chess

Polgar's Champions
10:38 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Spotlight On St. Louis Chess Falls On Webster's Investment In The Sport

In this file photo, Susan Polgar coaches Wesley So.
Credit Provided by Susan Polgar

The vibrancy of chess in the St. Louis area continues to grow. For example the U.S. Championships return to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis on May 8.

But one of the bright spots – the strength of the university programs here – recently received close scrutiny. While Lindenwood and others are building strong teams, Webster University brought in the chess world’s version of John Calipari or Coach K: Susan Polgar and her team of grandmasters left Texas Tech University for the St. Louis suburbs in 2012.

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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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Wildcard
11:27 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

On Chess: 13 Year Old To Vie For U.S. Women’s Championship

Ashritha Eswaran
Credit Provided by her family

Apparently, the U.S. “Women’s” Chess Championship is a description that gets more liberal by the year.

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President's Cup
10:21 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

On Chess: Polgar Prepares Team And Wins Final Four

Susan Polgar and Wesley So
Credit Provided by Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Update April 8: The Webster University Chess Team has repeated as winners of the President's Cup.

Got just another one of a billion busted brackets? Here’s a tip for next year: Put more confidence in the coach.

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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 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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Reddit Questions
9:48 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

On Chess: Nakamura Scores In Ask Me Anything

Hikaru Nakamura is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 7 in the world.
Credit Provided by Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

What do Bill Nye the Science Guy, President Barack Obama and Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame have in common with the best chess player in the country?

They’ve all subjected themselves to the rigor of being grilled by the anonymous public via Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA).

A Reddit AMA provides a forum for celebrities, athletes, musicians, politicians and other notable public figures to respond online to questions submitted by other Reddit users for a pre-determined period of time.

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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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100 Years
9:52 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

On Chess: St. Louis History Is Chess-Rich

Steinitz and Zukertort in 1866 (This engraving is from a match in New Orleans.)
Credit Wikipedia

The chess boom in St. Louis may appear as though it has materialized out of thin air, but the Gateway City has a vibrant chess history.

Chess adds to a rich and developing cultural renaissance in St. Louis. And as we celebrate our city’s 250th birthday, I think it’s appropriate to take a look at some of the important names, events and places that have helped shaped our ever-growing chess culture.

This column explores the early days of chess in St. Louis and some notable champions and championships that placed St. Louis at the center of the chess universe.

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