Minnesota chess continues to grow with 1,365 players participating across the 18 MSCA events held during 2023. The member count landed at 272 at year-end, and the MSCA fully expects this number to approach 400 in 2024. The projected growth in memberships can be attributed to the popularity of chess, the increased number of events (up 3 this year to 21 in total), and the improved MSCA processes supporting member attraction, tracking & retention.
A couple of key highlights from the 2023 Season were the addition of the Summer Grand Prix & Chess Challenger series. A new batch of talented K-8 scholastic players also emerged and scored impressive results across the tournament calendar. Minnesota chess has always been good at re-building and developing its scholastic pipeline of chess talent. This was especially important during 2023 as the Top 8 USCF-rated players from Minnesota are now primarily playing chess and/or going to college out of state...or are currently less active in the Minnesota OTB chess schedule.
Two of the exciting additions to the 2024 MSCA Chess Calendar include a State Quick Championship and another tournament in the Summer Grand Prix Series. In 2024, the MSCA will look to build on the 25% participation growth in 2023 (from 2022) which was on top of 85% participation growth in 2022 (from 2021).