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MATCHES BETWEEN STUDENTS FROM CITY SCHOOLS
ST. LOUIS, May 12, 2009 -- Friday, May 15, is a day of rest for the 24 participants in the grueling 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, but there will be plenty of action at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the host site for the championship.
Six 4th grade students from King of Glory Lutheran School will compete against half a dozen 4th graders from City Academy from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Chess Club, 4657 Maryland Avenue in the Central West End.
All of the students participate in "Classroom Chess," an in-school curriculum developed by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center. The three-year standards-based program is designed for fourth through sixth graders. King of Glory and City Academy students spend one hour each week for nine weeks in the Classroom Chess.
The Chess Club wants to prove that chess can improve the academic performance of students.
"While we enjoy the camaraderie and competition between players at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, we believe strongly in the significance of the second half of our name," said Rex Sinquefield, founder and member of the center. "We are confident that the sound, fundamental values that chess can teach students will help them to achieve better academic accomplishments as a result."
Using chess in the curriculum isn't a new concept. America's Foundation for Chess, a Seattle-based company, has developed a program called First Move, a standards-based curriculum for second and third graders. First Move serves more than 50,000 students in 26 states, including Missouri. Similarly, an organization called Chess in the Schools has educated more than 400,000 students about chess in 76 schools in the five boroughs of New York City since 1986.
The nine-round 2009 U.S. Chess Championship resumes Saturday with Round 8, and concludes Sunday.
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization that opened in July 2008. Founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield, it already has more than 500 members, surpassing its original goal of 300 for its first year of operation by 67 percent. For more information, please visit www.saintlouischessclub.org or call 314-361-CHESS.