M Derek Meredith

How has your life changed since you won one of the major prizes in the MCO?: 
No desire to play competitive chess right now... because nothing will top your event!
How do your friends and family feel about you winning?: 
Great. Chess is rather inaccessible to those not "in the life". But winning and $20,000: everyone understands that!
Why did you decide to play in MC#1?: 
The prize fund and all the publicity and promotion that went along with it. Plus it was only a five-day commitment.
What did you most like about MC#1?: 
a) the PRIZES b) Format - well designed, exciting, tamper-proof c) pre-event anti-cheating publicity/rules d) LONG "look-back" period i.e. anti-sandbagging e) Re-entry option, though 5 fast games is (one) too many, and the re-registration deadline was too awkward/early for someone in the middle of their RR3 slow game f) great hotel price! g) unobtrusive filming h) boy was it quiet i) all equipment provided including pre-set clocks! j) got the check that night, and cleared the next day k) the positive publicity for chess (international coverage!)
What would you like to see different next year?: 
a) Arbiters need to know what's going on, couldn't answer questions about the event/pairings/games. b) Better anti-device screening, turned out to be very weak at the checkpoints, w/b too easy to cheat and now everyone knows that. c) Rate the playoff games! - still upset that my four G/25,d/5 games were not USCF Regular-rated, not to mention the six G/15,d/5 games were not USCF Quick-rated (when I asked the Arbiter assigned to my section if they were rated, the answer was "I don't see why not"!) d) Pairings should be on-time and ON-LINE, which I was always told would happen, and was only true about half the time. e) The back-room guy (HOSTILE) needs to be replaced; he was the only guy other than Maurice that seemed to have all the answers/pairings, but had no desire to share that info. f) The commentating was ridiculously slanted towards the Open section / highest boards. Lots of disappointed "fans" who were never informed of the other Millionaire Monday games, even after the "glamour" games had ended. g) Website problems/crashes kept most on-line followers from any meaningful info/news, most that I know just gave up. h) Different location, mostly to "balance" for the East Coast players who were daunted by the SW USA trip. i) Better lighting (important to older players). j) Maybe relax the dress code in earlier rounds and/or in lower sections. k) Whatever it is, enforce the dress code, which wasn't done (sad that you should even have to do this). l) Once a player has entered your event, they should be able to exceed the rating maximum in their section if they play somewhere. That's not a sand-bagger! There were many players like myself who "couldn't" play for months for fear of success/disqualification. (Think: this will encourage more/early entries.) m) UNRATED/unknown players (of unverifiable strength) should have prize limits and/or be in the OPEN section!
Will you attend MC#2 again next year?: 
YES depending on: LOCATION and timing (Columbus Day weekend not bad for it, but would prefer winter or a "bigger" holiday weekend).