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St Louis, MO… Chess Capital of the World

Saint Louis, Missouri has hosted some of the strongest chess tournaments in United States history over the past few years. When GM Susan Polgar moved her SPICE program to Webster University, a¬†plethora of chess talent migrated from Lubbock’s Texas Tech University to her new home at Webster. Now, St Louis continues to gain attention and prestige as it is increasingly looked at as the new chess capital of America.

Chess is a global game, enjoyed by millions around the world. For much of the 20th Century the nucleus of chess was the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. But now a new chess capital of the world is emerging – the American Midwest city of St Louis.

It’s a beautiful spring evening and Chuck is sitting opposite me, outside the St Louis chess club. He’s an African-American in late middle age who, during the day, runs a business selling meat. But this is where he comes after work. Between us is a beautiful inlaid chess board, on which stand elegant wood-carved pieces.

Is St Louis on track to becoming the chess capital of the world? Perhaps, because this is America and anything is possible.

Read more: BBC.com