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Kick-Off Events a Success for the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship

For more information contact:
Slay and Associates
Michelle Kubot, (314) 324-5165


ST. LOUIS, Oct. 4, 2009 -- The preliminary events for the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship have the Saint Louis community and chess-enthusiasts worldwide anticipating the tournament, which begins 2 p.m. today at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
Here are the highlights of those events:

A Jazzy Start: 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship
The “Queens of Jazz” kick-off for the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship was a huge success!   The 10 female players and other chess big-wigs gathered at the Contemporary Art Museum Friday night for a breathtaking concert featuring Grammy nominee Ann Hampton Callaway and Saint Louis native Denise Thimes.
Already Breaking Records: Opening Day
Opening day of the 2009 US Women’s Chess Championship on Saturday proved how much fun chess could be.  The Contemporary Art Museum of Saint Louis was filled with hula chess games, life-sized chessboards and bounty blitz matches.  But the highlight of the event was the blindfold chess demonstration played by two-time champion Anna Zatonskih.  She called out and remembered her move on five boards against tough chess connoisseurs, including CCSCSL founder and board member Rex Sinquefield—who was the last competitor standing.  Zatonskih’s five wins set a record for female blindfold chess.

Ready to Play! Opening Ceremony
Saturday night’s opening ceremony for the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship set the tone for tournament play, which will begin today.  After opening remarks from CCSCSL Founder Rex Sinquefield, St. Louis 28th Ward Alderman Lyda Krewson, Saint Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, Official Arbiter Carol Jarecki and former Champion Jennifer Shahade, players began drawing lots to determine who would play in the first round.  Jarecki announced the pairings and the 10 players dazzled the audience playing a ceremonial team blindfold chess match against each other.
Photos of all events can be seen here:

A list of other events, including tournament play — which starts today at 2 p.m., can be found here:
More information about the championship, players, women’s chess and much more can be found here:
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 has more than 500 members. The club offers free classes, discounted tournament entry fees and discounted merchandise for club members. For more information, please visit or call 314-361-CHESS.