St. Louis native Leroy Muhammad started playing competitive chess at 16 years old. In 1966, while attending Sumner High School, he tied for first in the 265-player Eastern Open held in Washington, D.C. After that, he won the top junior prize at the U.S. Open in Seattle. He eventually became one of the first Black chess masters in the U.S.
“Young people really do have dominance in the game,” said Emily Allred, curator at the World Chess Hall of Fame. She joined St. Louis on the Air on Monday to discuss Muhammad’s story.
She also talked about other chess prodigies from past to present who are recognized in the World Chess Hall of Fame’s most recent exhibition, “Masterminds: Chess Prodigies.”