By Mike Wilmering
April 16, 2013
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
For Immediate Release
April 16, 2013 (St. Louis, MO) – An induction ceremony on May 2, 2013, will recognize five exceptional chess players as three are inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame and two into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.
The World Chess Federation (FIDE) nominated and selected Elizaveta Bykova, Nona Gaprindashvili, and Mikhail Chigorin for the World Chess Hall of Fame. They join 16 other players to receive the honor since the World Chess Hall of Fame’s creation in 2001. These are the first new inductees since 2011.
“This year’s World Chess Hall of Fame induction is particularly unique because it includes two women. The first and only woman who had previously received this honor was Vera Menchik,” said Beatriz Marinello, FIDE Senior Vice President.
The U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame Committee considers and sends candidates for the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame to the U.S. Chess Trust each year. The Trust votes on candidates, selecting Gregory Kaidanov and Mona May Karff to join the 50 other players currently in the Hall of Fame.
“These two players join luminaries like Bobby Fischer and Frank Marshall as some of the top players in U.S. history. Their contributions to the sport are numerous and lasting,” said Harold Winston, chairman of the U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame Committee.
“We are thrilled to host the 2013 Induction Ceremony. It provides the opportunity to focus a spotlight on the significance of this game both to Saint Louis and the world,” said Susan Barrett, director of the World Chess Hall of Fame.
About the 2013 World Chess Hall of Fame Honorees
Elizaveta Bykova (1913-1989): Bykova was a Soviet chess player who began winning championships in the 1930s before taking the top spot at the Women’s World Chess Championships in 1953, a title she would win three more times by 1962. She received the titles of Woman International Master, International Master, and Woman Grandmaster. In addition, Bykova was a respected chess author and columnist.
Nona Gaprindashvili (1941- ): Gaprindashvili is a Georgian chess player who was a Women’s World Chess Champion and the first female to be named Grandmaster. She was a contributing player for the USSR team that dominated women’s chess Olympiads in the 1980s, personally winning as many as 11 team gold and 9 individual gold medals. She won as recently as 2009 at the World Senior Championship for Women in Condino, Italy.
Mikhail Chigorin (1850-1908): Chigorin was a Russian player credited as being the inspiration for the Soviet Chess School, which dominated the chess world in the 20th century. He began winning at tournaments across Russia, Europe, and the U.S. around the age of 26 and continued through the rest of the nineteenth century. He pioneered many chess concepts and was an unofficial ambassador of Russian chess, giving lectures, writing, and founding a chess club in Saint Petersburg.
About the 2013 U.S. Chess Hall of Fame Honorees
Gregory Kaidanov (1959- ): Kaidanov is a Grandmaster born in the Ukraine and currently living in Lexington, Kentucky. He won both the World Open and the U.S. Open in 1992. He was a member of the U.S. team that won the World Team Chess Championship in 1993 and received a silver medal at the 1998 Chess Olympiad, also as a member of the U.S. team. He currently has a USCF rating of 2673, placing him among the top 15 players in the country.
Mona May Karff (1908*-1998): Russian-born Karff moved to the United States in the 1930s and dominated women’s chess during the 1940s and 50s, winning four consecutive U.S. Open titles among many other honors. She was one of the first to be named a Woman International Master when FIDE established the title in 1950.
About the World Chess Hall of Fame
The World Chess Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization committed to building awareness for the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened on September 9, 2011, in the Central West End after moving from previous locations in New York and Miami.
The WCHOF is housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot residence-turned-business and features the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, displays of artifacts from the permanent collection, and temporary exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games, and rich cultural history of chess.
It is a partner organization to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which has become an acclaimed center for chess both in the U.S. and internationally.