Visit of an Absolute Super Tournament in St. Louis -  
the Second Sinquefield Cup,
August 27 to September 7

This year’s Sinquefield Cup had been announced as the "strongest tournament of all time". Michael Negele and Robert van de Velde were on the spot and also met there 5 other KWF&A members – the "Magnificent Seven" were completed by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam (the third member from Europe) and the 4 US members John Donaldson, Larry List, Tony Rich and Michael Utt.

- A short addendum (29-10-2014) - see page 6!

The following report is based on Michael Negele’s text in the article "Spirit of Saint Louis" by Dr. Michael Negele [text], Raj Tischbierek, Dirk Poldauf [games], published in the German magazine Schach 10/14, p. 5-25.



 

Gateway Arch – famous monument of St. Louis
symbolizing the westward expansion of the United States

 

We had covered the 300 miles from Chicago O’Hare southwestwards by a rental car – the Dodge, the condition of the Interstate 55 and particularly a veritable thunder cell (fearing a tornado) had worried us a little, so we were happy to reach – after passing the Mississippi – the luxury Chase Park Plaza Hotel where the six tournament participants had also found accommodation.

 

The World Chess Hall of Fame – a kind of "collectors’ institution".
Rex Sinquefield’s dedication made the move of the WCHOF to St. Louis possible.
You can find here memorabilia of Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer.

 

 

 Yours truly at the largest chess king on earth.

 

 

Two Dutch members: Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Bob van de Velde

 

 

The Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
- venue of the super tournament

 

After a fitful sleep (due to a considerable jet lag) we found in the morning that the venue, the Chess Club & Scholastic Center (CC&SC) in the Central West End of St. Louis, was indeed within walking distance. At 9 o’clock we were received by Brian Jerauld, communications specialist at the CC&SC, and Emily Allred, assistant curator of the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF). The handing-over of our press cards gave us free admission to nearly all premises – we had arrived in the "land of the unlimited opportunities"!

 

Brian Jerauld and Bob van de Velde. Brian is the "press officer"
who showed us the club and ministered the meeting with Rex Sinquefield.

 

 

Emily Allred and John Donaldson, Emily gave us a tour of the collection.
John Donaldson, our deputy chairman, is the director of the oldest US chess club
in San Francisco and also captain of the US national team. Moreover he has considerably
contributed to the current Bobby Fischer exhibition in the WCHOF.



Especially impressive was The War Room, the IT command center in the basement where the webcast including the internet comments of the trio Jennifer Shahade – Yasser Seirawan – Maurice Ashley, the video transmissions from the analysis rooms and the outside interviews were perfectly operated.

 


A view of the War Room

 

There was only little time left to have a detailed look on the first two rounds of the tournament, with Caruana’s two wins and Carlsen’s restrained start. Everyone expected that the world champion would do his utmost in his today’s game against Caruana to rectify the situation. But before the start of that game I met a special challenge: I had the privilege to interview "King Rex" – Rex A. Sinquefield, billionaire, sponsor and eponym of the tournament. You will find the SCHACH questions and answers in the a.m. magazine on p. 64ff. Shortly before noon the audience was finished and also time had become quite short to visit the current exhibitions in the WCHOF.

 

 


Meeting Rex Sinquefield at the chess board

 

 

Additional information