World Chess Champion Competes in St. Louis at Strongest Chess Tournament Ever

This year’s Sinquefield Cup chess championship is underway here in St. Louis and it’s billed as the strongest chess tournament in the history of the sport. The tournament features six of the top nine players in the world and takes place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. The compete for a first place prize of $100,000. Before the end of the tournament, each player will play every other player twice. Current world chess champion Magnus Carlsen is a favored competitor.

“He’s absolutely recognized by everybody, they follow him, it’s like Tiger Woods used to be when he broke into the world of golf,” said Susan Polgar, a grandmaster, winner of four world championships, five Olympic gold medals and head of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Webster University.

When fans and people involved in chess talk about Carlsen, he is continually being compared to other world class athletes, from Muhammad Ali to LeBron James. Carlsen is a rarity in chess. He models for clothing lines, emphasizes fitness and is only 23 years old. He’s a new breed of chess champion who’s worked with computers and coaches but is also relatively self-sufficient according to Polgar. She said some Grandmasters travel to tournaments with an entourage of coaches and other grandmasters. When Carlsen won the 2013 World Chess Championship he brought his family members, a doctor, and a cook. However he values input from other players.

Polgar thinks Carlsen’s creativity and fighting spirit contribute to his popularity.

“Even in positions that most would think are boring or there aren’t that many creative ideas, he draws water out of stone.”

Full article here:

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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