About 10 years ago I had a student who had his own table. Being a 49ers fan, he had covered the table with red cloth and had red chalk to match. I avoided vomiting and began the fairly basic lessons. When we got to draw, he kept miscuing. I said, "Let me show you how the stroke should look," and proceeded to miscue several times. The chalk he had simply did not work well. I got some other red chalk for the next lesson as did he. None of the red chalk worked for either of us, although blue chalk (which leaves really ugly marks on red cloth) did work OK. The student changed his cloth to green and his chalk to blue.
My conclusion: some chalk does not work nearly as well as other chalk.
Maybe bad chalk is hard to find but I suspect it still exists. I've encountered some really bad chalk in taverns.
And I will echo this experience for China and "fake" Masters. Sometimes here you will go to a pool room and the house chalk will be either Triangle or Masters but as soon as you begin to use it you know it isn't right.
Bad chalk makes it an adventure to play with side spin. You find your self staying very close to center ball and trying to plan your routes where you won't need to use any draw, follow, left or right.
Bad chalk defintely shrinks the miscue limit considerably.
I will follow this up with an example from jump cues. Everyone here possibly thinks that all short jump cues work and except for minor differences in feel they all do about the same thing.
One year my booth and Mike Gulyassy's were back to back. He was selling jump cues and I was selling jump cues. I picked up one of his cues to try a fairly routine jump shot, nothing hard at all and I could not make this shot. I tried every possible stroke I knew and I could not get the cue ball to clear the object ball. I tried the Bunjee Jumper we were selling and made the shot the first try. Mike was busy while I was doing this so I didn't talk to him immediately. When he done I asked him to try it.
He couldn't clear the ball either. Not on our table or his. We then tried another one of his cues and both of us could make the shots easily.
Mike noticed that the taper was significantly different on the non-jumping jump cue. He had taken this cue in on a trade deal and thought nothing of it, hadn't tried it and hadn't noticed the taper change. I just happened to pick this exact cue at random from his rack to mess around with it.
We both learned that day that it's not ALL in the ferrule and tip as many had assumed is the key to a jump cue.