Brian Jerauld

Brian Jerauld is a chess instructor to area students, including his own children, and a student of the game himself through the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. He is also a Mizzou journalist with a decade of experience writing about boats, sports and other odds and ends. This column is a weekly look around St. Louis, the U.S. Capital of Chess.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Considering the escalation of tension over depleting oil reserves, I’m seriously concerned with the level of meltdown America will encounter as we run dangerously low on intellectual reserves.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the United States is running out of chess pieces.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Super-GM Gata Kamsky did not seem very comfortable in Beijing. The No. 2-ranked player in the United States was in China on business over the past couple weeks, participating in another FIDE Grand Prix event. The Grand Prix is a series of six tournaments held over two years (2012-13), where the top players in the world compete for a guaranteed berth into the 2014 Candidate’s Tournament – the winner of that gets to challenge the world champion for his title. Beijing hosted the cycle’s fifth event, which wrapped up this past Tuesday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: This past Sunday, we crowned a new national champion for players under 21: California’s Daniel Naroditsky, a humble, tall and lanky 17-year-old who has played in the elite U.S. Junior Closed Championship tournament for three years.

Magnus Carlsen is 22 and the world’s highest-rated player ever. He will be in St. Louis for a tournament in September.
Ray Morris-Hill | 2013

Does anyone have a horse I can borrow? I want to ride one through the streets of the Central West End and holler at people.

Magnus is coming! Magnus is coming!

International Master Daniel Naroditsky, 17, will be the top seed at this year's U.S. Junior Closed Championship.
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The 2013 U.S. Junior Closed Championship -- the nation’s most prestigious invitational tournament featuring the best players under 21 – is getting underway in St. Louis. This event has the reputation of offering a few more fireworks than the U.S. Championship, which just concluded here last month.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan ever decides to completely hang up chess, he should be comforted to know he has a future in golf. Maybe not as a player – I haven’t even seen his backswing – but certainly as a commentator.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A sacrifice in chess is a move that gives up a piece in the hopes of gaining tactical or positional compensation in other forms.

Last week, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura sacrificed his crown as the King of America.

GM Maurice Ashley, left, interviews GM Gata Kamsky immediately after Kamsky secured his fourth U.S. Championship title.
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

If there is one person who might be upset with the performance of 2013 U.S. Chess Champion Gata Kamsky, it is former New York Jets coach Herm Edwards.

I’m not sure if Edwards is a chess player, but his long-viral media tirade that proclaimed “Hello?! You play to win the game!” was a line of theory that Kamsky apparently overlooked for much of the past week.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: So, I beat a Grandmaster in chess. And I think I’m embarrassed about it.

The game happened just last week. It was official; it went straight to the attention of the United States Chess Federation, and if you think I’m going to spill those proverbial beans in this single column, I offer you a chuckle, dear reader. You’ve misunderstood why I’m here.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When annotating chess games, emphasis can be placed on specific moves in the same way emphasis is placed on any written word: by using a symbol.

For example, the question mark serves as the universal mark of the blunder, and it shouldn’t offer much confusion when used. Describing a move as “Nb6?” directly translates, in any language, to “the knight moved there?” (literal); or “What was he thinking?” (suggestive); or simply “Duh?” (slang).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I teach kids how to play chess.

I show up weekly to various elementary schools around St. Louis, with my oversized, roll-up chess board and easel. It’s an easy task, enjoyable, rewarding, even if a tad repetitive: Get your pawns in the center. Castle your king. You’re going to like these forks and pins. Nothing fancy. Not exactly searching for Bobby Fischer. Just making sure everyone gets the standard fighting chances.

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