Reminder: do not miss the 9 Queens Ladies Chess Academy this Sunday, May 23 from 2-4 pm at the Bookmans Low Lounge in the Girl Scout Resource Center!!! This month National Master Leo Martinez will be teaching advanced players how to create deadly decoys to distract their opponents. Beginners will learn the king and queen dance while going over how all the pieces move. This free workshop is generously sponsored by Bookmans.
Ladies of Tucson- do not miss a spectacular 9 Queens Academy this Sunday, March 21 from 2-4 pm at Bookmans on Grant and Campbell. National Master Leo Martinez will be teaching a tantalizing lesson on winning tempo in the opening, while expert Amanda Mateer will show you how to make the most out of exchanging pieces (especially the Queen). This workshop is free and open to female chess players of all ages and abilities. Many thanks to Bookmans for their continued sponsorship of our 9 Queens Academy Series. If you haven’t seen it, check out this great video from Bookmans featuring 9 Queens at the Tucson Festival of Books. So much fun!
On Sunday, December 20, 9 Queens was thrilled to host reigning Women’s World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk at our December Queens Academy. Grandmaster Kosteniuk selected 9 Queens as the only chess program in the country to honor as part of her holiday goodwill tour. After flying to Tucson on an early morning flight from Miami, Ms. Kosteniuk answered questions, signed autographs and gave a free simultaneous chess exhibit for 34 lucky chess enthusiasts. The event attracted close to 200 Tucsonans of all ages to meet the chess champion and celebrate empowerment through chess. The simul lasted 2 and a half hours; although Alexandra didn’t lose a single game, four talented participants were able to draw the World Champion (visit Alexandra’s blog post to see her take on a game with Bryan Hu or Chess Life Online for another game with Ann Price).
Organized in less than week, the event was a huge success thanks to all the tremendous support from local businesses, volunteers and sponsors. First and foremost,we are incredibly grateful to Alexandra, the brainchild of this amazing and innovative charitable act. Given how stressful the holidays are in general, it was inspiring to witness someone dedicate so much of their time towards promoting chess. Special thanks to our sponsors including Alan Anderson of Checkm8Chess and Dr. Norm Saba for generously paying for Alexandra’s airfare, the Arizona Inn for donated her hotel room, Maynard’s Market for the gift basket, Bline Restaurant for the delicious cupcakes, and Cafe A La Cart for the ever popular mushroom pizza. We also want to thank BPM Solutions, Trisa and Andy Schorr, Paul Gold and Sam Ireland for helping underwrite all additional costs.
I also want to personally thank all the 9 Queens board members and volunteers for all the hours spent planning for the event including: Lorelei Francis-Anderson, Leo Martinez, Jeff Smith (our talented 9 Queens photographer responsible for beautiful images from the event), David Correa, Minette Burges, Vicki Lazaro (who designed all of the placards and posters on a short timeline), Ann Price, Sean Higgins, Vaishnav Arudyhula, Amanda Mateer (who came down on her birthday!), Jenelle Wallace, Quinta Peterson, Tom Michaud, Michelle Hotchkiss, Margo Burwell, James Grip, Eli Alster, Jacqui De Sa, Sam Hoffman, Bitty Rosenberg, Rick Hoffman and Christopher Rosenberg.
Women’s World Chess Champ Alexandra Kosteniuk to attend 9 Queens Academy!!!!
PLEASE NOTE: In order to accommodate Ms. Kosteniuk’s visit there have been a couple of important scheduling and venue changes:
The 9 Queens Academy will be now be held at the Parasol Project Arts Space (located at 299 Park Avenue) from 2-4 pm on Sunday Dec 20, 2009.
Immediately following the Queens Academy, from 4-7 pm at MAST (a new boutique located directly next door to Parasol Projects), 9 Queens will host a reception and simultaneous chess exhibit featuring Ms. Kosteniuk.
All activities will be open to all chess enthusiasts (men and women) of all ages and abilities.
On December 20, 2009, as part of her national goodwill tour to promote the benefits of chess, Ms. Kosteniuk will fly to Tucson, Arizona to promote the benefits of chess. From 2-4 pm at the Parasol Project Arts Space (299 S Park Avenue), Ms. Kosteniuk will answer questions from participants in the 9 Queens Academy and read from her new book “Diary of a Chess Queen.” Immediately following the Queens Academy, 9 Queens will host a reception and simultaneous chess exhibit at MAST a new boutique located next door to Parasol Project. During the simultaneous chess exhibit, Ms. Kosteniuk will play up to 50 chess players at the same time.
In addition to to serving as the current Women’s World Chess Champion, Ms. Kosteniuk, also serves as the co-chair for the World Chess Federation’s Commission for Womens Chess. Ms Kosteniuk is also a notable chess celebrity and widely regarded as the most popular chess player in the world.Known for the mantra “Chess is Cool,” Kosteniuk was recently voted the most influential chess player on Twitter.
Corazon at the 2nd Annual 9 Queens Library Tournament. Photo courtesy Jeff Smith www.jeffsmithusa.com
Last week I was looking through the results from our August 10th Library Tournament when I noticed that exactly 50% of the players in the Rookie Section were female! This is a huge leap from last year’s tournament, where women made up less than ten percent of the players. Now we still have some work to do in the Championship section (only three girls played in that section this year), but this is exciting news especially when compared to national trends where women make up around 10% of tournament players.
As we approach the one year anniversary of our monthly 9 Queens Academies in Tucson, congrats to all the Tucson women and girls who have participated in 9 Queens events over the last year. Can’t wait to see you all at the All Queens Chess Day.