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Fundraising Drive for 9queens book and Academies August 19, 2009

Posted by Jennifer in : chess,feminism , trackback
Me in a not on the phone phone pose with Denker Champ Abby Marshall at a break in the U.S. Chess School.

After visiting the all girls’ U.S. Chess School at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis that my brother organized, I’m even more convinced of the benefits of 9Queens Academies and more generally, for occasional all girls’ learning in chess and other male-dominated activities.I think women are just as competitive as men, but they feel less comfortable exhibiting it.  

A fierce competitive instinct is why I admire the top-rated player in the camp, Denker Champion Abby Marshall so much. She set a great example for the younger (except for 9queens instructor Amanda Mateer) and lower-rated girls at the camp. When I spoke to Abby on the phone before the Denker, she told me she was going to win it! She was ranked 8th going in, but without confidence that her chances were high, would she have any chance at all? I remember being astounded as a young girl when a male International Master friend of mine told me he played every tournament with the intent of winning it. "Even the World Open?" I asked incredulously. "Of course." To my further surprise, another male IM who was with us totally agreed with him. Huge points if you can guess the first International Master I’m talking about. Hint: He doesn’t play actively anymore.   

Another positive trend for women’s chess is that currently 10+% of the members of the USCF are women and 5%+ of the adult members are women. I know those numbers don’t sound too exciting, but they are definitely up from when I wrote Chess Bitch. (New membership categories like Family and Youth complicate direct comparisons, but I am working on getting more analysis of the stats.)

Philadelphia 9queens Academies attracted dozens of girls and women for each session last year, and in Tucson, 50+ girls participated in the latest Queens Academy. I urge you to make as small or large a tax deductible donation as you like at this link: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=24671 If snail-mail is your thing, please send a check to: 9 Queens P.O. Box 41838 Tucson, AZ 85717.

We can’t host 9queens Academies in every city, so I’m particularly excited about a book of women’s chess positions that we’re hoping to produce in time for what I expect to be a hugely inspiring event, the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship. I am chairing the event, which will take place from October 3-13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, and the Saint Louis team is involving the players in a number of community events. 

Thanks and I’ll keep you updated on the Academies and the workbooks!

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