April’s Featured Chess Set is part of the collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF). Since its creation in 1986, the WCHOF has endeavored to highlight the history and cultural significance of the game of chess. The WCHOF’s collection is diverse and includes sets once owned by legendary players, mass-produced sets with lively pop culture themes, antique ivory sets, travel sets, as well as chess computers. Through these artifacts, the WCHOF illustrates how chess has evolved through its over 1500-year history. April’s Featured Set is on view in connection with The Sinquefield Effect: The Resurgence of American Chess, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Saint Louis Chess Club.
This board is inscribed in honor of James “The James Game” Miller and is usually available for play at the Saint Louis Chess Club (STLCC). Miller, who passed away in 2010, was more than just a regular at the STLCC. His outgoing personality and friendly demeanor made him an easily approachable opponent and a joy to play against. James had the ability to make you smile whether you were winning or losing, and his one-liners were a constant source of amusement for members and staff alike. With his death, the Chess Club lost not just one of their most loyal members, but also a part of our family.
The unique brand of chess he brought to the Club on a daily basis earned him the nickname, “The James Game,” characterized by his uncharacteristic openings that could, at times, stymie his opponents. He liked the idea of forcing people out of their element by presenting them with challenging and unfamiliar positions. His upbeat personality and cheery disposition were infectious. James had the ability to brighten the room when he would walk in, and his presence at the Club is sorely missed.