Ethnic Diversity in Chess

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Gavin Strachan
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Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Gavin Strachan » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:56 am

The UK has a large ethnic diversity, are there any stats as to the numbers of people from different ethnicities playing chess at the moment?

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:02 pm

Gavin Strachan wrote:The UK has a large ethnic diversity, are there any stats as to the numbers of people from different ethnicities playing chess at the moment?
Good question and I'd also be interested in the answer. By playing chess did you mean playing formal club/tournament chess or playing in some other way?

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Adam Raoof » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:31 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Gavin Strachan wrote:The UK has a large ethnic diversity, are there any stats as to the numbers of people from different ethnicities playing chess at the moment?
Good question and I'd also be interested in the answer. By playing chess did you mean playing formal club/tournament chess or playing in some other way?
I doubt if there any any stats collected with regard to participation in chess anyhow. Anecdotally I have noticed a greater number of BME (I hate that expression) players at Golders Green Rapidplays. This has a lot to do with being in London, having role models like Maurice Ashley and Vishy Anand, and the competitiveness of young players and parents from South East / Asian backgrounds!
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Warren Kingston

Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Warren Kingston » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:01 pm

Chess in India is massive, I play a lot of people from India on Gameknot. Would assume it would translate in to figures in the UK.

Paul Buswell
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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Paul Buswell » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:37 pm

Adam Raoof wrote: I doubt if there any any stats collected with regard to participation in chess anyhow.

Really? The ONS General Household Survey used to ask from time to time. 25 years ago I could have said from that that 7 or 9% (I forget which) of adults played chess, even if only once a year after Xmas lunch.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:06 pm

Gavin Strachan wrote:The UK has a large ethnic diversity, are there any stats as to the numbers of people from different ethnicities playing chess at the moment?
No stats that I know of about ethnicities in the British population of chess players, but anecdotally I've noticed that strong chess players from abroad that settle here, or study here, or emigrate here, are often almost by definition part of an ethnic minority of some description (this would include Eastern Europe as well). Maybe one way to approach this is culturally - in which cultures worldwide is Western Chess more popular than other games or other forms of chess?

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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by David Robertson » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:48 pm

Paul Buswell wrote:The ONS General Household Survey used to ask from time to time. 25 years ago I could have said from that that 7 or 9% (I forget which) of adults played chess, even if only once a year after Xmas lunch
GHS 2002 contained an extensive survey of sports & leisure participation. I can find no mention of Chess (nor Bridge). The questionnaire prompted for a very wide range of activities, but not for chess. There was a specific section on club membership, but nothing came through on chess. Respondents could 'write in' activities if none of the 'prompts' applied, or if they failed to cover all participation. But again, Chess failed to cross the 0.1% threshold for inclusion in the tables.

I can't claim to have performed an exhaustive examination of the datasets, nor to have searched for complementary data. But I get the impression that Chess has dropped off the radar of the GHS (now the General Lifestyle Survey). It seems to have gone the way of pigeon-racing, dry stonewalling, weaving and medieval bridge-building - a 'once-upon-a-time' activity, now replaced by others.

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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Paul Buswell » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:37 am

David Robertson wrote:
Paul Buswell wrote:The ONS General Household Survey used to ask from time to time. 25 years ago I could have said from that that 7 or 9% (I forget which) of adults played chess, even if only once a year after Xmas lunch
GHS 2002 contained an extensive survey of sports & leisure participation. I can find no mention of Chess (nor Bridge). The questionnaire prompted for a very wide range of activities, but not for chess. There was a specific section on club membership, but nothing came through on chess. Respondents could 'write in' activities if none of the 'prompts' applied, or if they failed to cover all participation. But again, Chess failed to cross the 0.1% threshold for inclusion in the tables.

I can't claim to have performed an exhaustive examination of the datasets, nor to have searched for complementary data. But I get the impression that Chess has dropped off the radar of the GHS (now the General Lifestyle Survey). It seems to have gone the way of pigeon-racing, dry stonewalling, weaving and medieval bridge-building - a 'once-upon-a-time' activity, now replaced by others.
I fear I may have misdirected Dr Robertson, for which I apologise sincerely. On racking my memory I now believe it was one of the big readership surveys all those years ago, not the GHS. But it was big enough and established enough to be credible, and the 7% or 9% figure is fixed in my mind, I used it often enough back then.

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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:55 am

Gavin Strachan >The UK has a large ethnic diversity, are there any stats as to the numbers of people from different ethnicities playing chess at the moment?<

I do hope not. Chess is and should be 'colour' blind.

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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Neill Cooper » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:14 am

Gavin Strachan wrote:The UK has a large ethnic diversity, are there any stats as to the numbers of people from different ethnicities playing chess at the moment?
We are certainly very diverse at the junior level - e.g. Go to the ECF grading website and look at the names of the 100 top English Juniors.

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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:08 am

Neill Cooper wrote:
Gavin Strachan wrote:The UK has a large ethnic diversity, are there any stats as to the numbers of people from different ethnicities playing chess at the moment?
We are certainly very diverse at the junior level - e.g. Go to the ECF grading website and look at the names of the 100 top English Juniors.
Similarly, go to the FIDE rating list for the top English female players - especially the younger ones.

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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Richard James » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:20 am

The younger age groups especially are becoming increasingly dominated by children of Asian origin.

Look at the USCF top player lists, in particular the Top Age 7 and Under list and you'll see a preponderance of Chinese names.

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Gavin Strachan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:32 am

I agree that chess should be colour blind, and from what I can see chess probably has a bigger cultural diverse mix than almost anyother sport. As a game it has a large eastern european following but it is very interesting that in the last 20 yrs I suppose that the Asian market is really taking off. With Anand as champ this obviously helps the Indian market, and with several top Chinese players coming through this area has obviously developed a lot in recent times as well.

I wonder on a slightly different note the reason why it is male dominated game when you do not need physical strength to be good?!

I suppose the information can be useful when marketing the game or trying to find new areas where the game has not developed.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:34 am

Gavin Strachan wrote:I wonder on a slightly different note the reason why it is male dominated game when you do not need physical strength to be good?!
Oh dear, another thread please!!
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Ethnic Diversity in Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:47 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:
Gavin Strachan wrote:I wonder on a slightly different note the reason why it is male dominated game when you do not need physical strength to be good?!
Oh dear, another thread please!!
Certainly! Just give me a moment to cut and paste what I wrote...

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