On Chess: St. Louis History Is Chess-Rich

The chess boom in St. Louis may appear as though it has materialized out of thin air, but the Gateway City has a vibrant chess history.

Chess adds to a rich and developing cultural renaissance in St. Louis. And as we celebrate our city’s 250th birthday, I think it’s appropriate to take a look at some of the important names, events and places that have helped shaped our ever-growing chess culture.

This column explores the early days of chess in St. Louis and some notable champions and championships that placed St. Louis at the center of the chess universe.

Although St. Louis was founded in 1764 and the game was most likely already widespread at the time, chess history in St. Louis seems to really begin about 100 years later with one man: Max Judd. Judd was born in 1852, and came to the United States when he was still a boy. He settled in St. Louis in 1873 and would make a name for himself as one of the top players in the country.

Shortly after he settled here, Judd founded the St. Louis Chess, Checker and Whist Club, at 904 Olive Street. It subsequently moved to 103 North Broadway. Judd went on to regularly compete in some of the country’s top tournaments including U.S. Championship events (some officially recognized, some of dubious claim) and many of the super-strong American Chess Congress events.

ChessCafe.com presents a fantastic comprehensive overview of Judd’s career including some of his famous games.

Judd was integral in establishing a vibrant chess scene in St. Louis; and, in 1886, our city became center stage for the biggest chess tournament in the history of the world.

Full article here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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