Since its announcement in December 2013, the Millionaire Chess Open created a buzz in the chess world that was mixed with both optimism and cynicism. However the MCO kicked off with great fanfare on October 9th creating an excitement not seen in recent years. The tournament was a rousing success and received raving reviews.
Several outlets, including The Chess Drum gave coverage and did post-tournaments reports. What was clear was that both Amy Lee and Maurice Ashley have built a franchise with an identifiable brand. While people were saying the tournament should be $500,000, “$500,000 Chess Open” lacks the panache of a million-dollar tournament.
After such a high-class showing, the MC franchise has already announced the dates (October 8th-12th) and the excitement will build up once again after the registration opens on January 1st, 2015. For the first month, there is a discount to register for $880. There is also a satellite program which has been greeted with enthusiasm by tournament organizers.
Ashley’s vision was 12 years in the making.
To commemorate the success of MC #1, Muck Media will produce a documentary on the event. This will be used as a marketing tool for gain support for MC #2 and other activities.
Pushing Wood opens at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where 48-year-old Maurice Ashley, a chess grandmaster turned promoter, is hosting the inaugural Millionaire Chess Open. The event is open to any player, at any skill level, willing to pay the $1,000 buy-in. Maurice is hopeful that the format, which worked so well for poker, turning The World Series of Poker into a phenomenon complete with an ESPN deal, will do the same for chess. But that’s a dream as yet unfulfilled. Although 600 players have entered from 44 countries, Maurice and his business partner Amy Lee haven’t been able to land any corporate sponsors or a TV deal. And as you might imagine, it ain’t cheap to throw the largest open tournament in chess history on the Vegas Strip.
Take a look!
CONTACT: MILLIONAIRE CHESS
Drum Coverage: http://www.thechessdrum.net/