US Chess is delighted to announce the recipients of the US Chess Women’s Program Grant, funded by a generous gift in partnership with the Saint Louis Chess Club. The extremely competitive selection process attracted 40 applicants from across the United States. Ultimately, 11 programs have been granted funds by a committee that included US Chess Women’s Program Director Jennifer Shahade, who said: “I was blown away by the quality of the applications. There are so many incredible organizers and affiliates across the country who are hungry to do more to bring girls and women into the game, and the dollars donated will have a multiplying effect when accounting for the passion and drive behind the projects.” Rex Sinquefield, who founded the Saint Louis Chess Club with Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield, told US Chess, “It’s great to see the commitment and passion organizers all over the country have for female empowerment through chess. Jeanne and I are proud to be a part of a movement toward a more balanced gender ratio in chess and expect many of the girls who benefit from this grant program to be watching, and one day playing in a top event like the Cairns’ Cup.” Award recipients are listed below. Look for updates as projects kick off on uschess.org/clo.
Girls to Grandmasters (G2GM), a New York non-profit founded by Kastern McVay and Nicole Maffeo, will host a series of workshops in Central Park Chess & Checkers House designed to both teach chess skills and intentionally build girls’ self-esteem via a confidence coach.
Elizabeth Shaughnessy, the director of the Berkeley Chess School, received a grant for “Queens Rule!” a pilot program funding afterschool chess clubs for girls in three poorly resourced Title I schools in the Bay Area.
Latasha Taste-Walker, the director of Development at Communities in Schools of the Midlands in South Carolina, will use the funds to bring more girls to after-school chess clubs for at-risk-youth.
The Chess and Science Festival and All Female tournament, an event that showcases the links between chess and STEM, is organized by three-time US Women’s Champ WGM Anjelina Belakovskaia and will be held in Tucson, Arizona on Nov 24, 2019.
The Chess Moms Can Play Chess, Too in Raleigh, North Carolina (October 9th) will coach moms to play competitive chess and will include a US Chess tournament game requirement.
The Florida State Chess Championship (date TBA) will host a girls’ and women’s event organized by Krista Alton and Kevin Pryor on behalf of the Florida Chess Association.
The Chess-in-the-Schools All-Girls Tournament will host a free girls’ event in March 2020 that has attracted hundreds of girls in previous editions.
Jay Stallings of the California Chess Youth League received a grant for a quartet of festive educational events centering on female empowerment and mentorship.
Robin Ramson, director of the non-profit “Chess Girls DC” earned a grant that will help girls with limited resources to attend and play in her popular event, the third annual Girls and Women Regional Chess Tournament (October 19, 2019).
The Philadelphia Chess Society will organize local Girls Club Rooms similar to our National Event rooms, as well as send a bus full of girls to the 2020 KCF All-Girls nationals, under the banner of the “Philadelphia Girls Chess Society.”
Women in Chess & Setting Records:
1) Most Games Played Simultaneously:
Grandmaster Susan Polgar played 326 opponents simultaneously at a shopping mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 2005. She won 309, drew 14, and lost 3. Her winning percentage was 96.93%.
2) Youngest Player in a U.S. National Championship:
In 1995, IrinaKrush played in the U.S. Women’s Championship at the age of 11.
3) Youngest GoldMedalist:
JuditPolgar won a gold medal in the 1988 Chess Olympiad at the age of 11.
4) Top Female Player in the World:
Judit Polgar FIDE (World) Title: Grandmaster Born: July 23, 1976, Budapest, Hungary Peak Rating: 2735 (July 2005) Current Rating: 2648 (January 2019) World Rank: 68 (January 2019)
5) Youngest Olympiad Player:
In 1986, Heidi Cueller played for the women’s Guatemala chess team in the chess Olympiad at Dubai. She was 10 years old.
6) Oldest National Champion Male or Female:
In 1948, Edith Price won the British Ladies’ Championship at the age of 76.
7) Oldest Competitive Chess Player Male or Female:
Lady Jane Carew (1797-1901) was a chess player who lived to 104 and still competed.