Meier’s Chess Club Victory Adds To Growing Local Reputation
By MIKE WILMERING
Webster University’s Georg Meier etched his name in the St. Louis record books over the weekend by winning the 6th annual Club Championship, held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis (CCSCSL).
Meier, 26, is a world-class grandmaster who ranks No. 2 in Germany and No. 141 in the world.
His fourth-round victory over Webster U teammate, GM Denes Boros of Hungary, proved pivotal. Meier was able to draw Lindenwood University’s Priyadharshan Kannappan, an international master from India, in the final round to secure the title and the first-place prize of $1,000.
This wasn’t a particularly impressive win: Meier entered the event as the clear favorite. He held a more than 100-point rating edge over Mexican GM Manuel Leon Hoyos, another Webster U teammate and the next highest-rated player in the field.
What is impressive, however, is seeing the name of a world-class grandmaster like Meier’s engraved on the club championship trophy of what, just five-and-a-half years ago, was simply a local chess club starting up in the middle of the country.
When the CCSCSL opened its doors in July 2008, delusions of grandeur surely swirled through the minds of the club’s employees. But none would have been able to come close to accurately predicting just how big the St. Louis chess scene would get. And how quickly it would get there.
Sure, the Chess Club offered a world-class playing facility the likes of which no chess player, certainly no local, had ever seen. Sure, the club started hosting the top chess events in the country featuring the best players in the U.S.
But that doesn’t necessarily translate to world-class players regularly competing in local events for pride and, compared to the top tourneys in the world, relatively meager prize funds.
Full article here.
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