Travel for chess: How did you start organizing the tournament? Do you have partners in the beginning?
Serge Cairo: To create the tournament I proposed a partnership with the city of Menton which accepted it. Concerning the first editions, I had also some companies which sponsored us.
TFC: Do you have organizational experience before?
SC: The open is my only experience as an organizer.
TFC: Was it hard to find funds or persuade people to sponsor?
SC: In the 2000s it was easier to find sponsors nowadays it is very difficult.
TFC: Are you satisfied with the way the open developed?
SC: My biggest satisfaction is to see the way the open developed, in the first edition we had 85 participants including 15 guests, last year we beat our record of participation 172 players and 0 guests.
TFC: The financial crisis affected almost all activities, was the tournament in danger at any time?
SC: As long as the town hall of Menton remains our main partner our tournament will not be in danger from a financial point of view.
TFC: Do you see the tournament as something that should go on more or less in the same format or do you have plans to change it to something different?
SC: I find that our rather classic formula of the tournament works well. The prizes are well balanced and each player can have a prize target. We can welcome more players in the Palais de l’Europe, our wish is to reach the 200 – 230 participants but no more and keep the playing conditions that we currently have.
TFC: Do you have a certain budget for guest players? Is it, each year, the same fixed percentage of the whole budget or should you adapt to the realities of each new year?
SC: Unfortunately we have no budget to invite players, but we concentrate our efforts to guarantee the totality of the prices.
TFC: What was your best memory or more enjoyable?
SC: My best memory is the next tournament … but the simultaneous Karpov gave in 2011 is a beautiful memory.