Saint Louis Chess Club to Host Second Annual Cairns Cup from February 6-17, 2020

Women’s World Chess Champion GM Wenjun Ju

Women’s World Chess Champion GM Wenjun Ju

In what will be the highest-rated all-female tournament in chess history, the second annual Cairns Cup will be hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club from February 6-17, 2020. The world’s most elite female chess players will journey to Saint Louis – America’s Chess Capital – for the nine-round classical chess tournament created to showcase the best of women’s chess. Adding to the drama, the 2020 Cairns Cup prize fund has increased to $180,000, the largest sum for any women’s chess tournament outside of the Women’s World Championship.

This year’s tournament field features women from seven different countries and consists of legendary champions, including the 2019 Cairns Cup winner Grandmaster Valentina Guinina, Women’s World Chess Champion GM Wenjun Ju, Women’s World Rapid Champion GM Humpy Koneru, Women’s World Blitz Champion GM Kateryna Lagno and 7-time U.S. Women’s Champion GM Irina Krush.

Inspired by its mission to further promote the game of chess to women and girls, the Saint Louis Chess Club created and named the Cairns Cup in honor of Chess Club co-founder Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield’s maiden name. The tournament format is similar in style to the prestigious Sinquefield Cup, with the 10 best female players from around the world earning invitations to compete at the Saint Louis Chess Club’s renowned facility for the $180,000 prize fund. The top three finishers will receive $45,000, $35,000, and $25,000 respectively.

“Showcasing women’s chess at its highest level, while empowering women across the globe to pursue this sport, is the primary mission of the Cairns Cup,” said Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, co-founder of the Saint Louis Chess Club.  “This year’s historic tournament not only features the best chess players in the world, but a prize fund worthy of the talent competing. The continued growth of the Cairns Cup in its second year is an indicator that women’s chess will continue to reach unprecedented heights in the years to come.”

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies and rounds will be streamed live daily from Feb. 6-17 at 1:00p.m. Central Time with an expert commentary team including WGM Jennifer Shahade, GM Yasser Seirawan and GM Alejandro Ramirez, as well as a Russian language broadcast with IM Almira Skripchenko and WGM Anastasiya Karlovich on www.uschesschamps.com.

Fans are also welcome to purchase tickets to the historic event by visiting uschesschamps.com or on-site at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Ticket holders will have access to watch players live in-person and enjoy live commentary by WGM Tatev Abrahamyan at Kingside Diner. Live commentary from Kingside Diner will also be available on twitch.tv/stlchessclub.

2020 Cairns Cup Field

Title

Name

FIDE Classical Rating

Age

Residence

GM

Wenjun Ju

2584

28

China

GM

Humpy Koneru

2580

32

India

GM

Mariya Muzychuk

2552

27

Ukraine

GM

Kateryna Lagno

2552

30

Russia

GM

Harika Dronavalli

2518

28

India

GM

Nana Dzagnidze

2515

33

Georgia

GM

Antoaneta Stefanova

2469

40

Bulgaria

GM

Valentina Gunina

2461

30

Russia

GM

Irina Krush

2422

36

USA

WGM

Carissa Yip

2418

16

USA

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