Lion of the Blogosphere

Chess tutor: another job being outsourced

From the Financial Times:

At my daughter’s chess tournament … I listened to other proud parents explain that their would-be chess prodigies are being tutored by chess masters to improve their game. No surprise there – New York is a wildly competitive place. But these teachers are not sitting in Manhattan or even in America. These days parents are tapping the most brilliant chess brains in places such as India, Bulgaria or Moscow, to deliver online tutorials for their offspring via Skype. “It’s cheaper to get a tutor that way and you can get a real master,” one father proudly explained.

This also falls into the category of “only in Manhattan.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

Posted in Bobos, Labor Markets

28 Responses

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  1. That money would probably be better spent on personal lacrosse or field hockey coaches.


    August 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

    • You think the kids who are getting chess tutors would be any good at lacrosse or field hockey?


      August 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      • Ha, fair point, at least if we’re talking about sons.


        August 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  2. When was the last time you saw a woman playing chess?


    August 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    • I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen it in real life. There were lots of guys playing chess at Stuyvesant HS but I don’t remember that there was a single girl playing.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      • Interesting that women tend to have rather boring and social recreational activities. I remember going to a swap meet and a card shop about three years ago, and most people there playing Magic: the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! are young men. Even most into online competitive Pokemon are men too. I really do not play much of the latter at all, only to test new ideas since I do not like playing that much.

        As an aspie woman, I tend to find most “feminine” activities to be boring since it largely is just an exercise in vanity or talk about mundane aspects of life and interpersonal relationships.


        August 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      • I did see come girls at gaming (ie: Dungeons & Dragons) conventions, which was more popular with females than chess. Not to say that D&D was even close to 50% female, but more like 15%, versus 2% female for chess.

        But no one plays Dungeons & Dragons anymore.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      • In my experience good dungeons and dragons was part story telling and part play acting, two fields that women dominate in later in life (theater and creative writing majors are hugely female these days, as much as 90%.) It’s no surprise to me that ladies might find it more appealing than other mostly male activities. Though I never had even single female in my (small, rural) D&D group back in the 80s/90s so maybe I’m just full of it.


        August 6, 2014 at 9:15 am

      • There were girls at gaming conventions, they were always there for the fantasy roleplaying games and not for the wargames or Diplomacy, and they were often with their boyfriends or husbands, and they were often of below-average attractiveness and often heavyset.

        (However, there is something strangely sexy when a slightly heavyset and slightly nerdy girl dresses up like a superheroine at a comic book convention.)

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 6, 2014 at 9:25 am

      • Ha! We’ll have to agree to disagree about the slightly nerdy fan girls. I know what you mean here, there’s a large difference between a little bit socially awkward girl and a full on walks and talks like a dude, possible aspie female. Still, neither of them is my cup of tea. I am so surrounded by various human oddities that I long ago decided it would be good to come home to someone sane and relatively normal. Keeps me out of the deep end.


        August 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      • Latias, and women generally don’t read and comment on the topics addressed on this blog because it borders on reactionary extremism of our PC culture.


        August 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      • Chess is pure logic where opponents don’t even necessarily talk. Whereas D&D is a fairly social group activity. I really enjoy chess. As an aspie I found D&D excruciating. I tried to play once and hated it so much I quickly quit.


        August 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      • Chess can be played purely through logic yes. However I don’t typically play it that way. My focus is on my opponent, his/her tendencies, likely strategy, likely response to a counter strategy, etc. Of course, this is exactly why I prefer Go to Chess, because it gives me more time to study a new opponent, where in Chess I can be eviscerated very early by a competent person with a proven strategy.


        August 6, 2014 at 9:23 am

      • I never found Lion to be reactionary in contrast to more “traditionalist” or even explicitly reactionary blogs, nor he is the quite ubiquitous myopic moralistic shrill or free market votary that many conservatives are. Unlike them, he does not use rhetorical feigned anger or appear to be self righteous. Lion insightfully explores interesting and often taboo topics, especially those concerning social class and HBD, in a realistic and unorthodox fashion, and is often quite original.

        Politically incorrect does not mean reactionary. I was “politically incorrect” when I expressed some sympathy for Elliot Rodger’s plight with women amidst the sea of condemnation and calling for more sensitivity for women’s issues and gun control, but I am not reactionary.


        August 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      • I have never seen a woman play chess in real life either, much less two women. Maybe they just don’t enjoy games of logic, or maybe they are intimidated by the macho male chess culture.


        August 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      • Yes, the chess team is very macho.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      • Exactly.

        In current American society, anything women can’t excel at (math, science, Wikipedia, WNBA) is somehow the fault of men and the oppressive misogynist culture that American women must suffer through on a daily basis. Every woman is a victim and every man is a potential rapist.

        But what about chess? Nobody knows any women who play chess. You have never seen any woman play chess in real life, and neither have I — and nobody finds this weird? Nobody thinks this has any meaning?

        What is stopping young girls or women in general from excelling at chess, or even just playing it for fun? Is there a chess glass ceiling or a sexist chess macho culture that intimidates women?

        Or is it maybe possible that men naturally excel at some things and women naturally excel at other things, that men and women are biologically different and that gender is not just a social construct. Maybe men are not evil, and maybe women should not try to act like men in order to “get ahead”.

        I am living in Europe now and you can spot the American women because they are the loudest, fattest, most tattooed up chicks in the joint, anywhere you go. It’s a disgrace and an embarrassment. In fact, a big reason I left the states was because I was tired of American chicks making fart jokes, being so antagonistic and entitled (grrlpower!), and basically having zero feminine charm.

        And America is exporting this to the rest of the world! There was a big article here in Spain’s biggest newspaper about how Wikipedia was sexist against women. There are still a lot of thin, classy, feminine girls here in Madrid, but as the media becomes more anti-male, watch that change, and watch the pretty, delicate girls disappear and become loud, sloppy, mannish sluts.

        Seriously Lion, you should write about this “Chess Paradox”. You have powerful, influential readers — like Elliot Spitzer and Larry Sumner — and could easily get this into the MSM.

        Thanks in advance!


        August 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      • Additionally, since chess only requires two people to play, the “macho” chess team isn’t scaring girls from playing chess with each other.

        On the other hand, if girls played chess more it would probably be good for them. It’s not inherently unfeminine like getting a tattoo (which unfortunately too many women have).

        Unfortunately, although adults can teach girls the rules, but girls just won’t play chess with each other unless they are forced to. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that a lot of fathers actually do try to teach their daughters chess but the girls just don’t get interested at all.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    • When was the last time you saw a woman playing chess?

      Never. Women would rather go shopping.

      E. Rekshun

      August 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      • I once saw a White woman playing chess with a black dude here in NYC. Any New Yorkers here, they will say it’s Union Square, where chess fanatics, mostly NAM and prole losers play the game all day long.


        August 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      • I took chess lessons for awhile at a place in Greenwich Village. From what I remember, I was the only woman in the place.

        (I hope Lion won’t mind if I post occasionally.)


        August 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    • I’ve played chess for years (and am a woman) but over roughly a thousand games I’ve had maybe 10 female opponents. And it’s rare to find a woman with an ELO over 1500, no offense to women.

      My theory is that women have poor spatial thinking compared to men so the game just isn’t interesting to them.

      Judit Polgar is probably the only woman in recent history who could play competitively against male GMs.

      slithy toves

      August 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm

  3. Out of the 1444 chess grandmasters (as of January 2014, the latest date available), 31 are female, or 2.1%. I’d say that qualifies as a Sausage Party.



    August 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    • LOL!!!

      E. Rekshun

      August 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  4. I would think that these Eastern European chess masters would be highly eligible for an H-1B visa.

    E. Rekshun

    August 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

  5. For non-outlier girls to like something it has to:

    1- offer a chance to meet attractive males
    2- give them a way to socialize with other girls
    3- make money (single moms & careerist man jaws)

    There are no attractive chess players, no girls to socialize with, and no money to be made.

    Once could say the same for dungeons and dragons, but it seems a lot of the guys bring their ugly girlfriends, or the single ones are simply there to monopolize attention to feed their narcissism.
    Some combination of histrionic/borderline/narcissistic personalities…I have seen this a lot (at least in internet gaming like first person shooters where gender means nothing, but girls will advertise it just to get the male attention and/or things bought for them).


    August 5, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    • Oh yes! The cluster B ladies are the best. My family is full of them so I know them very very well. This is exactly what they do too, insert themselves into some male dominated space in order to soak up attention while simultaneously bullying everyone they can into submission.


      August 6, 2014 at 9:26 am

    • Maybe this is why there are no women software developers.

      E. Rekshun

      August 6, 2014 at 11:08 am

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