I suppose Carlsen is an outlier statistically. He didn't come from a country with a particularly strong chess pedigree, and that makes his achievements all the more remarkable. You do get them in other individual sports, though. There's no cultural reason why James Wattana should have got to #3 in the world at snooker, or why Raymond van Barneveld should have been so good at darts in the 1990s. Both of them have established a pedigree in Thailand and the Netherlands respectively as a result of their success; perhaps in a way that we will see in future in Norwegian chess thanks to Carlsen. The success of the Georgian women's team might be an example of this.Roger de Coverly wrote: ↑Tue May 01, 2018 11:55 pmIt's logical enough that female cricketers and footballers aren't able to challenge their male counterparts in direct competition. It's perhaps rather less obvious at chess. Whilst accepting the statistical result that the lack of female players in the top 100 could be down to the paucity of female players, how come the relative paucity of Norwegians didn't preclude a Norwegian world champion?
There was a game of cricket two years ago in my area, where women and men were in direct competition. Warwickshire's Under 14 team played a 50 over game against an England Women's Under 19 Development XI; presumably a sort of 2nd XI. I can't find the scorecard now - they've paywalled CricketArchive - but Warwickshire won quite comfortably from memory.