1st Tucson 9Queens Girls Academy

June 30, 2008

The first 9Queens Tucson Girls Chess Academy took place today at the Chess Studio in Tucson, Arizona.  I have been teaching chess for the last 10 years in Tucson and NY.  I have also been running my own Girls Academy for the last 3 years in Tucson and this event marked the first Girls Academy in which I partnered with 9Queens. 

Girls Academy is a great way to motivate girls to become empowered both through increasing their self confidence and their skills in the game.  Often when girls play other girls, the atmosphere is one of friendliness, and not so much competitiveness (although that’s still there, and I think that’s fine).  Girls Academy encourages girls to participate in more tournaments, where the current percentage hovers at a mere 10% in elementary school, and much less in the upper grades.

Eight girls arrived to learn about chess tactics and strategies.  Their ages ranged from 5-10 and their levels from between having just learned how to play (one girl attended a camp I taught at the week prior) to having participated in the National Championships.  Nevertheless, all the girls, and their parents (the moms, actually) were all able to learn something new about chess today—the pin in particular.  The girls were very well behaved, needless to say, and we discussed the difference between absolute and relative pins, cross-pins, and how to put pressure on a pin.  The examples ranged in difficulty so that everyone was able to participate.  (Example to follow.)

Then they played a game where they had to identify pins when they occurred.  Next I showed the girls a game I had played against another coach when I was working in NY.  We discussed opening strategies and the girls were able to correctly discover my next moves in the game which was rife with pins! 

Stay tuned for the game and pictures from the Academy!

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