Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The incredible difference one man can make

The incredible difference one man can make
May 30, 2010 - 1:02am

The 2010 U.S. Championship just concluded in St. Louis a few days ago. The 24 qualified players competed for nearly $200,000 in prizes over 10 days. After the smoke cleared, two former U.S. Champions, Gata Kamsky of New York and Yury Shulman of Barrington (a suburb of Chicago), tied for first. Gata clinched the title after a playoff.

The tournament was sponsored by Rex Sinquefield, a wealthy politically conservative businessman, co-founder and past co-chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors Inc. This is the second year that Sinquefield sponsored the U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women's Chess Championship.

St. Louis, known as a sports town with the St. Louis Cardinals (baseball), St. Louis Rams (football), and St. Louis Blues (hockey), has now become a one of the chess capitals in the United States within a few short years, thanks to the generosity and vision of Sinquefield. Through Internet technology, millions of people nationwide and worldwide are able to follow the action live.

Sinquefield did not just sponsor these major chess events. He also invested a few million dollars to buy and renovate a three-story building in the heart of the central West End to open the nonprofit Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. This instantly provided chess access to countless kids in that area. Maybe one day something similar can happen in Lubbock, which would greatly help so many of our young people. In the meantime, SPICE will continue to make a positive impact through chess locally, one school at a time.

One thing I can promise is a number of hard-working local volunteers and I will continue to work hard every day to try to make this a reality. Young people in West Texas do need our help. Chess changed my life in so many ways and I would like to give these young people the same opportunity I had.

If you want to help or if you know people who can help, please do not hesitate to contact me. We would welcome any support we can get.

Here is the full article.
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