St. Louis chessman shows he’s the grandmaster
BY MICHELE MUNZ
www.STLtoday.com
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011 12:05 am

Grandmaster Ben Finegold moved among the nearly dozen chess games he was playing simultaneously at a chess carnival Sunday at the Missouri History Museum. Without pause, he would make his move and step to the next board as if it required no thought at all.

Players were left shaking their heads and saying, “Oh, I didn’t see that” or sighing in exasperation. “That’s what they all say,” said Finegold, who works as a grandmaster-in-residence for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can obtain, awarded the strongest players in the world. The St. Louis chess club is the only one in the nation to hire a full-time grandmaster to provide weekly lectures, lessons and camps for the community, said Alex Vergilesov, who coordinates the club’s after-school program, evidence of the club’s growing reputation as the best in the country.

“It’s a great benefit we have in St. Louis,” Vergilesov said.

The chess club hired Finegold, 41, more than a year ago. He came to St. Louis from Detroit. Finegold said it was a rare chance to do more than just compete in tournaments for prize money.

“I like teaching and playing and not doing the same thing over and over,” he said. Ranked 17th in the U.S., Finegold plays top players as well as people who have never played chess before.

Full article here.

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