International chess competition has been dominated by Russian and East European players - both men and women - ever since Bobby Fisher left the stage in 1972.
But at this year's Women's World Chess Championship - the Chinese have proven dominant. While 24 of the 64 players were from Eastern Europe, by the final match it was down to 16-year old Hou Yifan against Ruan Lufei.
In the best of 4 match, the first game ended in a draw. In Game #2, Hou Yifan exploited a blunder by Ruan Lufei (as you can plainly see in the diagram)late in the game to take the victory.
And the players from the USA?
Well, Ukrainian-born Anna Zatonskih and Lithuanian-born Camilla Baginskaite were the only US players and they were eliminated early in the match.
In my visit to Shanghai in August, I saw Chinese children avidly studying and playing chess at the Child's Palaces - Mao's innovation to inculcate youth with Maoist doctrine. Today, the government has converted them into centers for learning - art, music, dance, calligraphy and chess.
Does it matter that millions of Chinese - and Indian - kids are passionate about a game that teaches concentration, strategic thinking, tactical planning and subtle pattern recognition?