Second Annual Cairns Cup Women’s Tournament Opens with Saint Louis Chess Club’s $125,000 Gift to US Chess

At the opening ceremony for the Second Annual Cairns Cup, Jennifer Shahade, Women’s Program Director for US Chess, topped her announcement from the event’s inaugural edition: “I am thrilled that the partnership between the Saint Louis Chess Club and US Chess Women, which includes a commitment from the club to help us continue our drive to promote, retain, and encourage girls and women in chess, has been renewed for 2020 and increased to $125,000.”

Last year’s $100,000 gift funded 11 projects that were awarded after grant proposals were submitted to US Chess from around the country. Executive Director Carol Meyer of US Chess said, “I express my gratitude to the team in Saint Louis. It is a real honor to be partners with them, and none of this would be possible without the vision of Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield.”

“We are pleased to support a variety of initiatives that will provide opportunities to women and girls playing the game of chess in local clubs, tournaments, coaching, education and more,” said Rex and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield.

2020 Cairns Cup Field

The 2020 Cairns Cup field with Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield, Photo Lennart Ootes, Courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Campus

The Cairns Cup is an elite tournament for the top female players from around the world. The nine-round classical chess tournament is taking place in St. Louis from February 6th through 17th and brings an elite-level tournament for the ten best female players from around the world competing for a $180,000 prize fund. The Saint Louis Chess Club aptly chose the name Cairns Cup in honor of co-founder Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield’s maiden name.

Philadelphia Chess Society

Philadelphia Chess Society, one of the 2019 Women’s Program Grant recipients

For more information and photos, please see Jennifer Shahade’s CLO (Chess Life Online) report here:

For more on the Cairns Cup, please see

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