Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

A Bevy of Grandmasters
11:45 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

On Chess: St. Louis Flexes Its Chess Muscle

Varuzhan Akobian
Credit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

For six years, St. Louis has been steadily pumping its proverbial chess muscle.

There is, perhaps, no better way to gauge the strength of the city than to count the number of tough guys around here. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center opened in 2008 as a hopeful magnet to the game, and a year later GM Ben Finegold rode into town as the city’s very first Grandmaster. Today, backed by the murderer’s row of the Webster University collegiate team - including 2014 U.S. Championship-hopeful GM Ray Robson - St. Louis is home to 11 Grandmasters.

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Prize Fund
9:21 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

On Chess: Millionaire Chess Ups The Ante In Vegas

Maurice Ashley (left) interviews Gata Kamsky at the 2013 US Championship.
Credit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Maurice Ashley is sleeping just fine these days.

The International Grandmaster is about to put a million dollars down in Las Vegas -- and he might have the best odds in the house.

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Jennifer Shahade
8:59 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

On Chess: Poker Lures Chess Queen To Another Table

Jennifer Shahade is a two-time U.S. Women's Chess Champion and professional gamesplayer.
Credit File photo | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Poker is making a play on one of our queens.

I admit this may be a paranoid reaction, and I won’t apologize for defending the well-being of such an important chess piece. But I couldn’t shake this preposterous idea of Woman Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade - a two-time women’s national chess champion, the editor for Chess Life online, and an author of two chess books - referring to herself as a simple gamesplayer, instead of the pure chess celebrity she has become.

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Tournament coming
9:42 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

On Chess: Nakamura Declines U.S. Championship Invite

Gata Kamsky is seeking his fifth U.S. Championship title this year.
Credit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Twelve of the top chess players in the U.S. just got fantastic news: Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura will not be fighting for the title of 2014 U.S. Champion.

Nakamura, currently ranked No. 8 in the world, declined his invitation citing his decision to prepare for, and compete against, only the world’s elite.

This isn’t surprising, really. A number of the world’s best players forgo their national championship for similar reasons. The last time World No. 2 Levon Aronian won the Armenian National Championship was 2002. Viswanathan Anand hasn’t claimed India’s title since 1988.

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Hip And Happening
8:56 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

On Chess: Hall Of Fame Brings Chess To New Audiences

Explorer Queen, from the World Chess Hall of Fame fashion exhibit.
Credit Provided by the World Chess Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, USA Today published a story that outlined everything “hip and happening” in St. Louis. 

Not surprisingly, the World Chess Hall of Fame got a nod.  Wait. What? Not surprising, you say?

If the idea that chess is hip and happening is foreign to you, then I assume you still have the antiquated stereotype of the pocket protector-wearing übergeek ingrained in your mind.

But times they are a-changin’ my friends.

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Arts & Culture
9:07 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

On Chess: 100 years of Vibrant Chess History in St. Louis

Jim Davies (right) is the first-ever inductee into the Missouri Chess Hall of Fame.
Credit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Obviously the most recent developments at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center and the World Chess Hall of Fame have firmly planted St. Louis as a major player in the chess world, but countless organizers and enthusiasts have helped maintain the interest in St. Louis over the years.

World's Fair and Wolbrecht

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Zurich Chess Challenge
12:07 am
Thu February 6, 2014

On Chess: Nakamura Misses Chance to Topple World Champion

Hikaru Nakamura last battled Magnus Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis. Levon Aronian observes.
Credit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

He came close this time. The great white whale was in his sights. His elbow was cocked, and in his hand the harpoon was ready to deliver the fatal blow. And then it all disappeared.

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On Chess
10:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Meier's Chess Club Victory Adds To Growing Local Reputation

GM Georg Meier is one of the top players at Webster University's elite collegiate chess program.
Credit Provided by Susan Polgar

Webster University’s Georg Meier etched his name in the St. Louis record books over the weekend by winning the 6th annual Club Championship, held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis (CCSCSL).

Meier, 26, is a world-class grandmaster who ranks No. 2 in Germany and No. 141 in the world.

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Tate Steel Tournament
10:30 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

On Chess: Nakamura And So Face World’s Elite In Netherlands

Wesley So has the talent to reach the top 5 in the world, according to Susan Polgar, his coach at Webster University.
Credit Provided by Susan Polgar

The prestigious Tata Steel chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands, started last week, and for once, super-GM Hikaru Nakamura is not the only St. Louis representative competing against the world’s best.

Nakamura, the U.S. No. 1, is no stranger to top-level tourneys. But for GM Wesley So, a Webster University sophomore, Tata Steel is his first-ever super-elite event.

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Men, Women, Juniors
4:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

On Chess: Championships Return To St. Louis

Gata Kamsky hopes to defend his title as U.S. Champion and Irina Krush looks to repeat as the U.S. Women's Champion this May.
Credit Courtesy of the Chess Club and Scholastic of St. Louis

It’s going to be another year of checkmates and championships in St. Louis.

On Wednesday, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis announced that the United States Chess Federation had accepted its bid to host the 2014 U.S. Championship, the 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship and the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship, the three top invitational chess tournaments in the nation.

That’s right. The Trifecta. The Triple Crown. The Royal Three.

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