The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis has snagged the opportunity to host a national chess tournament within its first year of existence. The center will host the U.S. Championship, a tournament that goes back to 1845, in May 2009. The event will take place over ten days.
“I am certain that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis and the United States Chess Federation will make this an event unlike any other,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.
The three-level building at 4657 Maryland Avenue opened in July of this year. It features hand-crafted chess tables and the tournament room upstairs is complemented by a classroom space downstairs where experts can give commentary on the most crucial games as they progress.
The top prize at the tournament is worth $30,000 with $70,000 to be awarded in other prizes.
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, has been selected by the United States Chess Federation to host the 2009 U.S. Championship and the 2009 U.S. Women Championship.
The first World Chess Championship was held in 1886 in St. Louis! The match was contested by Wilhelm Steinitz of Austria and Johannes Zukertort of Poland. The first five games were played in New York, the next four were played in St. Louis and the final eleven in New Orleans. Wilhelm Steinitz won the match 10-5.