Strength Attracts Strong Players

Financial incentives aside I think that strong players are attracted by strong venues. Guardian chess columnist Leonard Barden once suggested that if a player wants to improve he should seriously consider moving to a major city where more strong players would gather. And I remember having moved from Southport Chess Club to the strong Atticus club in the 1980s in order to benefit from having stronger opposition.

I suspect that this underpins the chess explosion going on in St. Louis; once a critical mass of strong players have gathered the rest takes care of itself: