Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    28 Oct '15 15:53
    Just collecting opinions here, but why does chess not grow in America? The USCF has tried to promote the game in schools and elsewhere for decades. State and local chess organizations do the same. Local masters give simultaneous exhibitions quite often, yet the membership in the USCF is around 80,000 in a country of 300 million. Despite decades of effort and promotion, the amount of active chess players in America is less than 1%. Any thoughts?
  2. Subscriber lemondrop
    The Art of War
    28 Oct '15 16:01
    Originally posted by bill718
    Just collecting opinions here, but why does chess not grow in America? The USCF has tried to promote the game in schools and elsewhere for decades. State and local chess organizations do the same. Local masters give simultaneous exhibitions quite often, yet the membership in the USCF is around 80,000 in a country of 300 million. Despite decades of effort and promotion, the amount of active chess players in America is less than 1%. Any thoughts?
    american chess needs a bobby fischer
    i don't see that in the cards
  3. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    28 Oct '15 16:39
    Originally posted by lemondrop
    american chess needs a bobby fischer
    i don't see that in the cards
    You wouldn't see a Bobby Fischer in "the cards". He wasn't the result of any outreach program or federation member drive, but rather a lone genius who, luckily for us, got hooked on chess instead of some other kind of intellectual endeavor.
  4. Subscriber sundown316
    The Mighty Messenger
    28 Oct '15 19:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    You wouldn't see a Bobby Fischer in "the cards". He wasn't the result of any outreach program or federation member drive, but rather a lone genius who, luckily for us, got hooked on chess instead of some other kind of intellectual endeavor.
    It was Fischer who created the mess that is US chess today. After he won the title in 1972, he could have done so much more to keep the American chess boom at that time going-books, exhibitions, tournaments. Instead he did nada, zilch, zippo-just retreated out of the public eye, and from then it was all downhill with us.

    The USCF must also shoulder its fair load of the blame. Instead of seriously promoting the game, they have done nothing for the past 40 years but kiss the butt of whoever is in charge-FIDE, Kasparov, and now Kirsan Whats-His-Name. Chess Life, the national organ, is a joke. Instead of following the international circuit, all they print are rubbishy stories about kiddie tournaments that no one cares about, except for the kiddies and their parents.

    The only good thing happening with US chess right now is the crop of young, strong players we have leading the way to hopefully making the US a chess power again-Nakamura, So, Caruana, et al. These players need the support of USCF, but will not get it so long as the Federation is run by money-grubbing bureaucrats and bean-counters, most of whom don't even know how to play chess!
  5. Standard member byedidia
    Mister Why
    28 Oct '15 20:44
    Chess isn't sexy enough for the American audience. We need more people like Maurice Ashley to make the game exciting and pull in money. We need Fabiano and/or Hikaru to start dating supermodels and being more than a little crazy. It wouldn't hurt if one of them won the world championship.
  6. Subscriber lemondrop
    The Art of War
    28 Oct '15 21:06
    Originally posted by byedidia
    Chess isn't sexy enough for the American audience. We need more people like Maurice Ashley to make the game exciting and pull in money. We need Fabiano and/or Hikaru to start dating supermodels and being more than a little crazy. It wouldn't hurt if one of them won the world championship.
    I don't think supermodels will ever date a top chess player
    top players live in a narrow space and don't make enough money and are just plain boring
  7. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    28 Oct '15 23:53
    Originally posted by sundown316
    It was Fischer who created the mess that is US chess today. After he won the title in 1972, he could have done so much more to keep the American chess boom at that time going-books, exhibitions, tournaments. Instead he did nada, zilch, zippo-just retreated out of the public eye, and from then it was all downhill with us.

    The USCF must also shoulder it ...[text shortened]... by money-grubbing bureaucrats and bean-counters, most of whom don't even know how to play chess!
    Created?

    We were nothing before him, and we went back to being nothing after. I can blame him for not popularizing the game after he won the title. But I can't honestly claim he wrecked something that was pretty well wrecked before he ever got in.
  8. 29 Oct '15 00:13
    American chess needs a cable TV deal - like Texas Hold 'em Poker - and big pots of money for the winners. And a savvy promoter to make it happen.

    Maybe the way to start is with youth chess tournaments. Other youth competitions, such as spelling bees and little league baseball, do well on American cable TV. I think American audiences would warm to youth chess faster than adult tournaments in which half the competitors are GMs with unpronounceable (to Americans) Russian names.

    Maybe blitz games is the ideal TV format. This leaves time for commercial ("adverts" to my British friends) breaks and you sometimes get into these "move and slam the clock" situations that are exciting.

    And if any really big talents emerge from these youth tournaments, the TV deal can follow them as they matriculate through the international ranks.

    Ain't going to happen. But that's how it could and should.
  9. Standard member byedidia
    Mister Why
    29 Oct '15 02:14
    Originally posted by lemondrop
    I don't think supermodels will ever date a top chess player
    top players live in a narrow space and don't make enough money and are just plain boring
    http://youthdevelopers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Magnus-Carlsen-Liv-Tyler-Relationship-Wedding-Girlfriend-Pics-Wife-Images.jpg
  10. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    30 Oct '15 00:05
    I wouldn't worry about chess in America, there are plenty of young talents.

    If you are wondering why chess isn't able to gain a more mainstream footing- consider the demographic - half of our members are scholastic - the other half are grey haired folks who were part of the Fischer boom. Our tournaments are grueling 2 game a day or more affairs, with a mix of kids, homeless and AARP. Most of us non-scholastic players have a week of vacation a year, not including a couple cardinal holidays. Would you convince your spouse that your one week should be spent playing in a rundown Doubletree hotel against 12 year olds and hobos? tough sell.
    In America, chess is primarily a tool for scholastic kids to pad their college resumes or to load up their dresser with trophies.
  11. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    30 Oct '15 05:02 / 2 edits
    Chess in America is missing the 'glam factor'. Geeky just ain't sexy.

    EDIT: Maybe what American chess needs is a cute poster boy GM, or better yet a poster girl GM, to promote the game. (God help him if he happens to be Muslim and someone mistakes his chess clock for a bomb.)
  12. 31 Oct '15 18:24
    Watching chess is about as exciting as watching paint dry.
  13. Subscriber venda
    Dave
    01 Nov '15 22:35
    Originally posted by bill718
    Just collecting opinions here, but why does chess not grow in America? The USCF has tried to promote the game in schools and elsewhere for decades. State and local chess organizations do the same. Local masters give simultaneous exhibitions quite often, yet the membership in the USCF is around 80,000 in a country of 300 million. Despite decades of effort and promotion, the amount of active chess players in America is less than 1%. Any thoughts?
    The Americans don't like draws.
    In top level chess there's more draws than any other result.
    The last time I was in New York it was popular in the chess house in Central park so there is limited support for the game.
  14. 02 Nov '15 00:16
    Originally posted by venda
    The Americans don't like draws.
    In top level chess there's more draws than any other result.
    The last time I was in New York it was popular in the chess house in Central park so there is limited support for the game.
    Football (soccer) and chess resist capitalist competitive way of thinking, chess requires sacrifice and denial, while young Americans since the dawn of the nation were accustomed to earning and an to gain. Positional sacrifice is therefore an too abstract concept for Americans. Football is a game that allows 0: 0, poor coaches and locker rooms that resemble hovels from Italian neorealism from 1950s...
    😛
  15. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    04 Nov '15 22:52
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Football (soccer) and chess resist capitalist competitive way of thinking, chess requires sacrifice and denial, while young Americans since the dawn of the nation were accustomed to earning and an to gain. Positional sacrifice is therefore an too abstract concept for Americans. Football is a game that allows 0: 0, poor coaches and locker rooms that resemble hovels from Italian neorealism from 1950s...
    😛
    D-Day was a positional sacrifice.