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St. Louisan Charles Lawton is up to the challenge of facing the best players in U.S. Chess Championship

s41500cb112331_6ST. LOUIS, April 17, 2009  --  When the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship is held in St. Louis in May, some of the nation’s best and best-known players will be in the field of 24 competing for more than $200,000 in prize money.  Included on that list will be St. Louisan Charles Lawton, the only African-American contestant but also a man who relishes the opportunity to compete on a grand stage.

The tournament will take place May 7 through 17 at the new Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, 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.  Steve Goldberg of United States Chess Federation (USCF) Online has called the club “certainly one of the most impressive chess centers” in the country.  For more information, visit or call 314-361-CHESS.

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2009 Club Champion Crowned

089 Richard Benjamin(2200) swept the competition 5-0 achieving the title of Club Champion.  The Club Championship was a 6 player Round Robin comprised of the winners of each monthly "Knights" tournaments.  Richard Benjamin faced off against the #2 seed Jim Voelker in the first round which turned out to be a pivotal game.  The Master outlasted Voelker in a difficult endgame to give him his only loss of the tourney.

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CCSCSL Board Member Mike Lueken's granddaughter, Abby Delf, loves her "People"

Abby Chess 23 year old Abby Delf attended the Kids Only Beginner Chess Lessons on March 22, 2009. 

In case you're wondering about the adorable pout on Abby's face, it has a lot to do with her losing all of her "people" during a pawn game with one of the class instructors.

Abby is the youngest granddaughter of CCSCSL board member Mike Lueken.  I caught up with the proud grandpa to get his take on the whole ordeal.

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Check This - April Fools Edition

Check This! Is the official newsletter for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. It is a monthly edition and this is the April 2009 edition.

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The Reigning Kings of American Chess are Coming to St. Louis to Compete in the United States Chess Championship in May

The reigning kings of American chess are coming to Saint Louis to compete in the United States Chess Championship in May. 

Gata Kamsky, rated first on the U.S. Chess Federation’s overall rating list, second-ranked Hikaru Nakamura and third-ranked Alexander Onischuk have accepted invitations to the tournament, which will be held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Also participating will be Yury Shulman, who will be defending his 2008 U.S. Championship title. 

These four players formed the 2008 Bronze Medal Olympic team, along with Varuzhan Akobian, who is also confirmed to play in Saint Louis. 

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Confirmed Players in the 2009 U.S. Championship

The 2009 U.S. Championship is fastly approaching! There are 24 players who will be participating in this year's tournament of all ages, including one player who is just 14! We are pleased to announce the following chess luminaries have accepted their invitation to compete in the 2009 U.S. Championship and will be in Saint Louis this May. Check back often for updates!

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2009 U.S. Women's Championship Set for October in Saint Louis

2009 U.S. Women's Championship Set for October in Saint Louis
 2009 U.S. WOMEN'S CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD OCTOBER 2-12 AT CHESS CLUB AND SCHOLASTIC CENTER OF SAINT LOUIS ST. LOUIS, March 11, 2009 -- The 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship will be held from October 2 through 12 at the sparkling, new Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which opened in July 2008. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis also is the site of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, which will take place from May 7 through 17.

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Dr. Benjamin Chavis of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, visits CCSCSL

Benjamin Chavis"The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis' facility and enterprise has tremendous potential, not just for Saint Louis but for the entire country"
-Dr. Benjamin Chavis

On March 10, 2009, Dr. Ben Chavis stopped by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis! Dr. Ben Chavis has worn many hats, most notably were CEO of the NAACP (National Association of Advancement of Colored People), VP of the National Council of Churches, National Director of the Million Man March, Executive Director of NAALS (National African American Leadership Summit) and a prominent figure of the United Federation of Teachers. Throughout the years, Dr. Chavis has worked one-on-one with celebrities and politicians such as Run DMC, Russell Simmons, Bruce Willis, Sean Combs, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

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