Chess and Other Opportunities in Life
Recently IM Greg Shahade had a blog post that made a comment I've heard as well as the Marketing Director at USCF: that parents will encourage kids to pursue chess only so far, and then later encaourage them to change their focus to pursuits that may help them. HIs blog commented that there are great career opportunities for chess professionals... usually without having to carry a ton of student loan debt!
Pobo Efekoro, the unofficial spokesman for scholastic chess this past year with his promotional appearances for "Brooklyn Castle" (Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Steve Harvey Show, and The Today Show, just to name a few) is a case in point. Attending a high school where there is no chess program, he's become a track and field star and is being recruited to top colleges for shot put...
But chess is indeed helpful in getting into college and not just for European GMs recruited to chess team schools. IM Luke Velotti started on a full-ride at UCLA this Fall and he's just 14! He was featured on a KCAL TV profile in late September and had a feature segment on KTLA TV yesterday. Check it out here.
The reason for the scholarship? UCLA wants to rebuild its chess team. Great news overall but especially for US scholastic chess as the school builds the team with our young American talent. Congratulations Luke!