Last month, I had the privilige to be on staff for the National K-12 championships that took place in Houston. The coverage of this event at USChess seemed to center around which was the dominant area in scholastic chess, New York or Texas, and while I am not knocking the strength of those states, it poses the question, are we here in IL not relevant?
The K12 had a rather weak turnout in numbers for Illinois so team results were depressed. However if one were to look at the NYA just 3 weeks earlier, Illinois dominated the team standings. Now I am not saying that Illinois deserves to be known as the top dog scholastically, but we should be entered into the discussion.
I happened to look at the top 100 list for USCF ratings with ages 7 and under (I could have looked at other ages too, but just wanted to get a quick confirmation of how we stack up):
New York 17 players
California 14 players
Illinois 13 players
Texas 12 players
So what are the next steps needed to take to develop more talents onto the National stage? Is this a goal of chess coaches in the area to get players on the top 100 lists for their ages? Should it be?