[imagefield_assist|fid=1738|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS – The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will receive the Renaissance Award from the Central West End Association at its annual meeting on Jan. 11. The annual award recognizes groups, corporations or associations that have made a significant, positive economic or social impact on the survival or comeback of the Central West End.
The club renovated the building at 4657 Maryland Ave., turning it into a gleaming, technologically sophisticated chess center that opened in July 2008. Many chess experts have described it as the finest chess club in the country and among the best in the world. In May, the club hosted the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, and in October, the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship. The 2010 U.S. Chess Championship will be held there in April.
The club has been so successful that Executive Director Tony Rich was named “Chess Organizer of the Year,” by the U.S. Chess Federation. Founder Rex Sinquefield was given the federation’s gold Koltanowski award; and Saint Louis was named “Chess City of the Year” by the U.S. Chess Federation.
The Renaissance Award initially honored Leon Strauss, who was well-known for his revitalization efforts throughout the city of Saint Louis, including the transformation of Pershing Place between Union and Debaliviere. Past winners have included developers Pete Rothschild and Ted Koplar and the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Complex.
“We are honored to be part of a group that includes Leon Strauss and Barnes-Jewish,” Rich said. “From the first day, it was our goal not just to be a good neighbor, but to be a leader in making the Central West End a great destination for people inside and outside of our community.”
The Central West End Association also will honor West End Word Publisher Jeff Fister with the William J. Polk award, presented to the “individual resident who has consistently provided value-added contributions to the enhancement of the Central West End community.”
The Central West End Association’s annual meeting will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Third Degree Glass Factory, 5200 Delmar Ave., Saint Louis. Cost is $20 per person. A form can be accessed on the CWEA website, www.thecwe.org, or by mailing payment by Jan. 8 to: The CWEA, 4902a Laclede, Saint Louis, MO 63108.