Newsletter #56 ~ New Prize Fund & Entry Fee

Registration for Millionaire Chess 3 is coming up fast. On March 1, the website will be open to take registrations for the new tournament, which will see some important changes from the first two editions. While our company continues to forge ahead with an effort to promote chess into the mainstream, we have had to make some important decisions on how to press ahead in a financially viable way.

First, the prize fund is now $510,000, 60% of which is guaranteed. This change came after much in-house deliberation about whether or not to wait until next year to do another event. Though no outside sponsorship could be secured, the team decided that it was best to maintain momentum and to take the opportunity to test a new formula. The data we garner from this year’s event will help to indicate what the strategy in future years will be.

With the drop in prize fund, there will naturally be a drop in entry fee. The new price of participation will be $549, with an Early Bird special of $499. With the discounted rate and the return to prizes down to 50 places(!), MC is confident of bringing in many more new players, a development that would bode well for raising the stakes once again in future events. While it’s hard to tell the perfect prize to entry fee ratio that will both attract the largest group of players as well as be enticing to future sponsors, MC is committed to maintaining a high quality event for all our clients, both past and future.

The 3rd Millionaire Chess Open will also see an interesting innovation that many players will find exciting. Anyone who has a 50% score or worse after 4 rounds can pay to participate in a new ‘Redemption Jackpot’ and have their final three rounds count for something. While a low score near the end of the tournament usually means frustration and regret, players will now have the chance to fight to the very end with the real possibility for winning a prize if they finish strong. The rules will be more thoroughly explained when the website opens March 1st.

Chess for Change

Maurice has always been passionate about spreading the message of chess to those who may be less fortunate. This week, he made an appearance at the Pamoja House Men’s Shelter in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to teach chess to the homeless men housed there. After a motivational speech about the history of chess and his own personal journey, Maurice played a simultaneous exhibition against 8 players. A couple of weeks later, on February 11th, he attended a fundraiser in St. Louis for Your Move Chess, a program sponsored by Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health care system. The goal of Your Move Chess is to provide young people a place to explore, learn and grow academically and socially in a safe, nurturing environment using the game of chess. The program kicked off last fall at 20 middle and elementary schools in the Ferguson-Florissant district in St. Louis, Missouri. Ascension plans to expand the program to its many locations around the country.