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Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Sinquefield Cup is living up to expectations

Sep 11, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: All eyes of the chess world are locked on St. Louis this week as four of its greatest titans battle it out for the 2013 Sinquefield Cup held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, 4657 Maryland Ave.

The top two ranked players in the world: GM Magnus Carlsen (2862) and GM Levon Aronian (2802) are mixing it up with the top two U.S. players GM Hikaru Nakamura (2774) and U.S. Champion Gata Kamsky (2741) over a week-long, double round robin style tournament.

On Chess: The world will be watching St. Louis

Aug 29, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In less than two weeks, St. Louis will be the center of the world’s attention.

Granted, only the chess world will be watching, but how often does our city draw the spotlight of any worldwide audience? Plus, St. Louis gets to be named in sensational headlines that feature global conflict and war – in a positive light. Let’s see you pull that off, Washington.

On Chess: The case of the missing molds

Jul 24, 2013

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.

On Chess: World traveler finds home in St. Louis

Jul 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I hail from Seattle, Wash., and in 1972 I got caught up in the Bobby Fischer versus Boris Spassky hoopla. From losses too numerous to mention, chess won my heart. Slowly I worked my way up the rankings from Class D player to Expert and finally Master. It hardly seemed possible to reach my distant dream of becoming an International Grandmaster, but I managed to secure that and more by becoming a four-time U.S. Champion, twice Candidate for the World Championship title as well as holding a world’s top ten ranking.

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.

Hip hop, jiu jitsu and chess come together

May 9, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A journalist, professor and YouTube celebrity walk into a library. They’re followed by a hip-hop enthusiast, website editor and a first-degree black belt. They spend an hour and a half talking about chess, hip hop and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

There’s no joke here: Wednesday afternoon, Adisa Banjoko, journalist and founder of the Hip Hop Chess Federation, led a panel discussion representing the above professions at the Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library.

On Chess: Unveiling the hidden beauty

May 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Marcel Duchamp is best known as an artist, and he is revered at the World Chess Hall of Fame, which is directly across the street from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Duchamp, also a chess master, famously said, “In chess there are some extremely beautiful things in the domain of movement, but not in the visual domain. It’s the imagining of the movement or of the gesture that makes the beauty.”

Meet Ed Gonsalves, chess superfan

May 7, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Ed Gonzalves lives in Providence, R.I., where he works for the U.S. Postal Service. Gonsalves self identifies as a sports nut with a penchant for statistics -- he's a WNBA season ticket holder and lists off a dozen sports he follows, from baseball to tennis to boxing.

King of them all? Chess.

On Chess: Exclam! (A brilliant capture)

Apr 24, 2013

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 8, 2012 - In just the past few days, St. Louis has become the new home of collegiate chess in that U.S. Lindenwood University and Webster University have become the two latest institutions to offer chess scholarships, and each is committed to a developing a world-class program.

This article first appeared in th St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 3, 2012 - The current women's world champion, 17-year-old Hou Yifan of China, is having a fantastic tournament at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress. She has beaten three super grandmasters in a row: Hungarian GMs Zoltan Almasi and Judit Polgar, and the Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem. Hou is currently tied for first place.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 28, 2011 - And what a year it has been! 2011 started with St. Louis' own Hikaru Nakamura winning the 2011 Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Holland, against the world's best chess players. It was the biggest tournament victory for an American since Bobby Fischer, and his performance catapulted him to No. 7 in the world rankings. Although he has experienced some ups and downs this year, Hikaru is currently holding onto the No. 10 spot in the world and is looking forward to an exciting 2012.

A banner year for St. Louis Chess

Dec 27, 2011
courtesy Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

2011 has been a banner year for Chess in the city of Saint Louis.

The United States Chess Federation named Saint Louis “Chess City of the Year” in 2011 for all of the hard work we’ve put in to promote the game of chess both locally and nationally.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 21, 2011 - Each month, the Chess Club holds an unrated beginner tournament for people who have never played in a rated chess event. These monthly tournaments offer a great introduction to the fun of tournament chess and help people learn some of the basic rules of tournament play.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 1, 2011 - When I have a chess student who is doing poorly (which I'd like to think rarely happens), I remind them of an important lesson: strong competition breeds success.

Most people want to get better -- at everything. They think when they do, they will simply start winning and winning and winning (just ask Charlie Sheen). But let's look at the facts. The better you get and the higher you rise through the ranks of any professional sport, the more difficult the competition gets.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 18, 2011 - This week I am in Lubbock, Texas, for the annual SPICE Cup Chess Tournament. SPICE stands for Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, an organization devoted to the promotion of chess education and outreach headquartered at Texas Tech University. Susan is a former Women's World Champion who works alongside her husband, Paul Truong, (a strong chess master in his own right) to organize all sorts of tournaments, chess classes and chess camps. The SPICE Cup is, by far, the strongest tournament they organize, and it is one of the strongest tournaments held annually in the U.S. each year.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 13, 2011 - The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis is hosting an event this week that has captured the interest of the chess community. Kings versus Queens: A Battle of the Sexes pits two teams against one another, one made up of five men, the other of five women. The total prize fund is more than $50,000 as players compete for individual prizes, and included in the prize fund is a special bonus for the winning team: $20,000!

(via Flickr/Ian Sane)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will travel to the Sunshine State (that's Florida) this weekend to accept the United States Chess Federation's "Chess City of the Year" award for our own Mound City.

This is the second time St. Louis has received the designation - the city also won the award in 2009.

The award, according to the the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, "recognizes the U.S. city that has done the most to promote and further the game of chess, both locally and nationally."

(photo courtesy of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis)

 A Japanese native who relocated to St. Louis from Seattle last year to take advantage of the city's growing chess infrastructure will go after one of the sport's top American records this week.

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