(Update on an a April 5th, 2013 Story)

I wanted to update you on Camilla’s performance in the recent Championship.  She played very well and placed in the middle of the pack in 5th place.  Thanks so much for your interest!  Mallory Box, Sioux Falls

Does anyone really know how to play chess? I've watched people play it and I am obviously too much of a simpleton to understand the game.  My grandpa taught me how to play checkers (and I'm not very good) and at least I understand checkers.  But chess is a game that I do not understand.

Longtime radio personality Ratt Reno (KXRB-AM) was one that would talk about chess once in a while and I always blew it off when he talked about it because I don't know a check blank from a check mate.  That's why when our Manager, Don Jacobs shot me an e-mail last night that a local gal was involved in a national competition for 'chess' I took note.  I do believe there are a lot of 'closet chess players' who live in and around Kickin' Country.

I know that some of the high schools have chess club and there are probably organizations that play the game.  So I thought we'd give some time to the player!

I wanted to let you know that the 2013 U.S. and Women’s Chess Championships are kicking off in St. Louis on Friday, May 3, and a Sioux Falls native will be playing for a chance at the coveted title.

Mallory Box Wrote:

Camilla Baginskaite will be in St. Louis May 3 – 13 to play in the largest chess event that happens in the U.S. each year. The 1987 World Under-20 Champion, 2000 U.S. Women's Chess Champion, and Six time Chess Olympiads competitor has a deep understanding of chess and years of experience at elite competitions that makes her capable of major surprises despite being less active than many of her rivals.


The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) have had the privilege of hosting the championships for the last five years and the players are eagerly awaiting their return to the “Chess Hub of America”. This year’s event carries a guaranteed prize fund of $180,000 and the Women’s Championship will feature a guaranteed prize fund of $65,000. In addition, the CCSCSL will sponsor the “$64K Fischer Prize,” to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 9-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer’s result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.

I asked Mallory for a little more information on Camilla and she was able to send me this.

Title: Women's Grandmaster

Rating: 2358

Residence: Sioux Falls, SD

Age: 45

Status: Accepted

Chess Highlights: 1987 World Under-20 Champion; 2000 U.S. Women's Chess Champion; Six Chess Olympiads

Bio: Camilla's deep understanding of chess and years of experience at elite competitions like the Olympiad and the Women's World Championships makes her capable of major surprises despite being less active than many of her rivals. For instance, in the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship, Camilla took clear second place, winning some brilliant games in the process, and earning herself an IM norm. These days, Camilla's energies go largely toward her family. She is married to grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky, and has two children.

Camilla has a master's degree in art history and is studying to become an art teacher. She is blunt when asked how she balances chess and the rest of her life: "There is no such thing as a good balance. You either do chess professionally or not." But Camilla quickly adds that she's not giving up on winning another championship, and vows to become a more aggressive player. Camilla is not about to let age get in the way of continuing to be a top player. She's hopeful that 10 to 15 years from now, her name will still be on the list of U.S. Women's Chess Championship invitees. "When the kids are out of the house," Camilla figures, she will have more time to devote to chess.


We'll keep you posted on how Camilla does in the tournament.  We are hoping she wins.  Check.....Mate!