Ashley interview on Millionaire Chess, Part 2

“We’ve got stuff planned for chess players that they’ve never seen!”

With The Millionaire Chess Open being only five months away, The Chess Drum interviewed GM Maurice Ashley yesterday for the first time since making the decision to continue with the thrust to hold the Millionaire Chess Open. The Chess Drum also conducted an interview in early March.

The interview detailed the behind-the-scenes dynamics of how the decision was made to continue after a disappointing account of only 65 players had signed up by March 27th (76 by the deadline March 31st for a targeted 1500). Ashley explains further the other avenues of support and the plans going forward. He remains optimistic and plans to speak more on the event in coming months.

Will Smith and the idea behind the Matrix commercial and the “VIP Lifetime Membership” are also mentioned.

Listen to Ashley’s interview! 19:18 minutes


presents the
The 2014 Millionaire Chess Open

Thursday, October 9th through Monday, October 13th 2014
Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino


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  2. How about a tournament with a sponsor and go for the numbers with a $100.00 entry fee? An event to rival the national scholastic events.

    For $1500.00 I could play in the National, US Open, World Open, American Open and 5 local events. Don’t see how this event is better than all those rolled into one.

    1. Those types of $100.00 tournaments are a dime a dozen. You’ve just listed some of them. Why would we need more of the same?

      If you are looking at it the way you are, I would stick to those tournaments you’re comfortable with. However, this is not the same type of tournament where you just come, play and then go home. There are going to be events and activities as part of the experience. It hasn’t been done before which is why you cannot imagine it. We have to want more for chess than what we’ve already seen… which isn’t much. Chess in the U.S. is not growing… except in scholastic chess.

      However this is not marketed toward scholastic players… although many will come. The idea is to create exposure for chess to attract sponsors (which are hard to come by in the U.S.). Why do you think the U.S. Championship franchise almost went bankrupt before Rex Sinquefield stepped in? Everyone talks about sponsorship, but never realize that there is nothing to attract sponsors to chess unless you show ways in which they will benefit.

    2. Stephen –

      I played in Maurice’s HB Classic back in 2005. It was a nice step up from the National Open & World Open. All of which I’ve played in and enjoyed multiple times. ( Also the US Open, New York Open, and Chicago Open). Just like golf enthusiasts will occasionally play a Pebble Beach for $500 a round, vs their local courses at $50, why not play in this chess event if you can afford to?

      MCO promises to be a singular event, hopefully a watershed moment for broadening the interest in our game, including building the momentum for increased sponsorship. You mentioned sponsorship – the wonderful patronage of Rex Sinquefield notwithstanding, dispassionate corporate sponsors want to see MONEY. That is the idea behind MCO, and I applaud Maurice for his boldness and risk taking in creating the event.

  3. What about taxes? If I win a prize in millionaire chess tournament, am I gonna get paid what is listed in the prize list, or is it prize list minus tax?

    1. If you have a US Social Security number, you get paid the entire prize, because they will report your winnings to the IRS, using your SSN. You will get a form 1099. Then of course it is on you to list the prize on your tax filing, which factors it in to the overall tax that you have to pay.

      If you don’t have a US SSN, then they take a % out for tax withholding. As a foreign national, then you have to file a claim to the IRS to recover that withholding, since you don’t pay US taxes. Of course, you may also have to list the prize on your domestic tax filing.

      It’s best to consult a tax attorney in your jurisdiction!

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