I found an interesting interview with Yasser, a past chess proffesional.
I think that the golden age for chess was the period that the Grandmasters Association (GMA) was in existence. If the top players are interested in boosting the prestige of the game, improving their pocketbooks and making chess an important sport, they will have to get their act together and unite in a union of players. Everyday that they fail to do so is a day and an opportunity lost. Chess players are very individualistic and find it hard to agree on such structures. Without their motivated support chess will remain in the hands of FIDE and federation officials whose interests are far more varied and hardly focused upon top chess players. Top chess players must rely upon themselves. If they don’t do it, others will not. Similar examples include the world of tennis, where the top players put aside their own narrow interests for the greater good. Chess players will have to do the same. Complaining that FIDE or the USCF or other federations are not doing a good job is a waste of time. The players should make change themselves and stop complaining! The responsibility for top chess rests in the hands of top chess players. If they abdicate their responsibility, too bad for them!
Will chess players ever make another group to fight for their rights?
First we need to get to agree to peace talks over the resignation-checkmate conflict.
Chess has never really tried to market itself. The money is out there. If poker and nascar (and the NHL in the southern US, for example) can get TV time, sponsorship, fan base and merchandising dollars, there's no reason chess can't do the same. I'd just as soon have a really cool Vishy jersey as an NFL or NBA jersey, if such a thing existed. Anything can be marketed.
It's entirely possible that in the future WC matches will be profitable affairs, just like the Super Bowl or World Series. Put the players in a fishbowl, a sound-proofed glass-enclosed room. Let the paying spectators watch in the next room where they can drink, party, kibitz, get on TV!, see the players but not bother them, with live GM commentary, paying thousands for tickets. Just let Madison Avenue go to town with it.
And understanding chess has little to do with it. If people believe it's special, like a boxing WC match, then it is. How many Super Bowl ticket-holders played college ball? Probably very few.
You make some really good points couriermike. Maybe a catalyst is needed in the chess world. Someone like Bobby to bring chess back into the public eye. I talked to some of the older chess players at my club and they have said that chess is currently at the lowest popularity in the entire history of the sport.