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Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis to Host 2009 U.S. Women's Championship

ST. LOUIS, October 8, 2008 -- The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which Steve Goldberg of United States Chess Federation (USCF) Online calls “certainly one of the most impressive chess centers” in the country, has been selected by the United States Chess Federation to host the 2009 U.S. Women’s Championship. The U.S. Women’s Chess Championship dates back to 1937. This is the second major tournament announcement made by The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis since its recent opening in July 2008. Just last month, the organization announced that it would host the United States Chess Championship next Spring.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center, which was founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield is located at 4657 Maryland Avenue in St. Louis’ fashionable and historic Central West End neighborhood. The three-level, 6,000-square-foot facility possesses an array of customized features, including digital game technology (DGT) chess boards, hand-made wooden chess tables, LCD-screen televisions, video installation art, overhead paging and an adjustable lighting system. The primary colors of the club are black and white, the colors of a traditional chessboard.

“I am delighted that The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will host both the U.S. Chess Championship and the U.S. Women’s Championship in the coming year,” said Sinquefield. “I’ve had the privilege, and the occasional pain, of studying chess with Grand Master Jennifer Shahade, who focuses much time and energy in encouraging young women to take up the game. It is the goal of the Chess Club to encourage all of Saint Louis’ young people to learn chess and believe that bringing the best chess players in the country to Saint Louis will have helped us achieve that goal.”

The players’ room is private and enclosed with its own kitchen and restroom. There is ample natural lighting with windows along two walls and two skylights in the space. Recessed adjustable lighting fixtures cover the ceiling to ensure an even light with appropriate brightness.

The championship will be held in late summer or early fall 2009. The tournament is a 9 round event, paired using the Round Robin pairing system with one round per day and a rest day between rounds 5 and 6. Time controls will be the classical 40 moves in 2 hours, with the remaining moves in 1 hour. Invitations will be sent to the top 10 U.S. women by their rating.

The championship will have a purse of $64,000, with $15,000 awarded to the winner. In case of even scores, no tie-breakers will be used. Instead, prize funds will be evenly divided between winners.

The goal of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is to create a world class destination for chess players, both beginning and advanced and to elevate the game of chess throughout the Saint Louis metropolitan area. Additionally, the Center financially supports existing local scholastic chess programs while providing new programs to schools that do not offer chess curriculum.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization. For more information, please visit

The United States Chess Federation is the official, not-for-profit U.S. membership organization for chess players and chess supporters of all ages and strengths, from beginners to grandmasters. Founded in 1939 with the merger of the American Chess Federation and the National Chess Federation, USCF has grown to more than 80,000 members and nearly 1,200 affiliated chess clubs and organizations.

Under the management of a professional staff headquartered in Crossville, Tennessee, USCF sanctions thousands of tournaments with more than 500,000 officially rated games annually, 25 National Championships award titles to both amateurs and professionals, ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens.

USCF promotes the study and knowledge of the 1,500-year-old game of chess, for its own sake as an art and enjoyment, but also as a means for the improvement of society. It encourages the development of a network of institutions devoted to enhancing the growth of chess, from local clubs to state and regional associations, and it promotes chess in American schools.