ST. LOUIS, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) crowned Grandmaster Gata Kamsky, 38, the 2013 U.S. Chess Champion and Irina Krush, 29, the 2013 Women's Chess Champion. Both champions hail from New York City.
The prestigious tournaments are part of the "Triple Crown" of chess championships held in the United States this year. The third event is the Junior Championship, a tournament for players under the age of 21, which takes place at the CCSCSL June 13-23.
"It makes me very happy of course," Kamsky said. "But I'm also excited to see this younger generation playing so well. The future of U.S. chess looks bright."
Kamsky is currently ranked No. 17 in the world and No. 2 in the U.S. by rating. He beat out 23 of the top-ranked chess players in the United States to win the title and grand prize of $30,000. This marks his fourth U.S. Championship title. Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez, 24, the second-place winner, receives $20,000. The U.S. tournament's total winnings for first through last place totaled more than $180,000.
Krush beat out nine of the top-ranked female chess players in the United States to win the Women's Championship and grand prize of $18,000. This marks her fifth Women's Championship title. The second-place finisher, International Master Anna Zatonskih, 34, took home a $12,000 prize. The women's tournament's total winnings for first through last place totaled more than $65,000.
"Sometimes you just wonder why it all comes together," Krush said. "This is what I came to do, and I go the job done. I think I'm getting happier by the minute."
The CCSCSL has been home to the Championships for the last five years, helping contribute to St. Louis' reputation as the "Hub of U.S. Chess." The city is also home to the Guinness World Record for the largest chess piece in the world and the World Chess Hall of Fame. In April, members of the CCSCSL visited The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and resolutions were introduced to establish Saint Louis as the official capital of chess in the United States.
"These players are the superstars of the U.S. chess scene," said CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich. "We hope their play will inspire young chess players all across the country to achieve great things."
About The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. Please visit www.USChessChamps.com.
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SOURCE The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis