Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Peter Uvin

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Julia C Schulman


This paper seeks to explore the reason behind the uneven geographic distribution of top chess grandmasters. FIDE rating data, country data, and survey data given to chess grandmasters are gathered to determine the validity of the hypothesis: That the two main influences in whether a country has a higher or lower number (and percentage) of top grandmasters are chess culture and federation/government support. The research tests the correlation between several variables and explores whether or not there is quantitative and qualitative support for this assumption. Individual studies in the latter end of this paper explore the countries on a case-by-case basis to explore the factors that aren’t immediately visible when observing the data alone