It has been a very intense three years since we began this journey at Millionaire Chess. Please note that this will be the last newsletter until we have new announcements to make.
The Third edition of the Millionaire Chess Open, the world’s richest open-format chess tournament ran from October 6th-10th, 2016. After two exciting though incredibly challenging years in Las Vegas, this year’s tournament, dubbed “MC3”, moved to a new home at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.
Four hundred players from all over the world flew in to compete. The number of participants was well short of the projections and expectations, which was a big disappointment for the organizing team. The low attendance may have been due to various reasons, the chief of which possibly being the lack of a 100% guaranteed prize fund. Given the enormous risk after 2 years of significant losses, the decision to lower the prize fund may have been logical from a business standpoint. However, despite the dramatic reduction of the entry fee, far less players participated than in previous years. Still, we are proud to say that since its debut in 2014, Millionaire Chess has awarded a total of $2,306,000 in prizes.
Congratulations are in order
A hearty congratulations to GM Dariusz Swiercz from Poland for being the deserving winner of MC3! Dariusz, who is now a student at St. Louis University, defeated GM Gawain Jones in the Finals on Millionaire Monday in a matchup that could have easily gone the other way. A member of the Polish Olympic team, he joins the names of Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura in the history books as one of the greatest prize winners of an Open tournament by winning a cool $30,000. He has spoken about his victory at MC3 as a potential inspiration for more achievements in the future. We have no doubt the world will be hearing more about this humble and personable young man. Congrats again!
Of course, we would be remiss if we did not congratulate all our winners from this year’s event. From the Open section down to the U1200 section winners, it was amazing to see the level of intensity the players came with to compete. The happy winners certainly will have tales to tell for years to come. Some have already shared their heartwarming stories (see here and here).
Here are a few pics of some of the winners. For more pics please visit our Facebook page.
When we launched this tournament in 2014, we had a vision of democratizing the sport of chess, creating an opportunity for any player to complete at any level for the greatest prizes. On reflection, we were not able to fully realize our ambitious vision, or more precisely, maintain the consistency needed to make that vision come true.
Certain things could have been improved at the tournament, but at each one we tried to build on the successes and lessons from the previous event. With MC3, we were working towards the most attended Millionaire Chess Open yet, but unfortunately this did not happen. Due to the lack of participants, we are not able to make any kind of commitment regarding future tournaments.
Many new ideas for the tournament have been suggested including making it a biennial event, shortening the length and/or time control, combining it with a scholastic component, or including it on the Grand Chess Tour. These are some powerful ideas, which deserve deeper analysis to truly consider their viability. The issue, of course, is that it’s impossible to test an idea in the mind; the resources have to come to bear eventually. If you know a corporate sponsor who might be willing to work with MC or have any other ideas on how to continue this budding tradition, please let us know. You’ve got our contact details.
We want to thank the incredible staff that worked with us from the tireless TDs to our ever joyful ladies at the Registration Desk to our security keeping everyone in line and to many others who toiled behind the scenes. Harrah’s Resort was a great host, and we look forward to working with them in the future. A special thank you has to go out to our ageless Assistant
Chief Arbiter Carol Jarecki. We have no idea how she has maintained that level of energy all these years, but we would not have survived without her. Thanks to our wonderful new Operations Manager Bruce Mubayiwa, who is a star in the making. And, finally, thanks to Dr. Teresa Parr, a dear friend who went above and beyond the call of duty and saved us on too many occasions to count. We are extremely grateful to work with such amazing people.
Once again a very big thank you to everyone around the world who has supported MC over the years. We wouldn’t have come this far without your support, passion and commitment. Have a great upcoming holiday season and see you all soon!
Amy and Maurice