World Chess Hall of Fame & Museum (St. Louis)

Chess Hall of Fame & Museum

free entry


3.7/5 Pros

  • Great illustration of chess in culture
  • Great staff
  • Free entry Cons

  • Lack about illustrating the fascination of the sports itself

At least for North American, St. Louis is some sort of unofficial capital for a very special sports: chess. The Saint Louis Chess Club is a driver of the popularity of chess and for example hosts the U.S. Championships since 2009. Once proof of this effort is that right in their borough, across their headquarters, the Chess Hall of Fame has found its home since 2010. When I have been on my trip following the Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2022, I just had to have a look to this place. Here are my thoughts about the museum I visited on Day 8 of the trip.


World Chess Hall of Fame – Location & Admission

The museum is lcoated at Maryland Ave in the Central West End of St. Louis. This area has been the most beautiful one I visited during my trip in March 2022. It is a lovely neighborhood, which definitely deserves a walk through the area. Metered street parking is available at the streets, if you come by car. It is a bit of a walk from the Central West End metro station. Forest Park, which features a couple of museums and St. Louis Zoo, is just a few blocks away.

Admission to the museum is free. The visiting times are very friendly. The museum is opening 10:00 to 17:00 hrs Monday, Tuesday ans Saturday, 10:00 to 21:00 hrs Wednesday to Friday and noon to 17:00 hrs on Sundays. The king at the front of the building is the world largest chess piece, by the way.


World Chess Hall of Fame – The Visit

The beautiful building hosts three levels of exhibition space. Some of the exhibits are rotating and change over time. In general, the museum displays a lot of chess board and pictures. On the lowest level, however, also features a couple of chess boards used by big names of the sports, like Garry Kasparow. There are also chess trophies and medals.

The second floor had a stronger focus on chess and arts during my visit. This did not only amazingly beautiful chess boards and pieces, but also how the game is influencing fashion or culture. Several musicals, for example deal with the game.

While you walk up to the top level, you already run along portraits of the latest World and U.S: Chess Hall of Fame nominees. The exhibition space has interactive screens which introduce you to the Hall of Fame members and the committees and organizers behind it. However, there are also some more chess exhibits. I loved the Mario chess board, for example.


World Chess Hall of Fame – Service

The staff was really friendly. Close to the entrance, there is the Q Boutique, which sells chess merchandise. There is a garden chess ground in front of the museum. However, the area features a couple of tables which allow you to have a game.


World Chess Hall of Fame – My View

You feel that they love the sports at St. Louis – and in and around the World Chess Hall of Fame. Chess is definitely special – and I while I feel that the museum is doing a great job in illustrating how chess is influencing arts and culture, I feel they could do better in explaining the fascination of the sports. Nonetheless, the World Chess Hall of Fame is a great shrine for chess. I am really glad I visited this place. on Sports Museums

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