LOUD and CLEAR:  Millionaire Chess will NOT cancel!

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May 20/14 – Surprisingly, despite the very clear announcement we made on April 7/14, many people are still wondering if we still might cancel if we only have a small number of registrants come July 31st.  Indeed, since the announcement, we have been receiving a lot of mail – both from supporters who have applauded our bold decision to move ahead and also by those who do not believe in us and in what we are doing.  I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t deeply hurt by some of the negative comments I’ve read this week. It’s strange that I’ve invested my heart and soul into this project and yet have to deal with opinions about me that have nothing to do with the person I am.

But the magnificence I see from the doubts of the “unbelievers” is an opportunity to prove them wrong.  It fuels my passion. It makes me work even harder. Their toxic statements have also opened the door for the voices in support. Without the negative, there would be no opportunity for the positive, those who share our vision for the game and have come forward in our defense. I am humbled by all the incredible words and supportive actions. We are grateful for the MC community we have already brought together. I will continue to believe there’s magnificence in everything.

 moving fwd

Millionaire Chess has always looked at this tournament as a starting point for the future. We’ve established our company as a long-term business, not just a one-time event.  And just like any other venture, there is investment, there is the risk and there is the hope for success.  Clearly, MC is making the investment and taking the risk, no one else.  However, success means that both MC and  the wider chess community will share the rewards of winning prizes and watching  the sport we all love  grow exponentially.  In all honesty and without offense, I do not think that we owe an explanation of why we decided to move ahead or how we are going to manage this.  For those that do not believe in Maurice Ashley’s credibility, then no explanation will suffice. Those that know him know that his name alone is enough guarantee, that Maurice would never put his name and reputation at stake for a fly-by-night scheme.  He has built his name on chess, and spent almost his whole professional life trying to uplift the standards of chess. He committed to being a full partner in MC instead of a paid organizer as he was for the HB Global tournament in 2005. This means the hours he is investing in MC is all towards the mission of changing chess and not just a paycheck. The early morning and late-night hours I have watched him spend to make this vision a success are too many to count.

Maurice and I are equal partners.  We both have the same heart and passion in this working together and independently everyday to relentlessly make this happen.  We are passionate about changing chess and confident that we will be successful in the next 3-5 years!  I believe action speaks louder than words, so I am determined to use success as lasting proof of the beauty of what we set out to do.

By making the tournament enticingly exciting with our big never-before-seen payouts, the incredible venue, and a unique chess tournament experience, we are trying to make history. I’m learning with great patience and gratitude that trying to execute a plan this huge, one that could indeed change history, comes with many obstacles, setbacks and challenges. Those will only make success that much sweeter in the end.

Much has been invested in this venture. Backing out is no longer in question.  We have chosen this path and will face the trials that await us along the way.  The goal will take time to reach, but that is the case with any venture of real size, scope, and ambition.  That is the legacy I want to leave behind for my children: To be a part of something very prestigious and honourable. I look forward to the day when I can look back and say all the risk and hard work were definitely and without question worth it.




42 thoughts on “LOUD and CLEAR:  Millionaire Chess will NOT cancel!

  1. Anything in life that will become great and successful always come with its challenges, obstacles and criticism. Just move on. You guys are doing great jobs. History will have it that you contributed your quota immensely to the development of chess.

  2. Hello Amy, I support your interest in chess but would like to kindly share my perspective. Your tournament present a dilemma for many chess educators and advocate. The perception of many parents and casual chess players is that this tournament is no more than a hustlers event. Most chess tournament carry an atmosphere of sort of a reunion of competitive friends, win lose or draw great respect is given to the competitors. With the high money profile of this event many fear this camaraderie will be lost. Personally, I foresee parents questioning my motive when I advocate chess as a powerful educational tool for their kids. I would have greatly appreciated if one of the motives/benefits of your tournament was to enhance the profile of the many chess club across the country. Thanks for your time and effort.

    1. Thank you for your comments Cleveland — well taken. Honestly, I am surprised by the characterization of our chess tournament as a “hustle.” There are thousands of chess events around the world where people pay to enter, compete and win prizes. Granted, ours is on a larger scale, and that should only serve to enhance the prestige of our game.

      We think that by doing MC, we will be contributing to the betterment of chess clubs, not only in the country but, down the line, all over the world. By bringing chess to another level, by opening the doors to more players and by drawing hard-core chess enthusiasts and fans to one place, we feel we are promoting the sport – its personal and educational benefits and yes, including financial opportunities. We do not see any reason why you would be criticized by advocating chess amid this preparation for the Millionaire Chess Open.

      We are in this together. Good luck!

  3. Hello. You have been organizing an event that is attractive to all chess players and not just grandmasters. We all appreciate that. But, and it is a big but. You have not explicitly published under what circumstances the tournament will be cancelled. Most chess players have jobs and personal life and therefore they need to make arrangements. A cancellation is a loss for most of us. You need to explicitly mention in your website that with what number of registrants the tournament will not be cancelled.

    1. Thank you for your comment Payam.

      We acknowledge that most chess players have jobs and everyone has personal schedules; these have been seriously considered. We are serious as well when we said that we are not canceling. If 100 players show up, then all 100 players will win prizes. Period. The tournament will not be cancelled unless Las Vegas itself shuts down.

  4. It fills me with pride reading this wonderful piece. I am just a chess observer/player wannabe. But I have watched the growth of MC with great pride. It is an honor to call Amy Lee my friend. She has honored me by allowing me to call her friend. I’ve seen first hand her passion and how driven she is. Knowing her as well as I do, I know that the failure of MC is not an option. Those betting on that will be sorely disappointed.

    1. Thanks, Steve. I sincerely appreciate all your kind words of support. I have a tremendous amount of respect for chess and chess players, so I feel it is my duty to work as hard as I can to ensure that MC is successful. I believe in the mission to help change chess history, and I am very determined to see this through. Your friendship and recognition means a lot to me. Thanks again!

  5. Dear All

    The chess scene will not be bigger than the Millionaire Chess. Millionaire Chess provides a great opportunity for Chess. I am awestrucked by the commitment from Amy Lee and Maurice.

    It is beyond personal gain that we will see the tournament take place. I fully believe in Amy and Maurice if they say they will continue no matter what happens.

    Amy and Maurice, I fully support and endorse your commitment to the tournament.

    Please note your genius transcends lower order thinking. Your monomaniacal focus brings forth future success that only true visionaries can see.

    Stay focused on your rare-air of Success.

  6. Hi Amy, I noticed that you are organizing Millionaire Chess. I wanted to say that I think your website here looks great. I followed the links to it from the Millionaire Chess website. You are really inspiring to me because it’s no as often that a woman leads in the chess world. I’m a young woman myself and I’m interested in chess. I’m not great at it, but I’m in the Chess Club at UC Merced. Chess is not in the news as often so I was very happy to see Millionaire Chess gain popularity online. I wish you the best of luck continuing to organize the tournament. Take care!

    1. Thank you – glad that you’re following the two blog sites. Do continue to follow us and hope to read more from you.

  7. By the way, do you have any kind words to the Chess Club at UC Merced? I think the few members that we have need some words of encouragement. Any, really. We are at the newest and smallest University of California. However, your inspiring website and About Me Section makes me feel hopeful that our small Chess Club IS indeed meaningful. Sometimes I have to remind myself that. Thank you for reading, Amy.

    1. Thanks for getting in touch. It’s great to see a small club have such an enthusiastic member! Remember that wherever you are from does not matter; it is all about your spirit and your desire to succeed. There are thousands of heart-warming stories of people who overcame obstacles to be successful. It takes hard work, dedication, determination, creativity and a willingness to sacrifice. With intense effort, you and your chess team will go places. I am sure of that! Good luck and play well!

  8. Hello Amy,
    I’m sure people wonder where the guarantee comes from. Are you pledging your personal fortune to this? If that’s the the case, should it not be communicated clearly on this website, like they do for the St. Louis chess tournament? You mention them in your “we work with”, but how do they contribute? How does the MIT media lab contributes?
    Also, Maurice Ashley should come out and explain what happened to the HB global. That one also was supposed to revolutionize chess, but was held only once.
    Chess players are not stupid, they need more information to make an informed decision.
    With best wishes, Tom.

    1. Tom,

      If you were signed up to our biweekly newsletters, then you would have had many more complete answers to almost every one of your questions in detailed form. Here are a couple of links regarding these topics for your perusal:


      As for your concern about where the resources are coming from to bankroll the event, rest assured that our business is well financed. As with all his endeavours (the HB Global is a prime example), Maurice does not get involved in ventures that do not deliver on their promises.

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  11. Amy, you have incredible patience in dealing with all the naysayers, and I admire that. I don’t know what their deal is. They should just be thankful that you’re doing something cool like Millionaire Chess, and they should stop all their whining. 🙂 Stay strong.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Jason. Dealing with naysayers is one thing I’ve learned to manage; part of the new reality I’m in now. And that’s on top of what really matters.

  12. I do accept as true with all the ideas you have presented in your post.
    They are very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts
    are too brief for beginners. May just you please lengthen them a little from next time?
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    1. Hi Kristine. Thank you for commenting. I’d like to know in particular what you find “too brief for beginners”? Maybe I can direct you to another post or to our other website.

  13. Amy, the legacy that is possible from Millionaire Chess extends beyond what your own children might value.

    Like in the world today, the future of chess lives in attracting and encouraging the enthusiastic participation of young people.

    Millionaire Chess needs and should be using its inaugural event to reach the young as as well as the seasoned chess fan.

    I welcome opportunities to help in that regard as chess comes out its limited following through your important new venture.

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