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Press Release

Lauren Ward

For immediate release:
May 29, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Hosts 10th Annual Western PA Scholastic Chess Championship: Chess Grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov to Appear

PITTSBURGH—In conjunction with the Pittsburgh Chess Club, Carnegie Mellon University is hosting the 10th Annual Western PA Scholastic Chess Championship. The Chess Championship will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2003, in the University Center at Carnegie Mellon. Highlights of this championship will include a tournament for more than 250 local students and an appearance by renowned chess champion Gregory Kaidanov.

The tournament, which consists of four rounds, is open to students in grades kindergarten through 12; competitors will play against students near their own ages and skill levels, and all students are guaranteed to play all four games. Students from the same school will play in teams to increase their chances of winning by being eligible for group awards; individual play, however, will not hurt the chances of winning individual awards. Each of the top three teams will receive a group trophy and individual ribbons for each member of the team. The top five players in each section will also receive trophies; a minimum of 50 trophies will be awarded.

Chessmaster Jerry Meyers, scholastic director of the Pittsburgh Chess Club, sees chess as an integral part of any child's education. "Chess makes kids smarter," offers Meyers; research has shown that it also contributes to such life-skills as focusing, planning and thinking ahead. "Chess helps them to build these skills while enjoying themselves," Meyers explains, "and, as a result, children become more critical thinkers, better problem solvers and more independent decision makers."

Grandmaster Kaidanov, originally from the Ukraine, is currently the highest-rated player in America according to the US Chess Federation. He has held the coveted title of Chess Grandmaster since 1988; he has won such prestigious tournaments as the 1992 World Open and the 1992 US Open. Following the tournament portion of the Western PA Chess Championship, he will play blindfold chess, autograph chessboards and answer questions. He will also engage in what's known as a 'simul' in which he simultaneously plays more than 30 people, including the winners of the tournament and randomly drawn participants.

For more information, please contact Jerry Meyers at 412-422-1770 or visit


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