40 years ago:
Only two TV channels were available those times in my country. TV scheme was defined a year in advance. Specially in the evening. At 7pm one or two cartoons, followed by three commercial clips for tooth paste and new developed Colour TV set. Since we had black&white TV set it wasn’t really important, we couldn’t see all the advantages of “new patent”. Before main News block at 7.30 pm weather forecast was presenting, it wasn’t show like now-a-days. As I was a child I didn’t understand almost nothing from the news. I waited for sport & chess section very nervously. Chess was very popular in my country those times. Perhaps chess won second place in popularity. Our Chess-Grandmasters competed regularly in high class competitions. All matches for World Championship Title were described almost in slow-motion. The presenter used magnetic board with chess figures as magnets. He really prepared himself describing all the moves, practically all match in a minute and even all possibilities and faults that led to victory be white or black. On B&W TV set chess was indeed black and white.
15 years ago till today:
Chess slowly disappeared from the news, sport & chess renamed only into sport and it was moved out of the News block. Perhaps shortly after Karpov and Kasparov ended their careers. Football, basketball, skiing were sports which dominated the sport minutes. News at 7.30 pm was removed to News at 7pm, though the sport section extended to more minutes, chess was rarely mentioned. First it was moved to Late Night News at 10pm, chess section started not before 10.45 pm. So chess slowly and surely went out of interest of the viewers. Maybe that’s way chess lost the minutes on TV News. The other reason could be, that chess is relatively cheap sport. Only one table, two chairs, pair of B&W figures and a special clock are needed. The chess doesn’t enhanse much people’s consumption. Not like Football, Basketball or Skiing.
6 month ago:
We received a copy of local newspaper in our post-box. There was an article about the local chess club. Small one with very limited budget. Beside that there was an aging problem of their members. Average was well over 60, more like over 70 as I realized later.
Very often our family members like to watch Eurosport. I believe Eurosport has other significant role, namely presenting rare popular sport in continental Europe, like curling, snooker, darts, horse riding. Widening their popularity. I went to the local chess club meeting. I discovered chess can be very interesting to watch. Especially the variation of fast chess where hole game ends in a 15 minutes or less. It could be easily presented with several cameras on big screen. Each game is more interesting if it is rolling in a high speed. Modern technology could make magic and why not do it the same with chess? Players could wear commercial signs on their jackets, plenty of space could be offered. As a consequence young boys and girls would spend less time steering to the computers.
Chess is still non-attractive sport and local Chess Club has very low budget. At the end of the year members must contribute themselves if they want to attend the chess tournament in neighboring city. I saw so enthusiastic members of club fighting for survival.
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