Originally posted by @mchill
Sorry to say this about my country, but it seems within 1-2 generations of landing on these shores, people over here drift into America's anti intellectual culture and develop a bunch of moronic habits (remember, this is the country that spawned the Kardashians!) In looking through the top players, most are either European or Russian imports, a few asians, a ...[text shortened]... omponent/option,com_top_players/Itemid,371?op=list&month=1803&f=usa&l=R:Top%20Overall.&h=Overall
Outside of aboriginal Americans, we are all imports here. It might be worthwhile to check where some of our players were born before simply labeling them as "Asians". Even Nakamura, who was born in Japan (his Mom is an American citizen), spent all his formative years here. And I have known Ray Robson personally since he was a kid, and I 'd say having two teachers as parents mattered the most. And they don't really play- Ray just liked the game and had an aptitude at an early age, and they supported him.
As for Europeans, Caruana was born in Miami and grew up in Brooklyn (like another player- is there a "Brooklyn School of Chess"?), and went to Italy basically for financial reasons. He seems to follow the $$, and I don't blame him, as we all have to eat!
Nowadays, the St Louis Chess Club has almost single-handedly placed the US back on the Chess map.
In terms of culture, the more free a country is, the more opportunities for entertainment and personal development there are, so the competition among activities is much more fierce.
Strong foreign chess players don't always come to the US for chess. They come here because there is more to life than chess.