Two dozen contestants will vie for $130,000 in prizes at new venue
ST. LOUIS, January 27, 2009 -- Two dozen of the nation's best chess players will be invited to participate in the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, which will be held at the new Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The tournament, which dates back to 1845, will take place from May 7 through 17, 2009 and will offer a purse of more than $130,000 in prize money.
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, opened in July 2008. Founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield, it already has nearly 500 members, surpassing its original goal of 300 for its first year of operation by 67 percent.
The 24 invited players will include:
- the top 12 American players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
- the top two female players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
- the 2008 U.S. Junior Closed Champion;
- the 2008 U.S. Open Champion;
- the 2009 U.S. State Champion of Champions;
- a total of seven wild card spots, to be determined later.
The winner will receive $35,000, with additional cash prizes awarded to all participants, including $2,000 to the last-place entrant. Cash prizes will be divided equally among tied competitors. Additionally, top youths from throughout America will be invited to compete. Spectators will be welcome at the event.
The championship will be a 9-round event, using the Swiss system with one round per day and a rest day between rounds 5 and 6. Time controls will be the classical 40 moves in two hours, with one hour allowed for all remaining moves. Guest commentary will be provided by two world-class Grand Masters throughout the event.
"We are delighted to host the prestigious U.S. Chess Championship in our first full year of operation," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. "It is exciting and gratifying for us to bring together the nation's best players at our first-class facility."
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization. The club, which has welcomed nearly 500 members since its July 2008 opening, offers free classes for beginners, discounted tournament entry fees and discounted merchandise for club members. For more information, please visit www.saintlouischessclub.org or call 314-361-CHESS.
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 grand masters. 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. USCF sanctions 25 national championships award titles to both amateurs and professionals, ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens. For more information, visit www.uschess.org.
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