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Rex Sinquefield, former U.S. chess champion discuss role of St. Louis in world chess scene

Founder of the St. Louis Chess Club Rex Sinquefield (left) and four-time U.S. chess champion Yasser Seirawan discussed the role St. Louis is playing in the world chess scene on Friday's program.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about a recent event that shed a worldwide light on St. Louis. Local resident Fabiano Caruana competed in the World Chess Championship and ultimately lost Wednesday to defending world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway during a tiebreaker round – after three weeks of play and 12 consecutive draws.

Yasser Seirawan, four-time U.S. chess champion, and Rex Sinquefield, founder of the St. Louis Chess Club, watched the game play by play. They joined Marsh to further discuss the role St. Louis is playing in the world chess scene and the just-concluded World Chess Championship.

“There’s nothing that we can think of … that sheds an international, worldwide light on St. Louis like an event like [a St. Louisan competing in the championship],” Sinquefield said. “Cardinals winning the World Series, that’s very important for us in the United States – but nobody in Germany cares. But in this case, people from 200-plus countries watch this stuff.”

Seirawan made note of St. Louis’ longstanding impact throughout the history of chess competitions, citing how the city hosted the first World Chess Championship in 1886, along with New York City and New Orleans.

Listen to the full conversation to hear details on the history of chess, rules of the game and more:

Producers' Note: In its initial airing, this conversation included comments by both guests about the physical appearance of women chess players. Host Don Marsh clarified on-air that women's looks have nothing to do with their chess abilities. The initial comments about women and chess have been removed from podcasted or rebroadcasted versions of this program.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie HemphillLara Hamdan and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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