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I was just reading another thread and it was asking if chess was past its prime in the general public.
Was chess ever in its prime in the United States?
I have two questions: How many top rated chess players in the United States are natural citizens? Meaning they were born in the United States.
How many top rated players in the United States are first generation Americans? Meaning they were born here but their parents are originally from another country.
By top rated I mean internation ratings not USCF ratings.
Why does the nationality of a chess player matter?
If we're talking players who are currently alive then I believe Kamsky to be the top-rated american chess player who was born in the USA. As to when chess was in its prime, American chess does seem to have boomed when Fischer became champion- a lot of American players I have met suggest this is when they first became interested in the game.
Being born in the USA and being a chess-product of the USA are two different things.
Gata Kamsky was not born in the USA.
ummm, i believe it's not in doubt that USA chess was at it's peak when bobby fisher was ranked number one?
Hikaru Nakamura was not born in the USA, but moved to the US when he was 2 years old. He started playing when he was 7, so his chess career is made in the USA.
If we look to the past, you can find many natural-born citizens who were world-class players--Paul Morphy, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, Frank Marshall, Reuben Fine, and of course Bobby Fischer spring immediately to mind.
Ok, he wasn't born in the USA (shouldve figured due to his name) but moving there at 12 isn't MUCH of a difference.
Morphy and Fischer are certainly the best American born chess players in history. Anyone disagree ?
Not at all, Reb, not at all. Though at Morphy's time he was hardly going to inspire thousands of Americans to pick up whatever cash they had and buy a chess board, huh?
You are right goldendog. Being born in the USA and being a product of our chess system are two different things.
And to everyone else who posted, thank you for the names and comments.
Larry Christiansen, currently #9 in the US, and #208 in the world. In 1992 he was ranked #27 globally for a short period.
More recently than Fischer and Morphy, Larry Christiansen is a purely American product, was a great player, and is still one of the top American players, though it seems past his competitive prime.
Joel Benjamin is another US product and great player. He broke Fischer's record for the youngest ever US master (age 13).
You think he was better than Fischer and/or Morphy ?
I think he was the greatest of all time
Yes there was a small boom in the popularity of chess in the U.S. when Fischer became champ, but it didn't last for too long. I think here in the U.S. chess has too much competiton for the hearts and minds of our youth. How can a board game as old as the hills possibly compare with a PS3 in the eyes of a child? It can't. Also to become good at the game requires intense study and hours of play for a very long time. Most American children cannot fathom doing this, if they can't instantly become good at the game or enter a cheat code that makes them good, they are not interested in playing(my nephew is a good example of this). It's sad, but unfortunatly T.V. and mass media has actually convinced some people in this country that they are the best at whatever they attempt to do. So what happens when they suffer a crushing failure at it? Their ego can't handle it, so they quit or cheat rather than trying harder. Chess will never again be popular in the U.S. among our youth as long as flashy video games and over hyped "blockbuster" movies rule the entertainment scene.
An up and coming youngster, Fabiano Caruana was born and raised in the US. He moved to Europe in his early teens because the chess culture there is better for his development. He shares dual citizenship with Italy and the US. He became the youngest ever American Grandmaster at age 15 (he is currently 16).
Fabiano Caruana plays for Italy.
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