Sam Sevian should be earning a spot as one of your instantly recallable names: The 12 year old from Corning, N.Y., is the reigning world champion for his age and the youngest ever to play in the U.S. Championship, which he did this past summer here in St. Louis.
He has been under the chess microscope for years, having already served as the fastest American to both Expert and National Master status, and I believe it is safe to assume he has become a fixture in chess’ future. Go ahead and commit that brain wrinkle.
At the age of seven, it’s safe to say that most kids want to be just like their parents – walk like them, act like them, work like them. For Diamond Shakoor, that meant being intrigued by her dad Abdul, who at the time was teaching older kids on how to play chess. “I asked him one day if I could play and he was like ‘Sure, if you stop getting in trouble in school.’ And so that’s how the journey started," she says.
Teach her he did, and now, after playing in nearly 250 tournaments, she’s unstoppable.
Young people from across the world are turning St. Louis into the premiere international location for chess. This academic year marks the first that Webster and Lindenwood Universities are spearheading new competitive programs and offering scholarships to students from around the world. Those are among the moves in recent years that has allowed the city to emerge as one of the best and brightest hubs for the complex board game’s talent.
At the U.S. Chess Championships under way in St. Louis, all eyes are on America's top-ranked player, and the favorite going into the tournament, Hikaru Nakamura.
During the past decade, Nakamura has made a name for himself as the new superstar of American chess, and with it, he's become a kind of spokesperson for a game that hasn't been too popular in this country since the days of world champion Bobby Fischer.
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."