ST. LOUIS, MO – The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) unveiled a Guinness World Record today – a chess piece that stands at 14 feet, 6 inches tall and is 6 feet wide at the base. The king piece is based on the “Championship Staunton” design and made of layers of 3/4 inch exterior grade plywood and is 45 times larger than a standard chess piece. This new record beat the previous record, set in 2003, by one foot, 5 inches.
The Club, in partnership with the World Chess Hall of Fame also located in Saint Louis, set the new record, helping to further cement the city’s reputation for being the hub of Chess in the United States. The piece was unveiled to kick off the 2012 U.S. and Women’s Chess Championships, which take place May 8 through May 20. This is the fourth year in a row the Club has hosted the tournaments. As part of the unveiling and tournament kickoff, Saint Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay issued an official proclamation, declaring Saint Louis the “Gateway to Chess.”
“The Saint Louis Arch was built to commemorate Saint Louis as the gateway to the west,” said CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich. “This record-breaking chess piece is meant to celebrate another distinction for our city. Saint Louis has truly become a center of chess culture, and this larger-than-life chess piece serves as a striking monument to honor our city’s involvement in the game.”
The piece was built by R.G. Ross Construction, located in Saint Louis, and has been officially approved by Guinness as an official world record. Some statistics about the World’s Largest Chess Piece include:
The piece took 18 days to construct and weighs more than 2,200 pounds
The piece is taller than a professional basketball hoop (10 ft.), an average size female giraffe (14 ft.) and the Statue of Liberty’s fingernail (13 ft.)
If the piece were to be used during a chess game, the board would need to be 72 feet x 72 feet, with each square being 9 feet x 9 feet, the board would be big enough to hold 392 bathtubs or nine school buses