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How the Fifty States of America Stack Up Against Each Other in Chess Expertise

How the Fifty States of America Stack Up Against Each Other in Chess Expertise

RoaringPawn
Oct 16, 2016, 8:24 AM 3

In a lot of domains we know very little about how to measure expert performance. Experts possess superior knowledge and they outperform other people at particular tasks. We also know very little about the mental representations used by top performers. And we don't know how many experts there are in a particular field either.

But chess is easy. There is a ranking system that calculates the strength of player based on their performance against other players in tornaments. What would be a measure of chess expertise then? Well, we can take the Master level (USCF rank > 2200) to see how chess expertise is distributed in the US.

In the table below you can see there are 948 chess Masters (incl. IMs and GMs) in the US. That would be expertise rate of 3 per 1 million population. If we assume that 40 million people play chess in the country, then the expertise rate would be 24 experts per 1 million chess population. An incredibly striking (low?) percentage of 0.0024%!

In the next post we will see how the US stacks up against other nations. We will see some nations have thirty times higher chess expertise rates.

 

                                 Masters        Players         Masters

Rank  State   Pop. (2015)      >2200 USCF      >2000 USCF    per 1 Mill. Pop.


1 NY 19.8 123 327 6.2
2 MA 6.8 40 109 5.9
3 CT 3.6 21 47 5.8
4 NJ 9.0 51 133 5.7
5 NV 2.9 13 33 4.5
6 MD 6.0 24 59 4.0
7 CA 39.1 154 406 3.9
8 MO 6.1 23 42 3.8
9 IL 12.9 48 117 3.7
10 WA 7.2 26 57 3.6
11 MN 5.5 19 53 3.5
12 VA 8.4 29 77 3.5
13 SD 0.9 3 3 3.3
14 TX 27.5 90 216 3.3
15 NH 1.3 4 12 3.1
16 AZ 6.8 20 75 2.9
17 PA 12.8 37 109 2.9
18 RI 1.1 3 9 2.7
19 OH 11.6 30 93 2.6
20 DE 0.9 2 10 2.2
21 CO 5.4 11 44 2.0
22 MI 9.9 20 47 2.0
23 FL 20.0 40 114 2.0
24 NC 10.0 19 56 1.9
25 WI 5.8 11 39 1.9
26 OK 3.9 7 22 1.8
27 ID 1.7 3 4 1.8
28 OR 4.0 7 29 1.8
29 GA 10.0 17 47 1.7
30 IA 3.1 5 10 1.6
31 ME 1.3 2 5 1.5
32 HI 1.4 2 6 1.4
33 NM 2.1 3 9 1.4
34 AK 0.7 1 1 1.4
35 KS 2.9 4 10 1.4
36 TN 6.6 9 30 1.4
37 IN 6.6 9 26 1.4
38 KY 4.4 4 15 0.9
39 UT 3.0 2 9 0.7
40 AR 3.0 2 3 0.7
41 AL 4.8 3 13 0.6
42 NE 1.9 1 3 0.5
43 LA 4.7 2 15 0.4
44 SC 4.9 2 11 0.4
45 MS 3.0 1 2 0.3
46 VT 8.4 1 4 0.1
47 WV 1.8 0 5 0.0
48 MT 1.0 0 0 0.0
49 ND 0.8 0 0 0.0
50 WY 0.6 0 0 0.0
  DC 0.7 6 14 8.6
  TOTAL: 327.9 948 2566 2.9

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