In spite of the difficulties that the USCF is facing in gaining memberships, chess is continuing to grow rapidly in the United States. More and more educators and politicians are starting to realize the importance of chess, especially for young people. More and more schools are including chess as part of their curriculum or after school programs.
Everywhere I go, I meet people who play chess. A few weeks ago, I went to a local furniture store to get new beds for my boys and the salesperson recognized my name. He told me he plays chess all the time and he has played for more than 40 years.
When I was on the Chess Moves II cruise to Alaska last week, many crew members wanted a few quick games with our Chess Movers. They love to play chess.
A few days ago, I went to a local car dealership to trade my car for a new one. My salesperson happened to be a former student at Mott Hall in NY City back in the 90’s. He also recognized me from the time I used to teach there. My friend Maurice Ashley also taught there.
Yesterday, a representative from JetBlue airline in NY contacted me about borrowing some chess equipment to organize an internal chess tournament for the employees.
I have also met many people at the airports, hotels or even at grocery stores who play chess or have kids who play chess in schools. There are countless commercials, movies and TV shows that include chess scenes. It is an amazing phenomenon.
More and more cities around the world are using chess to boost tourism and their image. Chess is very popular with the militaries. Chess is very popular with many schools, colleges and universities.
Howard Stern and Don Imus both love chess. So are many other celebrities and athletes.
There is no better time than now to promote this game. We can all do our parts to help our own communities. Let’s get the words out about chess. Let’s show the world how wonderful this game is. Together, we can do it! We can bring chess to the forefront, especially for the benefits of our kids!