The Kenilworthian points out this Slate piece by Ann Hulbert on American youth chess and why the game is hot among the younger set:
It has an allure that motivates kids to do the hard work of honing basic skills and then discovering their own styles, goaded ever onward by a rating system that can show them every increment of improvement. Ruthless standards and dizzying freedom, all in one package: That is a rarity. And it is a recipe for what experts call "effortful study," or the process of indefatigably tackling ever harder challenges, which many believe is the secret to successfully pursuing excellence in anything. Except, that is, when the fervent focus itself becomes too all-consuming a distraction.
Exactly. As I've argued elsewhere (see comments) chess doesn't necessarily train you for success in business, school or life in general, but it does help with patience, focus and long-term planning and goal seeking. All of which may aid high achievement in other fields--if applied to those fields, and not just to chess.
I have a good deal to say about chess as a profession, chess for money and related subjects, but that will have to wait for the next post.