The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis openend in 2007 and is a 6,000-square-foot, $1 million-plus facility, regarded as one of the most opulent chess venues in the U.S. Located in the Central West End of the city, the three-floor CCSCSL contains an upstairs tournament hall that has hosted some of the world’s most notable events and players, as well as a downstairs classroom that features regular educational programming taught by grandmasters. The Club has over 1000 active members, with nearly half of its membership base full-time students of all ages.
The tournament capabilities of the CCSCSL have been used for many prestigious tournaments amongst the chess elite, including the U.S. Championships and U.S. Women’s Championships for six consecutive years (2009-2015). The U.S. Junior Closed Championship has been held there for four years (2010-2013).
The CCSCSL is the only chess club in the United States to feature a Grandmaster-in-Residence, who provides weekly lectures, lessons and camps for the community. The titled players who have held the position are (in order of first residency): Ben Finegold, Yasser Seirawan, Alejandro Ramirez, Varuzhan Akobian, Jennifer Shahade, Ronen Har-Zvi, Irina Krush, Josh Friedel, Anna Sharevich, Robert Hungaski, Bryan Smith, Maurice Ashley, Aviv Friedman, Tatev Abrahamyan, Mac Molner, and Eric Hansen.
The success of the 2009-2010 U.S. Championships led the United States Chess Federation to name the CCSCSL as the 2010 Chess Club of the Year. The USCF also recognized CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich as Organizer of the Year for both years.