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Siteman Cancer Center & CCSCSL Use Chess as Therary

Siteman Cancer Center & CCSCSL Use Chess as Therary

Sep 28, 2009, 10:48 AM 0

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine will offer a chess playing program designed to brighten the lives of patients and caregivers during treatments. Called “Chess for Life,” the program was developed in conjunction with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

The program, which starts Oct. 9, will have several distinct components:

  • Chess tables will be available on the seventh floor of the Center for Advanced Medicine, and boards and pieces will be available at the volunteer desk.
  • Volunteers will play games and offer instruction to patients and caregivers at the treatment center.
  • An Internet-base website will be active, allowing Siteman patients to play with other people or with a computer.
  • Special chess playing events, including coaching by chess grandmasters and free passes to the Chess Club, will be available to patients.

Chess for Life was inspired by Jim Corbett, a Siteman patient who was diagnosed with fourth-stage esophageal cancer in September 2007. During his treatment, Corbett’s mood was lifted when he began playing chess. Unfortunately, he died Dec. 15, 2008. The Chess for Life was established by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis as a tribute to Corbett.

“This is an important partnership for the Chess Club,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. “Bringing chess to Siteman is a small way for us to help their patients and caregivers, and it’s a fitting tribute to Jim Corbett.”

Chess for Life will start Oct. 9 with a kick-off announcement from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Center for Advanced Medicine atrium. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In addition, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will host the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship from Oct. 3-13.


The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center is an international leader in cancer treatment, research, prevention, education and community outreach. Siteman offers the expertise of more than 350 Washington University research scientists and physicians who provide care for nearly 8,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. In addition to treatment and research programs, Siteman pursues an active outreach program of cancer screening and education that involves tens of thousands of individuals annually throughout the St. Louis region.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization that opened in July 200 in St. Louis’ Central West End. Founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield, it has more than 500 members. The club offers free classes for beginners, discounted tournament entry fees and discounted merchandise for club members. For more information, please visit www.saintlouischessclub.org or call 314-361-CHESS.

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