St. Louis is ground zero for Chess Championship

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Hikaru Nakamura is the top chess player in the United States, among the ten best in the world, and he’s playing in one of the year’s biggest tournaments in his and our backyard.  He’s moved to St. Louis to pursue his dream of a chess world championship.

“In America it is a chess capital without a doubt.”

Nakamura is a chess prodigy.  He began excelling at the game as a child, becoming a grandmaster at just 15.  He was the youngest American to reach that goal, surpassing possibly the most famous chess player ever:  Bobby Fischer.

His name has been linked to Fischer’s ever since, a comparison he understands, and also hopes to eventually break away from.

“I kind of feel like Fischer had something really great going when he became world champion.  Unfortunately, I won’t speculate on the reasons, he left chess at its peak in America,” Nakamura said.

Fischer then, in the eyes of many, went mad.  He left chess, left the United States, and lived out his days as a recluse.

“Once he quit, it killed the momentum that had started, so for me, I really hope that if I do become world champion, I can raise that profile.”

He’ll get a chance to make a move in that direction this week in what’s called the Sinquefield Cup.

“The 2013 Sinquefield Cup is really a combination of the Super Bowl and the World Series all rolled into one big event,” Tony Rich of the St. Louis Chess Club said.  “This is the strongest chess tournament that has ever been held on American soil.”

The top two players in the world are here, including Magnus Carlsen.  He’s the world’s number one and another prodigy as well.  He’s just 22.

“He has better nerves,” Nakamura says of Carlsen compared to other players.  “He’s better at handling his nerves when he’s under pressure than a lot of players, and that makes a very slight difference at being the very best and not being the best.”

The winner will take home $70 thousand, and, hopefully according to Nakamura, take another step toward changing the reputation of chess players.  When people meet him now:

“It’s a bit of a shock, more so because I’m normal.  It doesn’t quite fit the perceptions.  Chess players seem to be viewed for better or for worse somewhat nerdy.  Very studious,” he says.  “So many of the players, they definitely are not nerds.”

For more information, click on the Sinquefield Cup events.

Follow George Sells on Twitter:
George Sells On Twitter
Email: george.sells@tvstl.com

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News