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Chess in America

The United States Chess Federation has 85,000 members. It was founded in 1939 as a not for profit organization and its headquarters are in Tennessee. It has a retained executive director and is governed by a 7 person executive board elected by the membership at large (over the age of 16.) According to Wikipedia, its continued membership growth is attributable to two factors, the "Fischer era" culminating in his 1974 world championship, and since then to "the explosive growth of scholastic chess."

What is wrong with this model? It appears to be sustainable. Why is bridge so very different?

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