WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP OPENS IN NEW YORK
The Intel World Chess Championships, which begin today atop
the World Trade Center, was featured in a front-page piece in
yesterday's N.Y. TIMES. "Virtually everything about the
championship match -- its dramatic setting; its sponsorship by a
multinational giant ... its television coverage, its relatively
cheap admission ($15) --is testimony to [World Champion Gary]
Kasporav's desire to make the game more exciting, more
democratic, more of a permanent fixture in sports and
entertainment. And, perhaps most pertinently, more commercial."
The match will be played under the guise of the "upstart"
Professional Chess Association, which Kasporav helped form in '93
in "an angry split" from the International Chess Federation
(Bruce Weber, N.Y. TIMES, 9/10). Peter Truell of the N.Y. TIMES
looks at the "tussle" between IBM and Intel for title sponsorship
of the event. Truell writes, "As chess becomes more commercial,
its promoters are adopting the high-pressure tactics common to
popular spectator sports." Intel's '95 sponsorship of the PCA
was between $3-4M, with the bulk toward prize money and the
"balance used to stage events." The event will also have
widespread TV coverage on ESPN and Eurosport, the European Sports
Network (N.Y. TIMES, 9/10).