There are only two days that I can’t do anything about: Yesterday and tomorrow. So I try to focus on what I have now and the people that love me no matter where I am in life. I am grateful for my mere existence and for a large extended family I can always come home to. From that standpoint, I always feel the courage to act in the direction of my dreams, and I never let yesterday’s missteps or unfortunate turns distract me since I can’t do anything about them anyway.
In 2014, Grandmaster Maurice Ashley and I set out to do something that has never been done before in chess history. We gave away a million dollars in what was and remains the largest and highest stakes chess tournament ever. In that year, we started the Millionaire Chess Open and with it we announced we were bringing chess into the mainstream spotlight.
Fast forward to 2016 and now I am writing the third post-Millionaire Chess blog post. It takes my breath away to think how far we have come with this tournament, both literally and figuratively. The list of things to be proud of and grateful for are truly endless. From the Las Vegas to Atlantic City venues that hosted players from over 60 countries, we feel proud to have made a significant mark and shed much more light on this incredible game. We wanted to create a special excitement around chess and I think we can proudly boast that we did. We set out to put on the most luxurious tournament in chess history and we can stand proud behind the experience our players received.
Speaking of our players and our supporters, we could not be here today without you. With every message, email, hand-shake, personal story and entry into the tournament, you made us feel like all our efforts were worth it. We thank each and every one of you. Even after two tumultuous years, we couldn’t let you down in the third year after we had made our promise to bring it to Atlantic City. We continue to be so blown away by the feedback of support we still receive every day. That show of support and the positive coverage in the mainstream media has been all we could ask for to shed more publicity to chess.
Which leads me to the final paragraph. The millionaire dollar question. Will there be another MC? We can fairly confidently say there will not be a Millionaire Chess Open in 2017. Before you think this is the end, we want you to believe there is a future for it, as we still do. But it is a business and like all businesses there needs to be time to revamp, re-structure, and re-evaluate its worth and how to make it better moving forward. How long that will take is the true million dollar question actually. There are so many factors to that answer and we look forward to exploring all of our options moving forward. Just know that Maurice and I are extremely grateful for your love and support and we are so very proud of the MC community we built and can call our own.
It was nice to hear supporters coming to us to ask how they can help reach sponsors so MC can continue because they don’t want to see such a tournament die. I still believe sponsors will come in someday, but that might be 10 years into the future. Till then, it doesn’t make logical business sense to continue after three years in the red.
I have given MC and chess every possible effort. I believe we all gave it our best shot already. I left nothing undone. Every penny of every single prize got paid over the last 3 years. I had been told by many that MC was the best chess event ever by far and will be remembered as such. I am eternally grateful to have made some lifetime friends as a result of this. I can and will hold my head high..
With so much love, money, and tears having been invested over the last 3 years to build this healthy brand, it really would be a shame to see it go to waste. Maybe one day others will look to take ownership of the brand, or we ourselves may enrol passionate people to take over the organization. We may pass the ownership over to others, but Maurice and I will always be the Mom and Dad of this special child. It would be nice in twenty years and see that Millionaire Chess has indeed lived on.
Thank you for three amazing years so far! Stay tuned for future announcements.