Dec 12th, 2013 by Daaim Shabazz
A couple of days ago, GM Maurice Ashley contacted The Chess Drum with some startling news. He announced the launch of “Millionaire Chess” a theme tournament with a guaranteed $1,000,000 prize fund! Back in 2005, Ashley hosted the HB Global Chess Tournament which at the time boasted the largest prize fund of any open tournament ever held.
Known as a chess commentator and promoter, Ashley stated that the time had come for chess to take a giant step toward popularity. He is staging this ground-breaking tournament in Las Vegas with the first prize being $100,000 and $40,000 for sectional winners. The tournament will also have couple of different prize incentives. One will be a “bounty” placed on the top five players of each section and a $1,000 award to anyone who beats them.
GM Ashley at the site of the Millionaire Chess Open
The format is also novel and culiminates with “Millionaire Monday”. According to millionairechess.com site,
The first seven rounds of every section will be a qualifying round to determine who plays the finals on Millionaire Monday. Four finalists will move on to play two knock-out rounds to determine who wins the top prize. The last two rounds of the Open section will also be played on Millionaire Monday to determine who wins 5th place and under, as well as to give players a chance to acquire norms. In the other sections, the tournament will be officially over by Sunday night, October 12 for players who did not make it to Millionaire Monday.
Thus there will be tremendous fighting atmosphere and with huge prizes on the line there will be extra measures to ensure that no cheating or collusion takes place. The rules include rules for spectators such that no devices can be passed to competitors. There is also a modesty dress code since this tournament hopes to draw wide media attention.
This is the latest of GM Ashley’s initiatives to find a suitable formula to market chess and he is doing it in a place where gamesmanship is a profession. He is teaming with Canadian business magnate Amy Lee to offer an event with an unprecedented entertainment value. Ashley is planning a very stunning scene for “Millionaire Monday,” a theme that could only come from Hollywood. It appears apropos that the tournament is held at the world famous franchise, “Planet Hollywood”. More details are below!!
Thursday, October 9th through Monday, October 13th 2014
CONTACT: MILLIONAIRE CHESS