World Chess Hall of Fame Inducts Three Members
March 18, 2015
shabalov200.jpg
GM Shabalov
March 16, 2015 (Saint Louis, MO) - An induction ceremony on March 31, 2015, will recognize four exceptional chess players as they take their places in history as members of the World Chess Hall of Fame and the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) nominated and selected Olga Rubtsova, Lyudmila Rudenko, and Carl Schlechter for the World Chess Hall of Fame. They join 21 other players who have received the honor since the Hall of Fame's creation in 2001.

"Rubtsova and Rudenko were key figures in bringing women's chess into the modern era, creating an environment where women evolved into full-time, professional players. Schlechter is respected not only for his brilliant play, but also for his contributions as a theorist, his writing, and his sportsmanship. We are proud to welcome these three players as members of the World Chess Hall of Fame," said FIDE Vice President Beatriz Marinello.

The U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame Committee considers and sends candidates for the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame to the U.S. Chess Trust each year. The Trust votes on candidates and selected Alexander Shabalov to join the 54 other players currently in the Hall of Fame.

"As a four-time U.S. Champion, Shabalov is in rare territory. His aggressive, creative play is thrilling to watch and has been an important part of igniting American chess since he first came to this country in the early 1990s. He is extremely deserving of this recognition," said Harold Winston, chairman of the U.S. Chess Trust and U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame Committee.

Each player is permanently commemorated at the World Chess Hall of Fame with a plaque bearing their image and a biography of their notable contributions to the game.

"Hosting the induction ceremony is one of the highlights of our year and is a great symbol of what our organization is all about. We look forward to honoring these giants of the chess world," said Shannon Bailey, chief curator of the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis.

About the 2015 World Chess Hall of Fame Honorees


Olga Rubtsova

(1909-1994)
Born in Moscow, Olga Rubtsova learned to play chess at age fifteen and, only three years later, won her first U.S.S.R. Women's Chess Championship, a feat she would repeat in 1931, 1937, and 1949. In 1950, Rubtsova earned the titles of both International Master and Woman International Master. She reigned as Women's World Chess Champion from 1956-1958 and played first board for the Soviet team that won the first Women's Chess Olympiad in 1957.

The only player to become World Champion in both over-the-board and correspondence chess, Rubtsova won the first Ladies Correspondence Chess Championship in 1972, which earned her the title of Correspondence Chess International Master. In 1976, she gained the title of Woman Grandmaster.

Lyudmila Rudenko

(1904-1996)
Born in Lubny, Ukraine, Lyudmila Rudenko started playing chess at age ten, but did not seriously study the game until a move to Moscow in 1925. Her first major competition was the 1927 U.S.S.R. Women's Chess Championship, in which she placed fifth. The following year, she won the Moscow Women's Championship ahead of reigning U.S.S.R. Women's Champion, Olga Rubtsova. In 1950, Rudenko won the first Women's Chess Championship held following World War II, becoming only the second Women's World Chess Champion after Vera Menchik. Two years later, Rudenko won the U.S.S.R. Women's Championship. In 1950, she earned the title of International Master and in 1976 became a Woman Grandmaster.

Carl Schlechter

(1874-1918)
One of the top players in the world from 1900 until his death, Carl Schlechter is best remembered for his drawn World Chess Championship match against Emanuel Lasker in 1910. Born in Vienna, he learned the game at sixteen and within five years competed in the Hastings 1895 tournament, where he finished in the middle. In the following years, he enjoyed many major successes, including shared first place in the Munich 1900 tournament and undisputed first place in the Ostend 1906 and Hamburg 1910 tournaments. Schlechter was a top chess problemist and edited the last edition of Paul Rudolf von Bilguer's Handbuch des Schachspiels. The opening variations 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 and 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 (shared with Akiba Rubinstein) bear his name.

About the 2015 U.S. Chess Hall of Fame Honoree

Alexander Shabalov

(1967-) 

Noted for his sharp and uncompromising style, Alexander Shabalov learned to play chess in his native Latvia. He immigrated to the United States in 1992, and since his arrival, he has won the U.S. Chess Championship four times (1993, 2000, 2003, and 2007). He also represented his new homeland in four Chess Olympiads, including in 1998 when the team finished second. Shabalov has won many major open tournaments in the United States. These victories include first place finishes in the 1993 and 2003 U.S. Opens and ties for first in the 1999, 2007, and 2009 U.S. Opens, among victories in many other competitions. The opening sequence 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4 is named after him.

About the World Chess Hall of Fame www.worldchesshof.org


The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) is a nonprofit organization committed to building awareness for the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened on September 9, 2011, in Saint Louis's Central West End after moving from previous locations in New York and Miami.

The WCHOF is housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot building that includes three floors of galleries, the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame and the stylish Q Boutique. It sits immediately across Maryland Avenue from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, forming a "chess campus" that has been recognized as the chess capital of the United States as well as one of the game's top international centers. It is the only cultural institution of its kind in the world and the only solely chess-focused collecting institution in the U.S.