The best chess player in the world, Magnus Carlsen, is playing chess in St. Louis

Carlsen is joining St. Louisan Fabiano Caruana and others for two local tourneys.

Debbie Monterrey
August 09, 2019 - 9:24 am

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Magnus Carlsen, the reigning World Chess Champion (R) and Fabiano Caruana, US Challenger during the First Move Ceremony (Round 1) of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018 on November 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Chess )


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The chess capital of the United States is welcoming in the top players in the world to town.

St. Louis Chess Club Executive Director Tony Rich says the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz kicks off this Saturday, followed by the Sinquefield Cup next Saturday, August 17.

What's the difference between the two?

"The St. Louis Rapid & Blitz is just what it sounds like: fast chess...five days long. We have 10 players from around the world that will be playing for the $150,000 prize fund. The Sinquefield Cup, on the other hand, is what's called a classical chess tournament. The time controls are longer, the players can give it some thought, and play one game a day. The Sinquefield Cup has 12 of the best players of the world."

World champion Magnus Carlson of Norway is playing in both tournaments, along with St. Louis's own Fabiano Caruana, who almost knocked Carlson off the world's top spot at the World Chess Championship in London last year.

Related: Norway's Carlsen beats Caruana to defend chess world title

The public is invited to attend or watch the action live online at the Grand Chess Tour's website.

"You can literally stand within a couple feet of these players while they're battling it out," Rich told KMOX's Debbie Monterrey. "We have grand masters over at Kingside Diner will be providing live play-by-play for their live audience."

Rich says by his estimates, St. Louis (considered the chess capital of the U.S.) now has about 30 grand masters living here. That would be the largest concentration anywhere in the world.