chess

First-grader Jay Mainard, far left, uses the weekly chess club at the Miriam School in Webster Groves as a tool to combat learning disabilities.
Provided by the Miriam School

Not long after kindergarten began, Jason Mainard began noticing problems in his son’s mood. Socially, the boy wasn’t adhering to the way other kids played. Emotionally, he wasn’t responding the way most kids do in their first year of school. Traditional characteristics that describe a first classroom experience were few, replaced instead by signs of depression, signs of frustration.

Calls home from teachers confirmed the father’s concerns.

Millionaire Chess Open organizers Amy Lee and GM Maurice Ashley award Webster University GM Wesley So with a $100,000 birthday present.
Billy Johnson | Millionaire Chess Open | 2014

Las Vegas will do just fine if it never sees Wesley So again. The brand-new adult celebrated his 21st birthday in the right city, but he did it in all the wrong ways.

He didn’t pull a single slot, didn’t throw a single die. And he never once relied on the hilarious notion of luck during a week-long visit in a town that banks off the very idea. He was not spotted out late, stumbling around the Strip any night -- and to the contrary: The work So put in each morning is circumstantial proof that he achieved bedtime at an hour likely outlawed in the City that Never Sleeps.

Benjamin Kaplan
Act3

For the next six months chess and hip-hop will live under the same roof here in St. Louis. "Living Like Kings: The Collision of Chess and Hip Hop Culture" is an ever-evolving exhibit examining the relationship between the two art forms. Hip-Hop Chess Federation founder Adisa Banjoko, 44, thinks hip-hop and chess share a common noble truth.

“The spirit of competition in hip-hop and in chess is what helps us figure out who we are,” Banjoko said.

Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

This Saturday, Oct. 11 is National Chess Day -- though only unofficially, because nobody cares.

That’s not from a lack of continued effort on the part of chess players, however, as plenty have cared about such a recognized holiday dating all the way back to its inception in 1976.

Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

The Central West End has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Great Neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association, for reasons that won’t surprise anyone from around here.

Ashritha Eswaran playing chess
Provided by the family

Local Grandmaster Ben Finegold is in Durban, South Africa, this week representing Team USA as part of the 2014 World Youth Chess Championship. The international competition separates its field into six categories, from under-8 to under-18 in both girls-only and open sections, and crowns 12 World Champions annually.

Magnus Carlsen in St. Louis earlier this month
Lennart Ootes| Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St.Louis

It’s not often that the World Champion of Chess gets his thunder stolen but, while here in St. Louis, GM Magnus Carlsen's moment away from the spotlight allowed him to tackle a serious decision.

Rex Sinquefield prepares to make a move as Grandmasters look on. Behind, from left, are commentator Maurice Ashley, Garry Kasparov, Yasser Seirawan and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
Lennart Ootes | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

It is a question commonly posed to Grandmasters -- business-suit wearing giants with perennially furrowed brows, constantly wrinkled above troubled looks of genuine stress -- can you still have fun?

Fabiano Caruana
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

When you’re claiming a page of history, you just never know who might write on it.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, left, and Magnus Carlsen played to a draw in their first game in the Sinquefield Cup.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s Sinquefield Cup chess championship is underway here in St. Louis and it’s billed as the strongest chess tournament in the history of the sport. The tournament features six of the top nine players in the world and takes place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. The compete for a first place prize of $100,000. Before the end of the tournament, each player will play every other player twice.

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