The headquarters of the American Chess Federation moves to St. Louis.

As another sign of St. Louis’s strong chess culture, the US Chess Federation headquarters will move to the region this year.

It has been in Crossville, Tennessee since 2003. The federation says the business needs have outgrown that community of 12,000 people.

The federation considered moving to other cities, including Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas for headquarters. But St. Louis climbed to the top.

“It has a thriving chess community. And that’s kind of a feature that helped it rise above some of the other places we looked at,” said US Vice President Randy Bauer, who also noted the central location of mentioned the city, the airport and the business community. .

Financier Rex Sinquefield is a strong financier of chess in the region. He was instrumental in bringing the World Chess Hall of Fame to the Central West End in 2011 and in launching the nearby St. Louis Chess Club.

Wayne Pratt

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St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Chess Club opened in 2008 and is the site of national championships.

But this time, his financial clout was not a key factor in the federation’s decision, Bauer said.

“This decision was made without any financial incentive from any location, including St. Louis. It was made strictly based on what made the most sense for our organization,” he said.

The announcement is a new impetus for what is already considered the chess capital of the United States.

“We’ve done a lot of chess in St. Louis,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the St. Louis Chess Club.

The club started in 2008 with a simple vision to provide a community center where people can play chess and children can learn the game.

“Since then, we’ve grown to host every national championship in the past 10 years. We host international tournaments and events,” Rich said.

The club has taught 60,000 kids about the game, Rich said. He sees the addition of US Chess to St. Louis as an opportunity to expand those efforts beyond the region.

“We teach in about 100 schools in the area. So I think our two missions are so closely aligned that it makes perfect sense for US Chess and the US Chess Club to work together.”

Rich would like the headquarters to become part of the chess center in Central West End.

Bauer is no stranger to those operations. He has been a non-resident member of the St. Louis Chess Club for about ten years.

“I really enjoy the club,” he said.

The federation is looking at some places in the area, but has not yet made a final decision on an exact location for the headquarters.

US Chess employs about 20 people. Some will work from home instead of moving to St. Louis. Bauer also expects to hire local people because of the city’s unique chess climate.

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