Players were out for blood in the first monthly Knights Tournament of 2015, with every game featuring wild, attacking chess. Everyone, even the lower rated players, was playing to win and no one missed a chance to complicate their game and confuse their opponent.
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center is proud of its association with the Boy Scouts of America, and this year’s first Boy Scout Merit Badge Day, held on January 18th, was a great example of the mutual respect and support between the two organizations. The January event handed out 52 new Chess Merit Badges to Scouts, making it one of the largest sessions since the CCSCSL held the initial launch event in September 2011. Since then, more than 60,000 Chess Merit Badges have been awarded nationally.
I really enjoyed another Resident GM rotation -- the Saint Louis Chess Club has become a second home for me. I have spent lots of time here in the past two and a half years, and I really enjoy each of my visits. I am looking forward to coming back at the end of March for the 2015 U.S. Championship.
Before I leave, I wanted to annotate a game for the Musings of a Resident GM Blog. I played a six-game match against GM Julio Becerra on Deceber 8-10 in Lawrence, Kansas, and I managed to win 4.5-1.5. Here is one of my best games:
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is kicking off 2015 with brand new programming for our weekly classes and lectures! This freshly designed content has been tailored to fit all types of chess players -- from kids to adults, beginners to competitors -- and nearly all classes are taught by our Resident Grandmaster, keeping instruction fresh with a rotation of the nation’s premier chess players. And best of all: Our programming is FREE to all members!
Familiar around the Chess Club has been the face of Julian Proleiko, who first walked through our doors at the age of 12. He began like any St. Louis chess novice -- attending Sunday’s Kids Beginner classes, taught by Grandmasters -- and within six months, Julian had made a complete transformation from beginner to a competitive chess athlete.
Two Games That Ended a Career
By GM Ben Finegold
You know, one of the top players in the world from 1987-1990 was GM Mikhail Gurevich. Although you may not have heard of him, almost everyone else in the world thought he was No. 3 on the planet -- behind Kasparov and Karpov. Mikhail won many tournaments, had a great strategical understanding, and great opening knowledge. He was a solid player: he didn’t take too many risks, but he didn’t play a lot of boring draws, either.
One of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis’ rising local stars, Julian Proleiko, became the 2014 Knights Champion after employing the Benko Gambit to upend Thalia Cervantes in the final round of the December Knights championship event.
Game analysis provided by Grandmaster Ben Finegold
By GM Ben Finegold
I have been the Rotating Resident GM for 2 weeks, and boy am I dizzy (rotating for 2 weeks is tough!).
I want to talk a bit about the chess world and then get on to the CCSCSL world!