9 Queens: Empowerment through Chess

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

Player Spotlight

Alexandra

Alexandra Kosteniuk

12th Women’s World Chess Champion

“I make an effort to support organizations like 9 Queens and share their commitment to popularizing chess. Chess Fest will be the second 9 Queens event I have supported and attended. ”

About Us

Success Stories

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When I was first approached with the possibility of having Chess taught in my class, I thought that it would be a wonderful opportunity for my students to learn about strategies. I thought that this would allow them to learn and use analyzing skills. What I did not expect was how quickly they would learn to apply these skills. Over the course of the year, I have found it difficult to get my students to answer questions that require them to use a higher order of thinking on Bloom’s taxonomy. In the category of analysis, Bloom includes analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, and test.

Ms. Hoffman is a master at questioning students and breaking down task in ways that allow for understanding and mastery. Because this game is interesting and the instruction so high-quality my students have been able to use higher order thinking to discuss chess strategy and tactics at a level that I did not think that they were capable of.

Felicia Martinez

2nd grade teacher


Since I have been involved with the 9 Queens chess program I am always amazed at quickly the students learn the game of chess. The game of chess promotes great discipline that it carries on after and before the game of chess. In my classroom I use the chess player position to settle the students and they earn points for their table. They get quiet quickly and stay quiet and listen to my directions.  It also amazes me that my struggling students pick up the strategies so well in the game of chess. I believe the game of chess is beneficial for the students thinking skills and to concentrate on their behavior.

Linda Marquez

First grade teacher.


Our family is so grateful for 9 Queens. The folks in 9 Queens basically taught our 7 year-old daughter how to play chess at the International Chess Day celebration at Bookman’s, while our 12 year-old son, who was already familiar with the rules of the game, played a match and met several chess teachers and other youth who play the game. It was here that our son became introduced to the Southern Arizona Chess Association and the United States Chess Federation. He has since met with several chess teachers and coaches, and he has joined a chess team and has played in his first tournament.

We also attended the Family Day that was sponsored by 9 Queens at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and there my daughter received her second major inspirational chess experience, when she and a friend solved a chess puzzle, and they were both given 9 Queens chess sets as prizes. From that moment on, she has had confidence in her ability to understand the game and to learn more strategies.

The third 9 Queens event that we attended was held outside the Himmel Park Library, where a celebration for Emily Dickenson and chess turned into a wonderful day replete with chess, poetry, and a catered lunch. Both of our children played friendly tournament-style matches with other Tucsonans at the park. For our family, chess has become a game that we play amongst ourselves, and socially with friends, and even as a form of healthy community fun. Our son, who is in the Boy Scouts, chose to help me organize four instructional sessions and a chess tournament so the boys in his troop could earn the newly-created chess merit badge. We were given help and support from 9 Queens, whose advice was instrumental in the success of ten boys earning the chess merit badge. I am going to continue as a chess merit badge counselor and offer the opportunity for Scouts across Tucson to earn the badge at the upcoming Merit Badge Day. All of this community building and interest in chess is due to the passion and dedicated efforts of those in 9 Queens.  They have made chess so much fun for us, and we just continue to have a great time with it.

Kurt Fischer

9 Queens parent and chess player


I’ve really enjoyed the chess instruction I’ve experienced and now provide through 9QUEENS. I started studying chess a couple of years ago soon after I retired as a college professor. I’m able to take the earliest concerns I had about strategy and tactics and help those who are experiencing the same learning curve I did two years ago. Although just a beginner, playing with people of all levels and ages has been quite an education.

Margo Burwell

9 Queens instructor and chess player


I have two sons and they both enjoy playing chess.We have been regular participants in many chess tournaments, mostly at local schools in Tucson. I wanted to let you know that we love going to the 9 Queens events more than any other.Unlike many chess events, 9 Queens fosters a sense of community, and the emphasis is on having fun. As a parent I have often heard myself say, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” When we go to a 9 Queens event, we are living that principle.

Fun and friendly competition combine with interesting events, ensuring a great family experience.My kids enjoy being able to play with opponents of all ages, in a stress free environment.We look forward to the next event. Thank You for all that you do.

Bridgitte Thum

9 Queens parent and chess player