As we were walking I suggested popping into the World Chess Hall of Fame. It's been there since 2011. We've walked by it many times, but had never gone in until a couple of months ago, when I spent some time checking out the merchandise in the gift shop. Tony agreed that it sounded like a fun thing to do.
It's hard to miss the Hall of Fame building, as it has the World's Largest Chess Piece (according to Guinness) standing out front:
|World's largest chess piece (2018)|
There's also a very big chess board painted on the ground next to the chess piece, with pieces so large you have to pick them up with both hands. Tony and I started in the gift shop browsing through the dozens of types of chess sets and other chess-related merchandise. When we heard the receptionist tell another group of visitors the museum was free to visit we decided to take a look ourselves.
The Hall of Fame is in a three story building. The first and second floors each have an art gallery. Today the main level held an exhibition of mixed media panels. The second level had a display of Harry Benson photographs, including a series he had taken of Bobby Fischer in the 1970s, ones he had taken at this year's Sinquefield Cup (which is an international chess tournament that's held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis across the street from the Hall of Fame), and a selection of photos of celebrities, presidents, and royals.
I'm not a chess player, and the Hall of Fame on the third floor was (to me) the least interesting part. However, if you knew a lot about the game I can see where it would be very inspirational. The room had plaques for each of the members of the U.S. and World Halls of Fame, and there were many artifacts and trophies on display. Tony and I were the only ones in there, and there was a knowledgeable docent that was able to answer all of my questions.
After looking around the whole building we realized we were hungry and decided to head to lunch. Once outside I looked at the chess board and thought someday I might come back and see if I could figure it out.
Five years ago today: Gratitude In All Things