The 2015 Showdown in Saint Louis at the Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis took place November 12 – 15, 2015. The Showdown showcased America’s two highest rated grandmasters: U.S. Chess Champion, Hikaru Nakamura versus Fabiano Caruana. In a second match-up, Chinese Grandmaster and former Women’s World Champion, Hou Yifan, played against Indian Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi. Whenever the two best players in any discipline square off against one another, it is an occasion to be savored.
The Saint Louis Arch Bishops advanced to the Semifinals with a win over the Las Vegas Desert Rats on Tuesday, November 10, with a score of 3-1. The Arch Bishops received draw odds for the match but it didn’t come into play as they won the match cleanly and moved onto the semifinals where only four teams remain.
The atmosphere in the boardroom of the Chess Club was inviting and exciting as nearly a dozen women took their seats in front of chess boards, snacks and drinks in hand, waiting for the first of the weekly Ladies’ Knight classes to begin. Taught this week by IM Irene Sukandar, the goal of this new weekly class was apparent from the beginning: to make chess both accessible and approachable for women interested in learning the basics of the game.
The Saint Louis Arch Bishops clinched a seat in the 2015 United States Chess League (USCL) playoffs with a win over the Arizona Scorpions Wednesday, October 21, thanks to a very strong recent addition to their roster. The Arch Bishops welcomed Grandmaster Illya Nyzhnyk as the new board one to an already dangerous lineup.
Fall weather hit just as the Tenth Annual GroveFest occurred on October 3rd. Colder weather did not keep the crowds from flooding the streets nor did it keep the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) from entertaining GroveFest attendees. The organizations stood among other vendors selling clothing or food within the kid-friendly section of the festival.
The third and final summer scholastic tournament concluded this weekend with a surprisingly low number of upsets but left many players with heartache. Time trouble blunders and accidental stalemates were in abundance during the Back to School Bash, but the higher-rated opponent continually seemed to come out on top this month.
The Saint Louis Amateur and Premier Tournament drew a crowd of 35 players this year. The tournament was split into two sections: Under 1800 (Amateur) and 1800 and over (Premier). A $1,600 unconditionally guaranteed prize fund was awarded to the top five finishers in each section.
The educational outreach initiative of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis can stretch a little farther this fall thanks to help from Monsanto, a global leader in sustainable agricultural products headquartered in Creve Coeur, Mo.
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto, recently awarded the Chess Club a $20,580 grant to grow scholastic chess programs in 14 different rural schools across both Missouri and Illinois.
I remember the first time I met a chess Grandmaster. It was the winter of 1999, and GM Sergey Kudrin came through Saint Louis to play against dozens of people at the same time. With just a couple hundred Grandmasters in the world, this was a rare opportunity for amateur players to match wits with a chess professional.