Xtreme Chess Champs, USCF Memberships, Magnus Carlsen Interview

Here is a video that Jennifer Shahade posted for the “Xtreme Chess Champs” show

It is kind of amusing.

Seems like there is a wide range of playing ability with the contestants.  One player was hanging pieces, while another was the youngest African American Master ever.  It would be nice to know what their ratings are, or have a last name so you could look them up online.

I like the idea of showing chess as an edited piece, rather than trying to show it live, similar to how poker has done.  That was smart, since watching chess live can be like watching paint dry.

I’m not really sure if this is a final product, or a “proof of concept”, but I think that it certainly has potential.

Chess Champs could use a villian

They might want to try to do more to get people to root for one person over another.  Most good reality shows have some sort of “bad guy/bad girl” that people “love to hate” (Richard Hatch on “Survivor”, Omaraso on “The Apprentice”, etc).  That is the main fun of watching reality shows.

I found myself not really caring who won, so they might want to add a little “WWF” style drama into the mix, so we care more about who wins.  Look at what other successful reality shows do, and copy it.  There is a successful pattern, and no reason to reinvent the wheel.

Also add in some thing to make the players more interesting.  Showing them playing clarinet is not really interesting.  Them saying they like video games is not interesting.  Saying the one guy was out late the night before at the club was somewhat interesting at least. 

But I think it has a lot of potential for sure – if they got some celebrities from either the chess world, or Hollywood, I think that would be really cool.

  • USCF Dues are going up in 2012, so if your membership is expired, or about to expire, you might want to renew it before the new year is up

I bought a Life Membership years ago, when I was still in my 20s, and when it was much cheaper.  One time I was registering for the Colorado Open chess tournament when Dean Brown and Mary Nelson were working the registration desk.

Mary asked me if my USCF membership was still valid.  Dean, knowing I was a Life Member, checked my pulse, and said “Yep, he is still good”.  lol!

  •  I love this quote from Magnus Carlsen interview that I recently read…

So you can’t call yourself a tactician or a strategist?

I’d call myself an optimist! In actual fact I don’t have any clear preferences in chess. I do what I think circumstances require of me – I attack, defend or go into the endgame. Having preferences means having weaknesses.

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