by GM Robert Hungaski
I’m back home, sitting in front of my computer, reflecting on my third term as GM-in-Residence. The first time I got the opportunity to work at the club was back in 2014; since then, I’ve managed to make my way back to the Chess Club for the past two years and every time I leave I find myself looking back.
The Saint Louis Chess Club has become such a vibrant place for chess, an entire chess ecosystem has developed around it. If we also take into account the presence of Webster University and Saint Louis University, it should come as no surprise that there are over 20 Grandmasters living in Saint Louis year round!
Although I cannot say what the experience is like at the above-mentioned universities, my stay at the Chess Club, and in the GM-House specifically, provide a feeling of satisfaction and respite. I find myself in agreement with some other players that have been in residence, when they say the GM-House has become a “home away from home.” It embraces us weary travelers and allows us to do what we love and labor to perfect: chess. And just as in any good home, all those I have met here have received me (and I, them) as family. Even among those that have never met before, the experiences and values shared by chess players creates a feeling of familiarity. That is what I experience when I come to Saint Louis and why I always look forward to coming back.