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2010 US Chess Championship

This year’s US Chess Championship is currently being played in Saint Louis; it started yesterday and runs through May 24. The reason I bring it up here is that I think that the organizers are doing a good job of making it accessible and interesting for casual chess players, one of which may be you. The live coverage in particular is very nice; it’s hosted by Grandmaster Maurice Ashley and Woman Grandmaster (don’t get me started on that title) Jennifer Shahade, who are both really good at making the game exciting for people who are already a little interested in chess. They’re not trying to “jazz it up” for people who don’t care at chess at all; they assume you already know a bit about the game and are inherently excited by, say, someone sacrificing a rook for a knight, or pushing a pawn closer to queening.

There are also a bunch of different types of players, ranging in age from 15 to 50+, with a variety of personalities and styles, so it’s not hard to find someone to root for if you like that sort of thing. If you already have a casual interest in chess but don’t know much about high-level tournament play, I recommend checking it out and seeing if it grabs you. (If you don’t, never mind this post!) The games run about 2pm-8pm Central Time every day.

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