Friday, July 22, 2005

Chess Masterminds Television Show and Webcast

For Immediate Release
“Chess MasterMinds” show
Nashville, Tennessee
July 21, 2005

On Sunday, July 24th, 2005, the world will see a chess match that has not been done in 60 years. This is the first distance chess match to be held between the old Soviet Union, (Russia) and the USA since the end of WWII and the start of the cold war. It can be viewed on broadcast TV in 35 markets in the US(visit for station listings) or viewed over the internet at .
July 10, 2005 games are the first of three distance chess matches that are scheduled between Russian and U.S. players. The games will be 20-minute matches between four Russian chess grandmasters vs. four U.S. chess grandmasters. The games will be played over the Internet using e-boards. The players for the first match are located in St. Petersburg, Russia and Nashville, Tennessee. The production of this event, provided by Nashville International Studios, (NIS), will be taped on July 10th, 2005, in Nashville, Tennessee, with feeds coming in from Russia. The show will be called Chess MasterMinds and will be aired Sunday, July 24th, 2005. Mention the word Chess and the first thing that comes to people’s minds is a pair of old men in dark stuffy rooms, huddled over a chessboard. The game has changed.
This is a "distance chess" match series of 10-, 20- or 30-minute games between chess grandmasters from different parts of the world. In addition, these matches will be produced for video and made available to the rest of the world through satellite up-links. Featured in this event of the century will be some of the world’s greatest chess grand masters, such as, Susan Polgar, who has ranked in the top three in the world for the last twenty years. Polgar is currently ranked #1 in the United States.

Not only is Polgar a dynamic player, she is rated as one of the best players in the world in both the men and women’s divisions. Her passion for teaching chess to children and young girls and women has truly earned Polgar the title of “Chess Ambassador”.

Also in the match for the U.S. team is Grand Master, Alex Onischuk is indeed “The Rock”. Rated #59 in the world, his defense and counter attacks have made for some of the most dramatic play over the board of battle. Using a style similar to boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s “rope a dope”; Alex will wait until an attacker has “punched himself out” and then deliver a lethal combination. Onischuk was the Olympiad Silver Medalist in 1996 and Bronze Medalist in 1998. He competed in the 2004 US Olympiad team and playing board number one, placed fourth in the overall games.

On the Russian Team, we will have Alexander Khalifman, he is rated #42 in the World, and has become one of the strongest contemporary chess players in the world. An International Grandmaster in 1990, he became The Champion of Russia in 1996. He has been the winner of World Chess Olympiads three times (1992, 2000 and 2002); Khalifman was a two-time Saint-Petersburg Champion, winning in 1996 and 1997. He was the FIDE World champion in 1999. In addition, Khalifman was the winner of the World Team Championship in 1997 and the Europe Team Championship 2003. In addition to being an excellent player, he is a respected chess journalist and the founder of grandmaster chess school and website.

This young player for the Russian team, Konstantin Sakaev, rated #30 in the world, was born on April 13, 1974, and is one of the leading Russian chess players. He became an International Grandmaster in 1992. He was the winner of the Youth Russian Championship in 1990, as well as the three-time winner of the World Youth Championship games in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

Sakaev participated in four of last FIDE World Championships (1999, 2000, 2001, and 2004). He was the Champion of Russia in 1999, the Champion of Saint Petersburg in 1990 as well as a two-time winner of World Chess Olympiads in 1998 and 2000. Sakaev is a four-time winner of Russia Club Championship (1992, 1995, 2000 and 2001).

Our commentators hosting the Chess MasterMinds show will be Paul Truong and Phil Innes. Paul Truong is the FIDE Master and Captain and Manager of the 2004 Women’s Olympiad Silver Medalist team and an 11 time Champion. Phil Innes created program for qualitative assessment of on-line arts education, which appeared before Senate Technology Committee, Washington D.C. Synchronously with business activities, worked with the inventor of chess broadcasting technologies in St. Petersburg, Russia, since 1996, to promote greater world-wide interactions and audiences for chess.

The match will also include two arbiters. The U.S. Arbiter is Harry Sabine and the Russian Arbiter is Igor Bolotinsky, who is now the #2 Arbiter in Russia.

There could be no other choice for the music in this show, but to have Bering Strait, a band from Nashville that consists of brilliant young Russians to perform and be featured in Chess MasterMinds. The band earned a 2002 Grammy award nominee for best “Country” music instrumental and the group was featured in a documentary film directed by Nina Gilden Seavey, “The Ballad of Bering Strait”. The striking story of the band growing up outside of Moscow in Obninsk, where the members of Bering Strait attended music school, fell in love with and mastered the American form of bluegrass, journeyed to the United States, and ended up recording their by then multi-faceted music for a major Nashville recording company. The band just released it’s new album, “Pages” on June 28th,2005. This new album definitely has the flavor of their Russian descent flowing through the music, giving it a very distinctive sound that is hard to place in any one genre of music.

In addition, Chess Masterminds is in the planning stage for a match on October 29th, with former President Gorbachev. He has agreed to visit Lindsborg, Kansas, to promote a Chess for Peace program at the Karpov International School of Chess. We are looking forward to host former President Carter at the same time to make the first ever chess match with two former Presidents and Nobel Prize winners.

Please see the website for further information at or contact Diana Macys-Staley for media inquiries at 615/596-6280 or email at

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