Making chess more popular, more... sexy!

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

Visitors to this site enjoy chess, period. But what about all those people out there who know too little about the game, and might become interested? How to reach them? How to solve that difficult problem of making chess more popular? Jennifer Shahade and Leslie McAllister have their own ways of boosting up our game.

American Chess Star & Extreme Chess

Jennifer Shahade, well known for her books Chess Bitch and Play like a girl and recently featured here at ChessVibes for her naked chess performance, has been involved in some interesting projects lately. In different ways she is trying to point out that chess can be on TV too, like any other activity where competition is involved. In November Jennifer produced a trailer for a chess reality TV show together with her brother Greg Shahade and Daniel Meirom:

The same producers have now created the first episode of the X(treme) Chess Championships (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook), which take place at the Marshall Chess Club in Manhattan, New York. In a nicely produced video, a group of young Americans of different cultures fight each other at the board with 15 minutes plus 5 seconds increment, and the commentary to their games includes an explanation of the game of chess at novice level.

All in all we see admirable attempts to find a broader audience for the royal game! And what about the following?

Pin-up calendar

American photographer Leslie McAllister has created a chess pin-up calendar for 2012. In an interview with Katherine Sweetman, McAllister says:

To me, playing chess is sexy because it requires intelligence, assertiveness, artfulness and aggression. And a cultivated balance of these traits should make for a desirable lover, shouldn’t it?

The product page, where you can order the calendar, writes

What's even better than pictures of beautiful women? Why, pictures of beautiful women studying chess, of course! This calendar will inspire you to get back to your chess studies all year round. Whether you're a guy who plays so much chess that he misses female companionship, or a girl who wonders why she doesn't see more other women studying the game, this calendar is sure to bring joy and encouragement into your home or work place. Each month shows a lovely pin-up model studying a famous chess move, to help you brush up on the history of the Royal Game as the months go by. The calendar will also remind you of upcoming women's chess events and teach you fun facts about some of the great women of the game. We'd ALL love to see more women playing chess, right? And let's face it, folks: Playing chess is sexy!

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