chess

Wesley So
9:56 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

On Chess: World Contender Must Wait To Play For U.S. Team

Wesley So
Credit Courtesy of Susan Polgar

They say good things come to those who wait. Unfortunately, that’s shaping up to be true.

Wesley So, the 15th highest-rated chess player in the world with a FIDE rating of 2744, recently announced his intentions to switch to the U.S. Chess Federation (from the Philippines’ federation) for reasons rather obvious: He’s already here -- and he seems to like it.

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Red Knight
10:12 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

On Chess: Circus Flora Plays Both Sides Of The Board

Credit Circus Flora

The word circus conjures several interpretations, a different idea according to every one’s experience. Many of those definitions, as Circus Flora teaches us, can brilliantly oppose each other in both harmony and balance – and that the chess player can appreciate.

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Priyadharshan Kannappan
9:59 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

On Chess: Grandmaster Hopefuls Compete In St. Louis

International Master Priyadharshan Kannappan is seeking his second GM norm.
Credit Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

The words “watch your back” have never rung so clear.

The 2014 national championships are less than two weeks old, but as America’s heavyweights retreat to their corners, the class of tomorrow has already hopped into the ring.

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Overtime
4:32 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

On Chess: Armageddon Looms Today In U.S. Championships Finale

Aleksandr Lenderman will be playing for his first U.S. Championship.
Credit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

UPDATE 4:36 p.m.: Irina Krush is the U.S. Women's Chess Champion after winning the playoff against Tatev Abrahamyan 1-1/2 to 1/2. 

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: Gata Kamsky is the U.S. Chess Champion after winning the playoff against Varuzhan Akobian 1-1/2 to 1/2. The women's match continues.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: In the first of two rapid matches for the U.S. Championship, Varuzhan Akobian drew the white pieces but fell into time trouble against Gata Kamsky. Akobian managed to hold off the reigning champion for a draw.

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On Chess
3:31 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

National Chess Championship Kicks Off in St. Louis For Sixth Year In A Row

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Grand Master chess players from across the country have assembled in St. Louis’ Central West End for the 2014 U.S. Chess Championship.

Round 1 of the two-week tournament kicked off Thursday afternoon at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

A local favorite to follow this year is Grand Master Ray Robson, 19, who is a member of Webster University's chess team that won the 2013 national collegiate chess championship, said CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich.  

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Graves, Cage & Kaino
5:16 am
Thu May 8, 2014

On Chess: New Shows At World Chess Hall of Fame Include Burning Boards

Mayor Frances Slay, with Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield in the background, helped unveil the 14-and-a-half-foot tall World's Largest Chess Piece at the Chess Hall of Fame.
Credit file photo | St. Louis Beacon

The link between the creation of history and the preservation of heritage is about as streamlined as it gets these days: Just send it across the street.

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2014 U.S. Championships
10:38 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

On Chess: The Kings Converge On St. Louis

Gata Kamsky seeks to defend his title at the 2014 U.S. Championship.
Credit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

In chess, conquering the center is a strategy nearly as old as the game itself.

It is a building block, a foundation, with centuries of theory backing the blueprint. American legend Bobby Fischer opened all but one of his myriad games by instantly striking into the center with 1. e4, famously referring to the first move as “best, by test.”

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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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