Jennifer Shahade | St. Louis Public Radio

Jennifer Shahade

Lennart Ootes | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

“This game will be over in two moves.”

“…and how long will that take?”

“It could be 20 seconds. It could be two hours.”

Let’s get one thing clear – 20 seconds is a lifetime when it comes to live television. It’s the real world equivalent of deciding what to wear on a first date, or which of 50 toppings to smother on your froyo. These things take time.

On Chess: Memoirs of a chess square

Jun 1, 2016
Tom Hackney, Chess Painting No. 71, (Marcel Duchamp vs. E.H. Smith, Hyéres, 1928), 2016, Gesso on linen, oak frame 16 ½ x 16 ½ in.
Courtesy of Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York

At the beginning of many prestigious chess tournaments, players sign their name on particular light squares of commemorative chessboards, often with no intent beyond the thought, “On which square will my signature appear most elegant?” or, “Which square is left to sign?” And yet, specific squares hold so many memories of sacrifices both successful and failed as well as nightmares of a sacrifice or in-between move.

Jennifer Shahade plays with her new Man Ray chess set.
Daniel Meriom

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: “You may want to try a more subdued red,” the hairstylist told me. “It will work better for the office.” Obviously I never went to that salon again.

Luckily I don’t need toned down style to edit articles for, arrange wacky photo and video shoots, play poker tournaments, or do commentary for the Sinquefield Cup. To the contrary, fire engine red pops very well on camera. As my brother IM Greg Shahade wrote recently in his blog, the life of a chess player affords an unusual degree of freedom.

On Chess: Unveiling the hidden beauty

May 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Marcel Duchamp is best known as an artist, and he is revered at the World Chess Hall of Fame, which is directly across the street from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Duchamp, also a chess master, famously said, “In chess there are some extremely beautiful things in the domain of movement, but not in the visual domain. It’s the imagining of the movement or of the gesture that makes the beauty.”

Chess club makes bold move into West End quarters

Jul 15, 2008
Tony Rich at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. 2008. 300 pixels
Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon archive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - One good lesson Tony Rich learned at St. John Vianney School was patience. Although the lives of saints might have been part of his studies at Vianney, it was not the patience of someone such as St. Francis de Sales that taught the boy the value of patience. Both of Tony's parents worked, so between the time the final bell rang and their arrival he had three hours or so to kill. Many days those three hours were spent playing chess.

"Chess filled the void," he said.