St. Louis Chess Club | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Chess Club

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.