Jeannie and Rex Sinquefield inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame

Posted 10/14/21

Dr. Jeannie and Rex Sinquefield of Folk and St. Louis on Oct. 5 were inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame as members of the 2020 class. The ceremony was delayed until this year due to COVID-19 …

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Jeannie and Rex Sinquefield inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame

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Dr. Jeannie and Rex Sinquefield of Folk and St. Louis on Oct. 5 were inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame as members of the 2020 class. The ceremony was delayed until this year due to COVID-19 and took 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).

“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,” said US Chess Trust President E. Steven Doyle. “Their contributions and passion for chess have helped redefine and reinvigorate the game’s accessibility, as both a sport and art.”

In 2008, the Sinquefields founded the Saint Louis Chess Club and they later provided the funding to move the World Chess Hall of Fame to St. Louis. Through the STLCC, they have helped to bring the benefits of chess to thousands of students throughout the country. 

Passionate about the Scouts BSA, Jeanne instigated the creation of its chess merit badge, which has now been earned by more than 225,000 Scouts. With fellow Scouts, she also created Chess2Go, a compact portable chess set in 2012. In 2019, Jeanne wrote a book about chess notation, “Learn to Read and Write Chess.” The same year, she established the Cairns Cup, a world-class women’s chess tournament that was held again in 2020.

Raised in St. Louis, Rex has transformed his hometown into the Chess Capital of the United States.

The STLCC has become home to championship chess in the U.S., hosting numerous national tournaments, in addition to bringing the benefits of chess to more than 75,000 students. Rex has also made history through the creation of the Sinquefield Cup and Cairns Cup, the strongest-ever tournament and strongest women’s tournament held on American soil. His efforts, including supporting the U.S. national team and creating tournaments that allow new chess talents to grow, have attracted top players and revitalized chess in the United States.

A ceremony honoring 2021 World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) inductees was also held.

“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.

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 in St. Louis with a plaque bearing their image and biography. Notable games and highlights will also be featured in a digital interactive gallery.

The WCHOF celebrates the accomplishments of the game’s greatest players from the United States and across the globe. The institution houses both the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, which as of March 2019 counted 66 and 39 members, respectively. New inductees are honored in an annual ceremony, which has been held in St. Louis since 2011. Since 2012, the inductions have been held during the opening ceremonies for the annual U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Chess Championships.

“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 International Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or FIDE) Chief Operating Officer Willy Iclicki.

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