ST. LOUIS: The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a free exhibit that is out of this world.
Ground Control: A Journey Through Chess and Space opened Nov. 7, 2019 and will be on display through April 26, 2020.
The exhibit contains a broad range of artifacts including a chessboard flown on the final mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, as well as science fiction and space-themed chess sets from the WCHOF collection. Chess has been a part of iconic television shows and films set in space, including Star Wars and Star Trek.
You don't need to play or understand chess to appreciate all of the incredible items we're presenting in this exhibit, said Emily Allred, associate curator, WCHOF. Whether you're a space enthusiast, a pop culture junkie or a fan of history, there is something for everyone to see and enjoy at Ground Control.
Ground Control also will feature materials and a timeline related to important chess events from 1969 - a year that saw Boris Spassky defeat Tigran Petrosian in the World Chess Championship and Nona Gaprindashvili defend her title as the women's world chess champion by defeating Alla Kushnir for the second time. In the United States, Gisela Gresser won her ninth and final U.S. Women's Chess Championship, setting a record that still stands today, and Samuel Reshevsky won his seventh U.S. Chess Championship. Additionally, Bobby Fischer published My 60 Memorable Games, a landmark publication that remains influential to this day. During the exhibition, the WCHOF will partner with the award-winning Challenger Learning St. Louis, based in Ferguson, MO, which provides space mission simulations, science education and teambuilding programs.
Our hometown of Saint Louis has a rich history associated with the space program, especially the Apollo program, said Allred. As we look to the future of space travel, a visit to Ground Control is a great way to celebrate where we've been and to think about where we are going.
The public is invited to attend the free exhibition's opening reception at the WCHOF Nov. 7, 2019, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Reservations to the opening are recommended and can be made at https://worldchesshof.org/. The WCHOF is open daily and admission is free. Ground Control is presented by Emerson.
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