Chess 9LX: Kasparov returns to Saint Louis

by ChessBase
9/4/2021 – The top international chess superstars are set to battle it out over the board from September 7-10 in Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX. The tournament will feature legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov, World Number 2 Fabiano Caruana, and the recent 2021 Grand Chess Tour winner, Wesley So. | Photo: Crystal Fuller

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Randomized starting positions

Press release by the Saint Louis Chess Club

The top international chess superstars are set to battle it out over the board from September 7-10 in Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX™. The tournament will feature world’s top grandmasters, including legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov, World Number 2 Fabiano Caruana, and the recent 2021 Grand Chess Tour winner, Wesley So. The ten grandmasters will be competing at the Saint Louis Chess Club from September 8 - September 10 in round-robin format. The tournament will be played in Chess 9LX style, also known as Fischer Random, with a $150,000 total prize fund. 

Chess 9LX is another term for Chess 960 or Fischer Random. Chess 9LX is a variant of chess created by Bobby Fischer in the late 1990s in which the pieces on the home rank are randomized, with 960 representing the number of possible starting positions. Players will not know the order of the home rank pieces until they arrive before the start of each round, and will have to rely on their creativity in a series of rapid and blitz games.

Kicking off the tournament will be the Ultimate Moves exhibition event on September 7 at 1:00pm CT. Ultimate Moves is a casual team-based event with Saint Louis Chess Club co-founder Rex Sinquefield playing on one team and Saint Louis Chess Club board member Mike Lueken playing on the competing team. 

“We are thrilled to bring this fan favorite tournament to our global audience this September. Fans are sure to enjoy the fast-paced action and surprises that keeps the world’s best players on their toes for this unique event,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Vishy Anand, Garry Kasparov, Saint Louis Chess Club

Vishy Anand playing Garry Kasparov at the memorable 2019 Ultimate Moves exhibition event | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX Field

Player URS Rating
GM Hikaru Nakamura 2807
GM Wesley So 2789
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2784
GM Fabiano Caruana 2784
GM Levon Aronian 2773
GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2754
GM Leinier Dominguez 2739
GM Peter Svidler 2728
GM Sam Shankland 2705
GM Garry Kasparov 2545

Games will start daily at 2:00pm CDT (GMT-5) from September 8-10 for Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX. The tournament will include expert commentary featuring GMs Maurice Ashley and Alejandro Ramirez. Due to COVID-19 precautions there will be no live spectators allowed, but fans can watch the action online at uschesschamps.com or on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels. 


About Chess 9LX

Chess 9LX is a trademark of the St. Louis Chess Club, and the name of one of its annual tournaments. All competitions in the Chess 9LX tournament are played in the Chess 960 or Fischer Random style. Players will not know the order of the home rank pieces until they arrive before the start of the round, and will have to rely on their creativity in rapid and blitz games.

About The Saint Louis Chess Club

The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit saintlouischessclub.org.


Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov's play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Müller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov's play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.


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Revealingknighty Revealingknighty 9/7/2021 03:20
I think the time limit is ok. You can get through more games in the allotted time for the tournament, which has to be good for promoting this variant. Also I think you'd find players sitting on the opening move for half an hour or more at classical time controls which would be intolerable to watch.
genem genem 9/7/2021 07:15
For the sake of superior searchability in Google or Bing, the single eight-letter name 'chess9LX' is more helpful than the two-word phrase 'chess 9LX'. When ChessTigers.de really initiated 'chess960' tournaments way back in the decade of the 2000's, they properly pioneered and used the single-word approach. 'chess9LX' seems to be the winning name, over 'chess960' or 'Fischer Random Chess' or 'FRC'.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 9/6/2021 07:19
I find it odd that the time control is so short considering that 960 is more complex and there is no benefit of memorisation for the players to save time on the opening. compared to regular chess. This should be a classical tournament. At least there will be a lot of decisive games and time-pressure blunders.
saturn23 saturn23 9/3/2021 11:11
They should have invited Karpov instead. He recently beat Karjakin in blitz. Kasparov has no chance, without his opening preparation and the team of GMs working for him. He will get destroyed again. I'm looking forward to it!
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