9 Queens: Empowerment through Chess

9 Queens is dedicated to empowering individuals and communities through chess by making the game fun, exciting, and accessible.


Dickinson Chess Tournament in the Park

November 8, 2011

Join 9 Queens, Kore Press, and the Pima County Public Library for a Dickinson Chess Tournament on the Himmel Park Lawn on November 19, 2011! This event is a part of the Big Read Tucson. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Categories: Chess Event

November Family Chess Night @ Bookman’s features Bobby Fischer’s “Game of the Century”

October 17, 2011

Can you solve this month’s puzzle? White to move and mate in 4 moves.


Puzzle from the book Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess.

Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night, 6:30-8:30pm, first Wednesday of every month–this month Wednesday, November 2–and win a free prize. The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play chess.

Remembering Bobby Fischer’s 1956 “Game of The Century”

When asked in an interview the year before he died which of his games he thought the best or most beautiful, Fischer replied his game with Donald Byrne in 1956.

At the age of thirteen Robert James Fischer was invited to play with eleven other top Americans in the Rosenwald Memorial Tournament in New York City.

Playing black, Fischer forced mate at move 41, establishing him as one of the greatest chess prodigies. Because of Fischer’s age, precision and daring the game has been labeled the Game of the Century.

The game demonstrates young Fischer’s understanding of the hypermodern system and use of the Grunfeld Defense that quickly develops his pieces, hooking up his rooks and placing a rook in a center open file.


In the unexpected and powerful 11th move, Fischer brilliantly exploits white’s weak position. Fisher’s famous move 17. . .Be6!!  sets up a surprising queen sacrifice that results in a fierce attack with his minor pieces, allowing multiple discovered checks.

Lessons to be learned from this game–develop pieces quickly, castle early; a large pawn center (here, white pawns) can be a liability; an open file in the middle attacks a king in the center.

More about great Bobby Fischer games in puzzles to come.


Fischer, Bobby (with Stuart Margulies and Donn Mosenfelder), Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, Bantam Books, 1972

Brady, Frank, Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy, Dover, 1965

Verwer, Renzo, Bobby Fischer for Beginners, New in Chess Press, 2010



https://youtu.be/Vqbq_bPCzN8 (a YouTube commentary of the game)

https://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3434# (game commentary, history)

Categories: Chess Event / Events

Celebrate National Chess Day with 9 Queens

September 14, 2011

Hey Tucsonans: celebrate National Chess Day with 9 Queens and Bookmans on Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 2-4 pm at the Bookmans on Speedway and Wilmot. This event will feature free chess lessons for the entire family, chess arts and crafts, puzzles and prizes.

Categories: Uncategorized

October Family Chess Night

September 13, 2011

October’s Chess Puzzle celebrates Russian Women Chess Players

Can you find the checkmate? White to move and mate in three.

This puzzle is from a game with Alexandra Kosteniuk and Irina Zakurdjaeva, Russia 1998

Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night, 6:30-8:30pm, first Wednesday of every month–this month Wednesday, October 5–and win a free prize. The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play chess.

Russian Women’s Superfinals 2011

Russia has long held a strong presence in world chess and this holds true with women players.

The 61st  Women’s Russian Championship (August 19-August 28) recently concluded in Moscow. Ten invited women chess masters competed in the event. You can read a player’s report–4th place winner Natalia Pogonina. The tournament was won by Valentin Gunina with a score of 6.5/9.

The Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk, a former Women’s World Chess Champion who visited Tucson and 9Queens in December 2009, finished in 7th place with a score of 4/9. You can explore some of the 2011 Russian Women’s Superfinals games and view a summary of tournament play.


Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk and 9Queen’s Jean Hoffman December 2009


Jennifer, Vicki, Alexandra and Jean at the World Chess Hall of Fame, September 2011

Alexandra and Jean Hoffman recently showed up at the grand opening of the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri. They were joined by 9Queens Co-founder Jennifer Shahade and 9Queens Marketing Director Vicki Lazaro.

Vera Menchik inducted into World Chess Hall of Fame 2011

Recently inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame was the world’s first Women’s World Chess Champion, Vera Menchik. Vera was born in Russia 1906, learned to play chess at age 9 and moved to England in 1921. She became the first Women’s World Champion in 1927, successfully defending her title six times over the next 17 years.

October’s puzzle comes from Chapter 11: Vera Menchik, Play Like a Girl published by 9Queens. More about great women chess players in puzzles to come.


Solution to September’s Paul Morphy puzzle: Ra6 is the winning move for white.

Categories: Chess Event

September Family Chess Night @ Bookmans on Speedway

August 27, 2011

September Chess Puzzle by Paul Morphy
created in 1848

Can you solve the puzzle to mate in two moves? White to move.

paul morphy puzzle

Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night 6:30-8:30 (First Wednesday of every month)–this month Wednesday September 7–and win a free prize. The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play chess.

Paul Morphy and Robert James Fischer
America’s World Chess Champions

Paul Morphy  and Bobby Fischer are the only Americans to be the world’s best chess players–Morphy in the late 19th century and Fischer in the 20th century (1972).

Bobby Fischer 1960

Fischer had said that Morphy and the Cuban Champion, Jose Capablanca, were the chess players he most admired. He preferred their styles to all others– Morphy’s accuracy, Capablanca’s “light touch”—and acknowledged their brilliant natural talents.

Morphy and Lowenthal in 1858

Morphy, born in New Orleans in 1837 was an early chess prodigy, learning and mastering the game by watching his father and uncle play. By the time he was 12 years old he had defeated the Hungarian chess master Johann Lowenthal in a match of three games (pictured above). By 1859 he was considered the World Champion after a triumphant chess tour in Europe. He died in 1884.

This month’s chess puzzle is said to be the only puzzle that Morphy created, composed when he was eleven years old.

More about these great American champions in puzzles to come.


Paul Morphy: The Pride and the Sorrow of Chess by David Lawson, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2010

Bobby Fischer Goes to War, by David Edmonds and John Eidinow, Harper Collins Publisher, 2005


YouTube interviews: Bobby Fischer Tells You Why Chess is Boring and Tells You His Favorite Players, Last Interview Part 5

Fischer photo: Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-76052-0335,_Schacholympiade,_Tal_(UdSSR)_gegen_Fischer_(USA).jpg

Categories: Chess Event