Grand Chess Tour 2017

People are always whining how chess cannot become as popular as some of the other sports like tennis or football. People say chess isn’t interesting or dynamic enough. Enter the Grand Chess Tour 2017.

This year they eliminated the classical part completely. Only rapid and blitz. All the drama and excitement. In cooperation with Canal+ with professional TV broadcast. Sounded promising.

For me watching a sporting event can be fun only if I watch it live. If I don’t catch it live then I don’t want to watch it. Most probably I would know the result and then it won’t be interesting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch the GTC live. I would download and take a look at the games in the evenings, but I never saw the drama live. It must have been great. But I cannot say I liked what I saw from the games.

I will only show the most absurd example, to make a point:



Exciting? Undoubtedly, if you watched it live. Idiotic? Definitely, if you saw the game later in the evening. My question is: do we really need to make the best players in the world look like absolute beginners in order to have fun watching chess being played?

This is what chess will become if we only seek the “fun” part of it. If we want to see hands moving fast, putting a knight on f1, banging on the clock and Carlsen cursing. I believe there are other things that are much more fun than this “spectacle.”

Chess is much more profound than this. It was never intended to be primitive fun. Of course, the money is great so the world’s best players will turn into clowns if required. I just don’t like it.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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1 Comment
  • Thierry Lhôte
    Jul 4,2017 at 1:50 pm


    I believe some poor play from the GM’s at this event was perhaps the heat on the TV studio set or the intensity of the lights.

    Is a TV studio set a good place to produce excellent chess I do not know ?

    I can mention also that this particular week in Paris, the weather was very dry and hot too.

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