However, fair enough, it does seem that the internet is better placed to broadcast the game, although TV would popularise the game, no doubt, and if "The Master Game" worked before, the reason why it can't work must be TV politics instead of chess.
It looks visually ridiculous. Perhaps there is a little more visual mileage if the players have special qualities. After all, millions watch Posh 'n Becks being interviewed, and even less happens there.
There was a pilot with Chris Ward playing with Craig Charles (desperate measures!) a year or two ago.
When Chris Ward came to give one of his two simuls (the first i think) he mentioned he took part in a pilot. Two celebrities play speed chess against each other 'assisted' by a grandmaster.

naturally it somewhat degenerated into two grandmasters telling their celebrity what to do. Which sounds kind of pointless.

also, since Chris ward was paired with craig charles, they were obviously using the term 'celebrity' somewhat loosely.

Chris was also one of those chess players who turned up on the Derren Brown show.
- Jonathan B

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... on-tv.html

Justin

Dr Andrew Cula

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Dr Andrew Cula » Mon May 12, 2008 4:54 pm

Justin Hadi wrote:Why is poker on TV then? A game which is equally boring.
A novice can learn the rules, understand who is winning, and see when something happens, e.g. one player goes all in.

The novice can do this within 1 minute, and it seems most poker shows do this at the start.

Justin Hadi

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Justin Hadi » Mon May 12, 2008 5:03 pm

Likewise a novice who understands the concept of material and how the pieces move which takes about 2-3 minutes to explain can understand when someone sacrifices a piece for a kingside attack, or sacs a queen for an attack (goes all in). If it's explained to them in sufficient (small) detail quickly.


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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by David Robertson » Mon May 12, 2008 5:27 pm

But I think you are missing the point, we need chess on TV to raise public awareness.

This might take the form of :-
No, Paul, with respect, it is you who misses the point; alas, many others too. The point is this: of course we would like chess on TV; indeed we need chess on TV. So do fly-fishermen, cabbage-growers, blokes who wear moustaches and a zillion other lobbyists, hobbyists and so on. But none of us make the rules of TV; and these rules are the rules of visual entertainment as currently practiced. They do not embrace chess.

You say programmes "might take the form of...", indeed they might. But they don't. There's no shortage of TV programme makers looking to sell their output to the TV companies. Try pitching these ideas at them, and see the look you get. Indeed try talking to people working in the industry. It's simply a non-starter unless as a 'graveyard shift' item.

Sorry. Please don't shoot the messenger. I've been dealing with TV people these past three years around the Liverpool events. Chess as a small news item, maybe (if the visual setting is good); chess in its own right, no way

The Youtube video makes my point exactly - and most could be done better by computer graphics because not much is added visually even by Garry & Vishy

David Robertson
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Justin Hadi

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Justin Hadi » Mon May 12, 2008 5:46 pm

Fair enough David - it seems that today's TV climate is the problem (it did work decades ago from what I can gather). It's pretty sad if there's nothing that can be done about it, from what you say chess would need to be much more popular to merit TV slots.

Justin

Paul Stimpson
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Paul Stimpson » Mon May 12, 2008 8:22 pm

David,

A few of your points
Chess is the least visually attractive game imaginable,
I cannot agree.
The point is this: of course we would like chess on TV; indeed we need chess on TV
Of course, this is the aim or should be.
But none of us make the rules of TV; and these rules are the rules of visual entertainment as currently practiced. They do not embrace chess.
2 points, 1. Rules are there to be broken etc. Seriously though, who would have thought filming 10 people in a house 24/7 for 14 weeks would make great TV!! But it worked. 2. No one thinks this is going to be easy but it is something that should be feverishly pursued by the ECF.
Sorry. Please don't shoot the messenger. I've been dealing with TV people these past three years around the Liverpool events. Chess as a small news item, maybe (if the visual setting is good); chess in its own right, no way
I admire you for trying, at least someone is trying. The problem is finding the right format, the right idea then it will work but it won't be easy.
Please don't shoot the messenger.
We won't :)

andrew martin

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by andrew martin » Tue May 13, 2008 9:51 am

I'll just make the point that chess on tv WILL BE AVAILABLE soon at the ECF Online Chess Club on a pay per view basis. We'll have live shows, which can be viewed live or later, opening videos, live commentaries on tournaments including the upcoming world championship etc. It has taken an age to set up, but we are nearly there!

You can get a flavour at Chesscube by downloading the FREE Chess Cube Cinema application with a couple of FREE vids.

Membership is now 1250, FREE and still rising

Join now by clicking on the icon onthe ECF front page, at the AMCA or at the Chesscube site direct.

Before the ECF gets blasted one more time it is important to recall that LOTS of good work is still being done.

Andrew

Dr Andrew Cula

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Dr Andrew Cula » Tue May 13, 2008 12:28 pm

Here is an example of what not to do when planning a chess TV show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpamG7Pv ... re=related

Does the ECF see this chessclub ChessTV as a large part of it's income?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue May 13, 2008 12:34 pm

Dr Andrew Cula wrote:Here is an example of what not to do when planning a chess TV show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpamG7Pv ... re=related

Does the ECF see this chessclub ChessTV as a large part of it's income?
Not sure if there is any income to the ECF on this one is there?

I am "presuming" it's name only...
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by John Upham » Tue May 13, 2008 12:47 pm

"If you get your king to other side have you won"?


Any one know the answer to this fascinating question from the YouTube video mentioned earlier?


John
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Administrator » Tue May 13, 2008 2:41 pm

John Upham wrote:"If you get your king to other side have you won"?


Any one know the answer to this fascinating question from the YouTube video mentioned earlier?


John
I felt some of your post was not appropriate for this forum and so I am sorry to say applied my first moderation
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Nigel Wright
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Nigel Wright » Tue May 13, 2008 2:58 pm

John Upham wrote:"If you get your king to other side have you won"?


Any one know the answer to this fascinating question from the YouTube video mentioned earlier?


John
I heard once that if your King gets captured, you can still fight on as long as you have other pieces left. What happens if both Kings get captured though...? :)
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