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The down economy meant that 2011 was a bad year for many. But look carefully, and there are people, places and products that have had a good year. NPR News explores the glass half full in business, sports, the arts, pop culture, and politics with a series called "It Was A Good Year For..." With contributions from NPR's desks (Arts, Washington, National, Science, among others), this series airs beginning Sat., Dec. 24, through Dec. 31, on NPR's newsmagazines, Talk of the Nation, and Tell Me More.We also decided to take a look at the local people, places and things in and around St. Louis who had a "good year."We welcome your input, too. Who or what do you think had "a good year" in the St. Louis area? Post your thoughts on our Facebook page, tweet them with the #agoodyearstl hashtag (or use our handy button below), or send us an email at kproud@stlpublicradio.org with "A Good Year: St. Louis" in the subject line.Tweet #agoodyearstl

A banner year for St. Louis Chess

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courtesy Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis
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Tournament Hall at The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-997837.mp3

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.

In the three years the club has been open, we have taught thousands of students in hundreds of classrooms the game of chess. Combined with the more than 700 members at the club, people of all ages are learning the cognitive and behavioral benefits of the game of kings.

Since the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis opened its doors in 2008, Saint Louis has become the home of U.S. Championship chess. For the third straight year, the club hosted the most successful U.S. Championship, U.S. Women’s Championship and U.S. Junior Championships to date. 2012 will see all three back in Saint Louis with the largest prize funds per player in the history of the Championships.

Also for the third straight year, the Chess Club’s founder, Rex Sinquefield, received the 2011 Gold Koltanowski award from the U.S. Chess Federation. This is the highest award the USCF offers and recognizes the individual who has done the most to promote the game of chess in the U.S. each year. Rex will also be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for chess early next year.

Finally, 2011 witnessed the grand opening of the World Chess Hall of Fame, which moved to Saint Louis from Miami in response to the burgeoning chess culture here. Located directly across the street from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, this world-class facility explores the cultural and artistic significance of chess through exciting art installations and innovative exhibits.

Join the thousands of casual and serious chess players and enthusiasts in the Central West End and create your own chess experience. 

*Commentator Tony Rich is the Executive Director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

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