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U.S. House, Senate Recognize Saint Louis as Nation's Chess Capital Print E-mail
By Mike Wilmering   
April 18, 2013
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(L-R) Irina Krush, Sarah Chiang, Jennifer Shahade, Yasser Seirawan, Sam Sevian and Kayden Troff attend a special event held at United States Capitol Building on April 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis)

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2013 – Representatives William “Lacy” Clay (D-MO) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced resolutions in the U.S. House and Senate today recognizing Saint Louis as the Nation’s Chess Capital. The resolutions also recognized the success of chess after-school programs and the benefit for students, including fostering problem-solving skills, and improving math and reading test scores.

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(L-R) Jonathon Cosby, Dannielle Henderson, Rep. William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO), Donnie Henderson and Cynthia Gill attend a special event held at United States Capitol Building on April 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis) 
“Saint Louis is definitely America’s Chess Capitol. I’m very proud to have both Webster University’s national champion chess team and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in my congressional district,” said Representative William “Lacy” Clay (D-MO). “I thank my Missouri congressional colleagues for joining me in introducing this bipartisan resolution.”

“Chess provides our young people with the kind of reasoning skills they need in an ever-complicated world, and I am proud to have the opportunity in Congress to support Saint Louis’ designation as our nation’s chess capital,” said Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO). “This resolution is also an opportunity to recognize the region’s ongoing commitment to the development of our young people’s minds and spirits.”

“Excellence in this game requires the combination of creativity and intellect—skills our Saint Louis students are most certainly known for,” said Senator Claire McCaskill. “Making Saint Louis the nation’s chess capital would rightly highlight our state’s commitment to strong education, and our nation’s brightest young minds.”

“Chess is a way to promote problem solving, critical thinking, and self-esteem, which are important to the development and education of our nation’s young minds,” Representative Blunt said. “I’m proud to recognize Saint Louis as the ‘National Chess Capital’ and to applaud the success of our local chess scholars. I’ll continue to support chess programs in our schools and community centers in Missouri and nationwide.”

The introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral resolutions were announced during a morning reception on Capitol Hill where GM Yasser Seirawan, IM Irina Krush, WGM Jennifer Shahade, IM Kayden Troff, IM-elect Sam Sevian and WFM Sarah Chiang gave chess lessons to Members of Congress and their staff.

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Women's FIDE Master Sarah Chiang (L) shares chess tips with Rep. Anne Wagner during a special event held at United States Capitol Building on April 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis)

“We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Clay and Luetkemeyer and Senators McCaskill and Blunt recognizing Saint Louis as the nation’s chess capital,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. “Their commitment to expanding the successful chess after-school programs is a tremendous example of how our nation can come together on a bipartisan basis to help our students.”
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Woman Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade (R) shares chess tips with Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) during a special event held at United States Capitol Building on April 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis)

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International Master Kayden Troff (R) and Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) attend a special event held at United States Capitol Building on April 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis)

Also in attendance were students who have benefited from chess after-school programs led by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. These students played chess with Members of Congress and shared their personal stories of the educational benefits of chess.

Saint Louis, Mo., will host the 2013 U.S. and Women’s Chess Championships May 2-13, 2013 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the fifth consecutive year the nation’s top players have come to Missouri to compete in the national championship.
 
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