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SAINT LOUIS, Oct. 31, 2009 – The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis agreed to sponsor the U.S. team in the 2010 World Team Chess Championship being held Jan. 4-13 in Bursa, Turkey.

“One of the primary purposes of the Chess Club is to promote top-level chess," said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. " What better way to do that than by sponsoring the U.S. team in this international event.”

Rex Sinquefield, founder and president of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center, pledged an undisclosed sum of money to secure the sponsorship and allow the team to travel to Turkey.
“His donation means everything,” said John Donaldson, U.S. team captain and chess director at the Mechanics' Chess Institute in San Francisco.  “The players are very grateful for his support.”

The team will consist of Grandmasters: Hikaru Nakamura, winner of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, Alexender Onischuk, Yury Schulman, Varuzhan Akobian and Robert Hess.  Their average age is only 27, making this the youngest team sent by the U.S. in more than 30 years.

The U.S. is one of only 10 countries invited to the 2010 World Team Championship and will be playing round-robin against teams from Armenia, Israel, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, China and three other countries still to be determined.

“It’s important for the U.S. to be represented,” Donaldson said. “American players need to be part of the world chess community.  They need an opportunity to test themselves against the best. It would have been a sad day for American chess if we had not accepted the invitation for financial reasons after the team’s brilliant play at the Dresden Olympiad [which qualified the U.S. for this Championship].”

Sinquefield has been an avid supporter of U.S. chess. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis hosted the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship in May and the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship earlier this month.  CCSCSL will also be hosting the  2010 U.S. Championship, from April 23 - May 6, 2010, which will feature an even larger prize fund than last year.  Sinquefield is president and chairman of the board of CCSCSL.