Top Female Chess Players to Compete in Cairns Cup in Saint Louis

Top Female Chess Players to Compete in Cairns Cup in Saint Louis

Saint Louis Chess Club to host elite international players in tournament that offers one of the largest chess prize funds for women


SAINT LOUIS, June 7, 2024 - The Cairns Cup, an elite-level female chess tournament created by the Saint Louis Chess Club, returns this June and will feature ten of the world's best female chess players. Named in honor of Saint Louis Chess Club co-founder Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, the tournament reflects the Club’s mission to promote the game of chess among women.


As one of the premier women’s tournaments globally, the ten-player round robin tournament will be hosted at the World Chess Hall of Fame from June 12 to 23. This year’s event boasts one of the strongest female fields, competing for an increased total prize fund of $200,000.


The event kicks off on Wednesday, June 12 with the Ultimate Moves, a fun and casual exhibition event featuring 82-year-old Women’s World Chess Champion Nona Gaprindashvili from Georgia and the Cairns Cup field.


“We are proud to again organize an elite international chess tournament created to provide more opportunities for female chess players,” said Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, Co-founder of the Saint Louis Chess Club. “We hope by providing a world-class facility and a competitive prize fund, we will help inspire more women to play chess on a competitive level.”


The 2024 Cairns Cup field will feature:

GM Tan Zhongyi 2540 CHN
GM Mariya Muzychuk 2510 UKR
GM Nana Dzagnidze 2506 GEO
GM Anna Muzychuk 2505 UKR
GM Harika Dronavalli 2503 IND
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk 2501 SUI
IM Elisabeth Paehtz 2457 GER
GM Irina Krush 2415 USA
IM Alice Lee 2368 USA
IM Anna Zatonskih 2331 USA

“The Saint Louis Chess Club continues to innovate in promoting the game of chess,” said Tony Rich, Technical Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club. “Events like the Cairns Cup are crucial for the development of American women in chess. They provide a platform for our talented players to compete against the world's best, gaining invaluable experience and inspiration.”

Each round of the Cairns Cup will be streamed live daily from June 13 to 23 at 1 p.m. CT with the expert commentary team of Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan and International Masters Jovanka Houska and Nazi Paikidze.

In addition, Gaprindashvili will be an honored guest at the opening ceremony as part of her world chess tour. She will also host an all-girls simul event at the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF), where she will simultaneously play multiple games at a time, encouraging young girls along the way. Gaprindashvili will also appear at “Ladies Knight” on Thursday, June 13 at the World Chess Hall of Fame from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Gaprindashvili, a living chess legend, was the women's world chess champion from 1962 to 1978, and in 1978, she became the first woman ever to be awarded the International Chess Federation (FIDE) title of grandmaster. Gaprindashvili is also an inductee to the World Chess Hall of Fame.

The Cairns Cup will be hosted at the WCHOF, the leading chess cultural center in the country, where the all-new exhibition “Clash for the Crown: Celebrating Chess Champions," is currently on display.

The exhibition is being held in conjunction with the 100th-anniversary celebration of the FIDE and explores the histories of the World Chess Championship and Women’s World Chess Championship through a display of artifacts from the collection of the WCHOF, FIDE and loans and donations from world chess champions and women’s world chess champions including World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Susan Polgar, as well as private lenders.

For more information and to watch the livestream, visit

About the Saint Louis Chess Club

The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit