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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

World's Biggest Chess Piece Now in St Louis

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

On May 7th the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis unveiled the newest Guinness World Record – a chess piece that stands 14 feet, 6 inches tall (4.42 meters) and is 6 feet (1.83 meters) wide at the base. The king piece is based on the “Championship Staunton” design and is made of layers of ¾-inch (almost 2 cm) exterior grade plywood. It is 45 times larger than a standard chess piece. This new record beat the previous record, set in 2003, by 1 foot, 5 inches (0,43 meter).

The Club, in partnership with the World Chess Hall of Fame also located in Saint Louis, set the new record to help further cement the city’s reputation for being the hub of chess in the United States. The piece was unveiled at the inauguration of the 2012 U.S. and Women’s Chess Championships.

-- The piece was built by R.G. Ross Construction, located in Saint Louis, and has been officially approved by Guinness as a world record.
-- The piece took 18 days to construct and weighs more than 2,200 pounds.
-- The piece is taller than a professional basketball hoop, an average-sized female giraffe and the Statue of Liberty’s fingernail.
-- If the piece were to be used during a chess game, the square the piece sits on would be 9 feet by 9 feet (2.74 x 2.74 m), and the board would be 72 feet by 72 feet (21.95 x 21.95 m). This board would be big enough to hold 392 bathtubs or nine school buses.

Here is also the lineup of the U.S. Chess Championships 2012. You can view the Live games here.

The 2012 U.S. Championship will feature a field of 12 grandmasters and a guaranteed prize fund of more than $160,000. It marks the strongest field in the history of the event. After sitting out of the 2011 U.S. Championship, GM Hikaru Nakamura accepted an invitation to participate this year. Nakamura, 24, is seeking his third U.S. Championship title. GM Yasser Seirawan, who came out of retirement to play in last year’s U.S. Championship, has accepted the final invitation for the U.S. Championship.

- GM Hikaru Nakamura (2775)
- GM Gata Kamsky (2741)
- GM Alexander Onischuk (2660)
- GM Yasser Seirawan (2643)
- GM Robert Hess (2635)
- GM Varuzhan Akobian (2625)
- GM Ray Robson (2614)
- GM Alexander Stripunsky (2562)
- GM Gregory Kaidanov (2594)
- GM Alejandro Ramirez (2593)
- GM Aleksandr Lenderman (2587)
- GM Yuri Shulman (2571)

As always there is a special “$64K Fischer Bonus,” to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 11-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer’s 11-0 result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.
The 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship will feature a guaranteed prize fund of $64,000 and 10 players, including:

- IM Anna Zatonskih (2510)
- IM Irina Krush (2457)
- WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2358)
- WGM Sabina Foisor (2364)
- WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (2329)
- IM Rusudan Goletiani (2333)
- FM Alisa Melekhina (2242)
- WIM Viktorija Ni (2228)
- WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2224)
- NM Alena Kats (2137)

The U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women’s Championship will both be classic round-robin tournaments, in which each participant will play every other participant exactly once. 

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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