World Chess Hall of Fame celebrates champion players with “Clash for the Crown”

Beyond the chess board lies two players and one victor––a chess match is only as good as its champion. This is certainly understood in the World Chess Hall of Fame’s newest exhibition, Clash for the Crown: Celebrating Chess Champions, a chronological account of the most iconic players in chess history. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the exhibition recognizes the global impact of the game, the people who have mastered it, and the power chess holds in modern culture.

Clash for the Crown, on view through January 12, 2025, examines the World Chess Championship and the Women’s World Chess Championship from the late 19th century to the present day through a series of artifacts, interactive videos, and intense images. Rarity and authenticity drive the excitement behind the exhibit. Chess enthusiasts and curious visitors alike can view signed score sheets, gold medals, and the historic tablecloth from the 1935 Moscow Chess Tournament, where competitor signatures were colorfully stitched over to create a beautiful embroidered piece, a representation of the sport’s timelessness.  

As the chess capital of the United States, St. Louis supports chess champions, and its role is evident in the exhibition. But victory looks different across borders, and the exhibition demonstrates this through various memorabilia with multicultural significance. Highlights include an amber chess set first owned by World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal from Latvia, as well as a delicate Dutch blue and white plate that was presented as an award. 

 “We hope this exhibition inspires a deeper appreciation for the history of this great sport and its organization,” says Arkady Dvorkovich, president of FIDE. “It stands as a bridge between the past and the future, offering a window into the game’s rich heritage and FIDE’s profound role in the chess world.”  

Through various artistic depictions of the game, Clash for the Crown hopes to celebrate the history of chess around the world and the important role St. Louis holds in preserving it.  

Clash for the Crown: Celebrating Chess Champions is on view now through January 12, 2025 at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland). For more information, visit

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