2020 and 2021 U.S. and World Chess Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Chess history will be made this year at induction ceremonies recognizing seven exceptional contributors to the iconic game as the newest members of the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame. The first ceremony will honor the 2021 U.S. Chess Hall of Fame inductees. This ceremony will happen during the 2021 U.S. Open Chess Championship—an open national tournament held in the United States annually since 1900—at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on August 6, 2021. The second ceremony will honor the 2020 U.S. Chess Hall of Fame inductees and the 2021 World Chess Hall of Fame inductees. This ceremony will take place during the opening reception of the 2021 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Chess Championship featuring the strongest chess players in America—held at the Saint Louis Chess Club (STLCC) in Saint Louis, Missouri, on October 5, 2021. The STLCC has hosted these tournaments for the past 12 years. 

In 2020, two candidates were selected for induction into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame by the US Chess Recognitions Committee: Rex Sinquefield, Saint Louis resident and co-founder of the STLCC, responsible for the relocation of the World Chess Hall of Fame to Saint Louis, Missouri, and the rapid resurgence of American chess; and Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, Saint Louis resident and co-founder of the STLCC, who spearheaded the launch of Scouts BSA chess merit badge and helped bring the benefits of chess to thousands of children in the Saint Louis metropolitan area and across the country. 

“Both Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield and Rex Sinquefield are true chess pioneers, bringing not only the benefits of chess to children from all walks of life in their community but also to seasoned champions from across the country and around the world. Their contributions and passion for chess have helped redefine and reinvigorate the game’s accessibility, as both a sport and art,” said US Chess Trust President E. Steven Doyle. 

Additionally, in 2021, the US Chess Recognitions Committee selected two candidates for induction into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame: Dr. Frank Brady, writer, educator and founding editor of Chess Life magazine, who served in a number of key positions at US Chess, the governing body for chess competition in the United States, and was instrumental in the growth and modernization of the organization; and corporate executive and International Master James “Jimmy” Sherwin, a U.S. Chess Championship record holder who played chess legends Bobby Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky and also served as the president of the American Chess Foundation, developing U.S. chess players.

“Through his contributions as a writer and an organizer, Dr. Brady’s work and legacy create long-lasting benefits for the chess world,” says US Chess Trust’s Managing Director Al Lawrence. “And for someone who wasn’t a professional chess player, James Sherwin’s U.S. Chess Championship record is remarkable. All of this year’s inductees are deserving of the unique honor.”

Also this year, the International Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or FIDE) has nominated three new members for the World Chess Hall of Fame. Inductees include Judit Polgar, who is universally considered to be the strongest woman chess player of all time and broke Bobby Fischer’s record as the world’s youngest grandmaster; Miguel Najdorf, whose name is associated with one of the most famous openings in chess, the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense, in addition to being one of the most successful performers in Chess Olympiad history; and Eugene Torre, a trailblazer for Asian chess for half a century, achieving a number of continental milestones including first grandmaster, first to defeat a reigning world champion, and first to reach the Candidates stage of the World Championship.

“The 2021 World Chess Hall of Fame inductees exemplify the global impact and inclusivity chess has to offer, and we’re honored to include their contributions to the game’s rich history,” said FIDE Chief Operating Officer Willy Iclicki.

Inductees of both Halls of Fame are chosen for their impact on the sport and have included players, authors, journalists, scholars, organizers and supporters of the game. Each player will be commemorated at the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) in Saint Louis with a plaque bearing their image and biography. Notable games and highlights will also be featured in a digital interactive gallery.

“The World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis commends all of the 2020 and 2021 inductees, especially Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield and Rex Sinquefield, and we look forward to celebrating their unique achievements at this year’s induction ceremony,” said Shannon Bailey, WCHOF’s chief curator.


For more information about the Chess Halls of Fame, please visit the WCHOF’s website at worldchesshof.org. For more information about the U.S. Open Chess Championship, please visit US Chess’ website at uschess.org. For more information about the U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Chess Championship, please visit saintlouischessclub.org

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