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Checkmate! U.S. Chess Championships In St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - There`s a give and take involved with chess, strategy requires thought, tactics require observation. What better place to see all this in action than the Central West End.

'The players spend months preparing for this,' says St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center Executive Director Tony Rich.  'They tried to get in the best physical shape they can so they have as much shape at the board as possible.  And then while they're here they might play for six to eight hours a day and they might prepare for another 6 or 8 hours everyday.'

These are the faces of intense competitors in St. Louis for the U.S. Chess Championships.

'Saint Louis is truly becoming the center of chess not just in America the true in the world,' says Rich.

Where else to converge art, science and sport than the Gateway to the West?

'The US chess championship has been around for some time dating back to 1845,' says Patrick Clark.  'So, a sport such as this needs a set of rock and roll analysts to relay the intricacies of the game.'

'Yes we're the real `Beniffer,`' says two time women`s grandmaster and analyst Jennifer Shahade.  'We stick together.'

Jennifer Shadade and Ben Finegold are both grandmasters and great at explaining a good move when they see one.

'I would never make fun of the players one, two, or three days after they blunder a bishop on move 11,' jokes Ben Finegold.  'That would never happen.'

'Sometimes you're looking for a quick mate sometimes you're looking for a long term plan that will slightly improve your position you never know which one you're looking for until you think hard,' says Shadade.

Heck Bobby Fisher himself even said he gave 98 percent of his memtal energy to chess.

'They say that a chess player consumes more calories during one chess game in an event like the U.S. Chess Championship then a soccer player does an entire game,' says Rich.

'Cause the brain uses so much?' asks Clark.

'That's right, because the brain uses so much energy,' says Rich.

And that`s something to keep in mind as you`re watching these folks use theirs.

Patrick Clark, News 11.

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