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Unless you reside within an elite circle of chess aficionados, you may be unaware that St. Louis has become a prestigious hub for masters of the intimidating game -- nay, sport. Not only do some of the biggest names (you might call them kings and queens) in modern chess reside in St. Louis, but the World Chess Hall of Fame recently moved here, as well. The flourishing community all revolves around the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis (4657 Maryland Avenue; 314-361-2437 or, a venue that houses chess lessons and events and fosters the love of the game. This May the center hosts the 2012 U.S. Championships, kicking off with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 7. Two weeks of play follow as grandmasters and international masters in the men and women's tournaments compete for purses of $160,000 and $64,000, respectively. Daily tickets are $10 for non-members. With stakes this high and action this intense, you'll think Ingmar Bergman's directing the action.
May 7-21, 2012

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