Chess town St Louis

by ChessBase
5/19/2016 – The US Congress has declared St Louis the chess capital of the nation. For the BBC, British journalist Dave Edmonds, chess enthusiast and co-author of the book "Bobby Fischer Goes to War", visited the town, blitzed and trash-talked outside the St Louis chess club, talked to sponsor Rex Sinquefield and checked out the chess scene to find out why chess in St Louis is so special.

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Creating the world's new chess capital

By David Edmonds, BBC News, St Louis
12 May 2016

Dave Edmonds, co-author of  the book "Bobby Fischer Goes to War"

Chess is a global game, enjoyed by millions around the world. For much of the 20th Century the nucleus of chess was the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. But now a new chess capital of the world is emerging - the American Midwest city of St Louis.

It's a beautiful spring evening and Chuck is sitting opposite me, outside the St Louis chess club. He's an African-American in late middle age who, during the day, runs a business selling meat. But this is where he comes after work. Between us is a beautiful inlaid chess board, on which stand elegant wood-carved pieces.

I'm forcing Chuck's king back: "Check, check, check." Then his king finds a safe haven. "Damn," I say, "I've run out of checks."

"No worries," he says, without pausing for breath and grabbing a pawn: "I'll take a credit card."

Chess is a tricky game to start with, and it's not made any easier by having to think and talk at the same time. But in speed games - blitz games, as they're called - trash-talk is all part of the competition. The aim is to outwit your opponent verbally as well as on the board. And Chuck is the King of Trash.

It's a skill shared by Maurice Ashley, the world's first black grandmaster, who grew up with chess and trash-talking in the parks of New York."The best trash-talkers blend themes on the board with themes from life, with politics, with music - they quote Shakespeare," he says. The real art, he says, is to put down your opponent - but in jest, not malice. ...

Read the full article at BBC news...

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