SAINT LOUIS (March 12, 2019) —Chess history will be made at an induction ceremony recognizing six exceptional contributors to the iconic game as the newest members of the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, on March 18, 2019. The ceremony will serve as a kick-off to the 2019 U.S. and U.S. Women’s Chess Championships—two elite, national tournaments featuring the strongest players in America—held at the Saint Louis Chess Club, which has hosted these tournaments for the past 10 years.
This year, the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame Committee and the U.S. Chess Trust have selected Max Judd, Saint Louis resident, immigrant and top player at the turn of the 20th century; William Lombardy, Chess Olympiad gold medalist who was an instrumental collaborator in bringing four world championship titles to the United States; and Susan Polgar, Olympiad gold medalist, former women’s world chess champion and Webster University collegiate chess coach, for induction into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.
“The 2019 inductees to the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame represent a culmination of exceptional skill, leadership and tireless promotion, and will continue to inspire the future generation of American chess,” said U.S. Chess Trust Chairman Harold Winston.
Additionally, the World Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecsor FIDE) has nominated three new members for the World Chess Hall of Fame. Inductees include Xie Jun, Olympiad team gold medalist, chess author and first player from Asia to become women’s world chess champion; Akiba (or Akiva) Rubinstein, Olympiad gold medalist and one of the strongest players of the early 20th century, who is best remembered for his contributions to opening theory and rook and pawn endgames; and Mark Taimanov, Olympiad team gold medalist, prolific chess writer and theoretician, and one of the few players to have defeated six world chess champions.
“The 2019 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 new digital interactive gallery.
“The World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis commends the 2019 inductees, and we look forward to celebrating their unique achievements at this year’s induction ceremony,” said Shannon Bailey, WCHOF’s chief curator.
The Halls of Fame inductions and the opening ceremony of the U.S. Women’s Chess Championships are open to the public and will take place at the Saint Louis Zoo on Monday, March 18, 2019, with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m. and program from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 apiece. To attend, please email [email protected]