The main obstacle standing in the way of commercializing chess, in my opinion, is its simplification and marketability to the average person. I think this is definitely possible, and in fact I have a few ideas as to how to make chess attractive enough for tournaments to be acceptable to television broadcasters and sponsors – whether it would actually work in practice is another matter. But poker found a way to bring the game’s complexities to the wider audience, and cricket’s Twenty20 founded a whole new brand of sponsor-friendly cricket that saw players’ salaries quadruple. There’s potential.
In Interview with Australia's GM David Smerdon.