The Saint Louis Chess Club Hosts the Trial of Champions: The Chess 9LX Event

The Saint Louis Chess Club hosts its annual Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX exhibition tournament, featuring living legend GM Garry Kasparov and nine of the world’s top active GMs competing on the popular Chess960 variant.

Also called Fischer Random, Chess960 is a variation in which the back ranks are re-randomized each game, using simple setup rules to total 960 different possible starting positions, which nearly eliminates the value of memorization and preparation of openings. Only knowing the order of the pieces on the home leaderboard 15 minutes before the start of each game, players are forced to fall back on their creativity to navigate through new positions.

Legend

Hikaru Nakamura, 2019 9LX (SLCC / Lennart Ootes)

The Chess9LX tournament will be played from Wednesday, September 8 through Friday between 10 of the world’s best GMs, including reigning Chess960 World Champion Wesley So, who won the variant’s first-ever FIDE Championship in 2019; as well as Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian and Russia’s Peter Svidler, who together were Chess960 World Champions for six years when the international championship was unofficially held in Germany until 2009.

Showdown of Champions: 9LX Chess Ground

Player

URS Ranking

GM Hikaru Nakamura

2807

GM Wesley so

2789

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

2784

GM Fabiano Caruana

2784

GM Levon Aronian

2773

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

2754

GM Leinier Dominguez

2739

GM Peter Svidler

2728

GM Sam Shankland

2705

GM Garry Kasparov

2545

Legend

Peter Svidler, 2019 9LX (SLCC / Crystal Fuller)

Ahead of Chess9LX, the Champions Showdown kicks off on Tuesday, September 7 with the Ultimate Moves exhibition event, a casual team game between the super-GM roster and Saint Louis Chess Club benefactor Rex Sinquefield.

Ultimate Moves will begin Tuesday at 1:00 p.m., while Chess9LX matches begin Wednesday and daily at 2:00 p.m. COVID restrictions have prevented live spectators from these events, although the action can be watched live online at the Saint Louis Chess Club. YouTube and Twitch.TV channels, plus commentary from general managers Maurice Ashley and Alejandro Ramirez.

Games for each day will begin at 2:00 p.m. CDT (GMT-5) from September 8-10 for Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX. The tournament will feature expert commentary featuring Maurice Ashley and GM’s Alejandro Ramirez. Due to COVID-19 precautions, no live viewers will be permitted, but fans can watch the action online at uschesschamps.com or the Saint Louis Chess Club YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.

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