Mind. Art. Experience.
The mission of the World Chess Hall of Fame is to educate visitors, fans, players, and scholars by collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the game of chess and its continuing cultural and artistic significance.
The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) celebrates one of the world’s oldest and best-loved games through vibrant, engaging exhibitions and creative programming. A not-for-profit, collecting institution situated in the heart of Saint Louis, the WCHOF houses both the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, which honor the accomplishments of the game’s finest players. The organization presents exhibitions that explore the history of the game, as well as its remarkable impact on arts and culture. These unique shows and programs are designed to appeal to both the chess novice and expert, defying expectations and enhancing knowledge of the game. Along with those of its sister organization, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the WCHOF’s activities have distinguished Saint Louis as a national and international chess destination.
The Halls of Fame
The World Chess Hall of Fame is home to both the World and U.S. Halls of Fame. Located on the third floor of the WCHOF, the Hall of Fame honors each World and U.S. inductee with a plaque listing their contributions to the game of chess. Representatives of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) nominate new inductees to the World Chess Hall of Fame. The U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame Committee considers candidates for the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame and sends its nominations to the U.S. Chess Trust each year. The trustees of the U.S. Chess Trust then vote on who should be inducted. As of March 2017, there are 30 members of the World Chess Hall of Fame and 58 members in the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.
The permanent collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame contains trophies, photographs, scoresheets, periodicals, chess sets, and other artifacts related to significant players and events from chess history. One highlight of the collection is the Paul Morphy silver set, presented to the legendary player after his 1857 victory in the First American Chess Congress. Others are the George Sturgis Trophy, which is inscribed with the names of the 1945-1963 winners of the U.S. Chess Open Championship, and the perpetual trophy for the Piatigorsky Cup, one of the strongest tournaments ever held on American soil. The collection also features artifacts related to contemporary milestones in international and American chess, including the Sinquefield Cup and the U.S. and U.S. Women’s Chess Championships. Additionally, the collection contains many chess sets, including one designed by artist Emil Pott for Tiffany & Co.