Being a proud parent of a chess kid.
For two weeks I tried to talk my kindergarten son out of playing in a K-3 tournament. I was concerend about him losing to the "big" kids. As such, I told him if he could beat Chess Titans level 3 on the computer, I would take him.
Wow, what incentive. I truly beleive for some kids there is strong merit in competition, and I witnessed the result. My 2nd grader is not the same way so I never saw a similar reaction.
It's funny to know that Chess is like any other sport. Kids figure out, and understand, who the best kids are, and can even be disappointed when they don't get to play them.
In Minnesota there are a few kids which hover at the top, but there is one 2nd grader(I'm sure some of the MN chess folks know who I'm talking about) who plays up at the Jr. high level. Quite amazing, and difficult to wrap my head around.