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Chess/strong kids at tournaments


     Last year I came back to tournament chess. Prior to that, 2000 was the year I retired from it. Since I have returned I have played in 4 tournaments. I have been astonished of the large number of children who  compete very well not only at my intermediate level but far beyond it. Is this a new phenomenon or has this always been the case?

ANSWER: Hi Alrangole,

Thank you for your question.

Your perception regarding the the apparent increase of strong child players is not your imagination!  There are many more strong, young players than there were a fifteen years ago.  A much higher percentage of tournament players are under the age of 18.  Scholastic chess is booming in the the United States, while adult participation has decreased.

Enjoy your chess!

Your chess friend,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: In your opinion what has been the cause of the decrease of adult participation?

Hello again, Alrangole.

I don't know for sure why adult participation has declined.  It could be because that more adults are content to play chess on the internet.

One of the major reasons that more children are playing is because the United States Chess Federation has made a concerted effort to promote scholastic chess tournaments.

I don't know what the USCF is doing to encourage more adults to play in tournaments.

Anyway, enjoy your chess!

Your chess friend,



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Chuck Kinzie


I can answer basic chess questions regarding opening, middlegame and endgame strategy and tactics. I cannot answer questions about positions with subtle nuances that require Grandmaster or computer analysis.


I have been playing in chess tournaments for over thirty years.

United States Chess Federation

I have a chess blog:

I earned a United States Chess Federation Expert rating in 1987.

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