2009 U.S. Women's Championship Set for October in Saint Louis
March 11, 2009
For more information contact:
Mark Bretz, Slay & Associates
314-838-9371 or mbretz@slayandassociates.com        

2009 U.S. WOMEN'S CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD OCTOBER 2-12 AT CHESS CLUB AND SCHOLASTIC CENTER OF SAINT LOUIS

ST. LOUIS, March 11, 2009  --  The 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship will be held from October 2 through 12 at the sparkling, new Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which opened in July 2008.  The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis also is the site of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, which will take place from May 7 through 17.

The U.S. Women's Chess Championship dates back to 1937.  The tournament is a 9-round event using the Round Robin pairing system, in which every player plays every other player and the highest score wins.  Time controls will be the classical 40 moves in two hours, with the remaining moves in one hour.   There will also be a 5-second increment per move.

Invitations will be sent to the top nine U.S. women players by ranking based on the August 2009 United States Chess Federation rating list.  An invitation will also be sent to the defending champion, Olympic gold medalist Anna Zatonskih.  The championship will have a purse of $64,000, with $15,000 awarded to the winner, the highest first prize in its history.  In case of even scores, prize funds will be evenly divided between winners.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to host this major event in the world of competitive chess," said Rex Sinquefield, a retired investment fund manager who founded the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.  "We are honored and most fortunate to serve as the official site in 2009 of two of the premier chess championships."

Steve Goldberg of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) Online calls the new St. Louis club "certainly one of the most impressive chess centers" in the country.  While serving as host club for the U.S. Women's Chess Championship and the U.S. Chess Championship, Sinquefield notes that "it is the goal of the Chess Club to encourage all of St. Louis' young people to learn chess.  We believe that bringing the best chess players in the country to our city will help achieve that goal."

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization that opened in July 2008.  Founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield, it already has more than 500 members, surpassing its original goal of 300 for its first year of operation.  The club offers free classes for beginners, discounted tournament entry fees and discounted merchandise for club members.  For more information, please visit www.saintlouischessclub.org or call 314-361-CHESS.

The United States Chess Federation is the official, not-for-profit U.S. membership organization for chess players and chess supporters of all ages and strengths, from beginners to grand masters.  Founded in 1939 with the merger of the American Chess Federation and the National Chess Federation, USCF has grown to more than 80,000 members and nearly 1,200 affiliated chess clubs and organizations.  USCF sanctions 25 national championship award titles to both amateurs and professionals, ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens.  For more information, visit www.uschess.org.