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St. Louis Chess Club

Chess legend champion Garry Kasparov will take a break from retirement to play Fabiano Caruana in the 2019 Chess360 tournament.
St. Louis Chess Club

Chess960, otherwise known as Fischer Random, is a chess variant that has struggled to find its place. It was invented and advocated for by Bobby Fischer, who thought that chess was becoming too reliant on opening theory.

The basic concept is quite simple: All the pawns start on their normal squares, but the back rank pieces are rearranged at random before the game begins. There are a couple of stipulations, however, which separate it from an older variant called “Shuffle Chess.” 

As of Aug. 21, 2019, Fabiano Caruana of St. Louis was the leading the field of contenders in the Sinquefield Cup held at the St. Louis Chess Club.
St. Louis Chess Club

There was finally a shake-up in the standings Wednesday as Fabiano Caruana defeated Levon Aronian.

The American joins Viswanathan Anand in the lead as the rest of the games were drawn. Caruana’s win is the second decisive result in the first four rounds. 

On Chess: St. Louis' Summer Of Chess

Aug 15, 2019
Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in conversation with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley. Vachier-Lagrave had a strong showing at the Grand Chess Tour's fourth leg, the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz in August 2019.
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

The summer season may be nearing a close, but the “Summer of Chess” at the St. Louis Chess Club is in full force. For the next three weeks, the leading chess grandmasters from across the world will gather in the chess capital of the U.S. to battle it out in different formats over the 64 squares.

The hectic month of August kicked off with the Grand Chess Tour’s fourth leg, the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz. This tournament has become a staple on the chess calendar and attracts the top players who are competing in the tour as well as three wildcards. 

On Chess: The Future Of Chess Entertainment

Aug 1, 2019
Jennifer Shahade and Yasser Seirewan
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

After spending three weeks as the grandmaster-in-residence at the St. Louis Chess Club, I have come to the realization that the future of chess, as an entertainment vessel, lies in the online, livestream medium.

Awonder Liang (left), Carissa Yip (middle) and Alex Shabalov (right) prevailed at the U.S. Chess Championship tournament in St. Louis in July 2019.
Austin Fuller | US Chess Club

Being the tournament favorite is never easy. You have a target on your back, and every other participant is gunning for you. There are times that the top seed simply dominates the field without any hiccups, but it is by far the exception rather than the rule.

This certainly held true at the U.S. Junior, U.S. Girls’ Junior, and U.S. Senior Championships held at the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center that ended on July 20. Grandmaster Awonder Liang won the U.S. Junior Championship, his third in a row, in a tense playoff over GM Nicolas Checa. 

Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

CHESS Cops was launched in February 2017. What began as a simple breakfast with officers and students enjoying chess over coffee and orange juice ultimately expanded into a multifaceted community outreach program.

The St. Louis Chess Club, St. Louis schools, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department partnered to start St. Louis CHESS Cops — or Chess Helping Enhance Student Skills. CHESS is currently comprised of city and county police officers who utilize chess to teach lessons on critical thinking, planning and logic.

Chess prodigy Thalia Cervantes started playing in Cuba where she says the game runs through people's blood.
St. Louis Chess Club

A Cuba-born teenager who lives in Webster Groves is trying to add to her already impressive chess resume over the next few days at the St. Louis Chess Club. Sixteen-year-old Thalia Cervantes is among 10 phenoms vying for the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

Norwegian Magnus Carlsen holds the 2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour Trophy.
St. Louis Chess Club

Magnus Carlsen continued his domination of the Grand Chess Tour and the chess world overall with yet another win. This time, the world champion clinched the Croatia Grand Chess Tour, marking his seventh consecutive tournament victory this year.

The Norwegian won the tournament with a performance rating of 2948, extending his undefeated streak to 79 games. This performance will put his rating at 2882, the peak rating he achieved in 2014. He earned $90,000 and 20 tour points for his efforts.

GM Awonder Liang may be the player to beat for the 2019 U.S Junior Championship.
St. Louis Chess Club

The St. Louis Chess Club is known for hosting the premier chess events in the country. This is the first time, however, that three will be hosted at the same time. 

From July 10 through July 20, the top juniors, junior girls, and players over 50 will be in St. Louis to compete for the title of national champion in their respective categories. Each section will feature 10 players in a round robin, all-play and all-closed tournament. 

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen was leading as the Grand Chess Tour began in Zagreb, Croatia on June 26, 2019.
Grand Chess Tour

After an exciting kickoff in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) will continue on in Europe.

The second leg of GCT will take place in Zagreb, Croatia, from June 25 until July 9. The new location is part of the expansion of the tour, as well as the first of the two classical events. The top players in the world will be competing for a total prize fund of $325,000 and tour points over 11 days.

The GM norm tournament champion was GM Evgeny Shtembuliak, a student at Texas Tech University.
Crystal Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

The 2019 St. Louis Norm Congress gave an opportunity to rising players to earn international master (IM) and grandmaster (GM) norms in two events. The fields were very diverse, and 10 different chess federations were represented, including Burundi, Denmark, and Peru.

Eleven out of the 20 participants represented the U.S., although most of the field currently resides in America. Five players were under 18, and everyone was under 35, making it an exceptionally youthful event.

The 2019 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) kicked off in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The best chess players from all over the world assembled in the coastal city to fight for a $150,000 prize fund and GCT points. The most brilliant minds in the game battled it out in nine rapid and 18 blitz games to determine the winner of the prestigious event.

The Armenian Eagles celebrate victory at the  2018 PRO Chess League Final Four.
Eric Rosen | St. Louis Chess Club

The St. Louis Arch Bishops are going back to the Professional Rapid Online (PRO) Chess League final four in San Francisco.

To make it to the final rounds, they defeated their crosstown rivals, Webster Windmills, in a thrilling 9-7 victory that came down to the final round. International master (IM) Nikolas Theodorou’s triumphant rook sacrifice proved to be too much for his grandmaster (GM) opponent to handle.

U.S. Chess Championship winners, Jennifer Yu and Hikaru Nakamura on April 1.
Lennart Ootes | St. Louis Chess Club

The U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship are the marquee events of American chess and for the last 11 years, the St. Louis Chess Club has been hosting both events at their illustrious club.

This year’s edition has been the strongest championship in history, with a record five players over the 2700 rating threshold. The U.S. Women’s Championship has had a tale of its own, with an eclectic mix of new and experienced players setting the stage for what would become one of the most exciting national championships in history.

On Chess: Chess And Mathematics

Mar 28, 2019
Grandmaster Pepe Cuenca with students at John Burroughs School.
Crystal Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

As a professional chess player and Ph.D. in applied mathematics, I have always been fascinated by the relationship between the two disciplines.

What does chess require? Concentration, planning, patience, self-control (playing fast does not pay off), conduct rules, mistake learning, etc. Therefore, learning chess might affect the ability to concentrate, memory, other types of executive functions, as well as increasing intelligence and problem-solving skills.

Fans crowd to watch champions play rounds of rapid and blitz matches at the St. Louis Chess Club during the Champions Showdown last week. Feb. 27, 2019
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

The top five American chess players headlined the recently completed Champions Showdown at the St. Louis Chess Club. As per tradition, each player chose their opponent for the unique head-to-head matches. The opponents varied from young, up-and-coming talents to a former World Champion.

Valentina Gunina emerged victorious from the inaugural Cairns Cup women's chess tournament. Feb, 2019
Lennart Ootes | St. Louis Chess Club

The St. Louis Chess Club played host to 10 of the finest female chess players in the world for the last couple of weeks. The brand-new event, the Cairns Cup, saw the participants face each other in a nine-round, all-play-all-format event for a whopping prize fund of $150,000.

Commentary was broadcast on the internet featuring the familiar trio of Yasser Seirawan, Jennifer Shahade and Maurice Ashley. In addition, there were two other all-female commentary duos: Almira Skripchenko and Anastasiya Karlovich did Russian-language commentary for online audiences, while Tania Sachdev and Tatev Abrahamyan did on-site commentary at the Kingside Diner next to the Chess Club. Suffice it to say, this event was a big deal, and it was treated as such.

(Feb. 02, 2019) Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. women's chess champion, commentator and analyst explained the excitement behind the 2019 Cairns Cup, an all-female chess tournament.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Chess Club is currently hosting its first international all-female chess tournament in an effort to expand opportunities for women to enter the male-dominated sport. Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. women's chess champion, commentator and analyst explained the excitement behind the Cairns Cup tournament on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“It's really a chance for the queens of the board to take center stage,” Shahade told St. Louis Public Radio editor Holly Edgell. “Things are getting better for women in chess all over the world. And I think this is just a sign of good things to come where women are really respected for not only their chess, but also for their point of view in the world.”

Cairns Cup contender Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan holds the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster.
St. Louis Chess Club

It is well known that if you are a big chess fan, St. Louis is a great place to be. Since 2009, the best chess players in the country have gathered at the St. Louis Chess Club to fight for the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship titles.

From 2013 onward, the club has hosted the Sinquefield Cup, where the world’s best duke it out for the highest of stakes. The club runs countless tournaments every year, events suitable for everyone from amateurs to grandmasters. It also has worked hard to promote chess among women and girls, two often-underrepresented groups in the chess community. 

Ding Liren, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi are the favorites for winning the "Wimbledon of chess," also known as the 2019 Tata Steel Masters.
St. Louis Chess Club

The Wimbledon of chess commenced again this January and will last through Jan. 30, in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands.

Tata Steel, as it is currently known, has been a mainstay among top international chess events for the past 81 years. Located on the North Sea, Wijk aan Zee is a seaside resort town in the summer, and chess haven in the winter.

Grandmaster Mauricio Flores authored the book "Chess Structures, A Grandmaster Guide."
Luciana Morales | Creative Commons

Like many other titled chess players, I have had the opportunity to be a long-term coach for many young talents. Shaping a new generation of players is an honor and an important responsibility.

Hence, I am often searching for ways to communicate complex ideas in the simplest possible form.

My views are certainly influenced by my academic background. I recently completed my Ph.D. in applied mathematics, and I have spent the last five years teaching college mathematics, reading scientific papers and conducting my own academic research.

On Chess: Stereotypes and blundering badly

Dec 6, 2018
St. Louis grandmaster Fabiano Caruana, right, fell to Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championships in November 2018.
Eric Rosen

November 2018 was truly a golden month for chess.

It was the culmination St. Louis grandmaster Fabiano "Fabi" Caruana’s two-year campaign to unseat world champion Magnus Carlsen. The 12-game match played in London grew in intensity with each successive drawn game.

As the match moved to its latter stages, the risk of losing a single game caused the players to be as careful as possible with their decisions.