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"...Assist me, goddess!"
...Who first, O muse, began the bold attack;
the white refulgent, or the mournful black?
...Long time the war in equal balance hung;
Till, unforeseen, an ivory courser sprung,
And, wildly prancing in an evil hour,
Attack'd at once the monarch and the tower... 
~Sir William Jones, 'Caissa, the Muse of Chess' (1763)

Join us in the Girls Only Chess Forum today!

The Kasparov Chess Foundation announces the first annual All-Girls National Chess Championships
to be held this May 14-16 in Chicago

The first annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls is coming next August!

Girls and Chess

 
S..Anguissola, c. 1555 -- photograph by Erich Lessing

Congratulations to Susan Polgar--first female Grandmaster of the Year!

 An historic first!  Beatriz Marinello becomes first woman USCF President!

                                   -Update on Kateryna Lahno, now 14 and competing against the world's top men  
    -Stephanie Ballom of Texas (age 14) is moving up the ranks

   
-Double your fun!  Meet these identical twin grandmasters!
-16-year-old Marie Sebag of France kicks GM derriere  
        
-
You go, girl!  Find out about 13-year-old WGM Kateryna Lahno
-Read "My Life in Chess" by 10-year-old Saya Wallace   
-Click here to see a game annotated by a 9-year-old girl  

Chess is a sport which has largely been dominated by men, yet there is no reason why girls and women can't compete and win at the top levels.  In fact, we can take inspiration from some very strong women chess players.  The most impressive story is that of Judit Polgar (you can view over 1,200 of her games here), the youngest of three chess-playing sisters from a homeschooled Hungarian family.  Father Laszlo Polgar wrote a book which is considered a classic chess puzzle tome.  Judit's rating is now over 2700, the highest ever for a woman, and she is currently ranked among the world's top 10 grandmasters. 

Judit's two sisters are also strong players.  The middle daughter, Zsofi (Sofia), is an international master, but did not pursue chess professionally.  The oldest sister, Zsuzsa (Susan), has been women's world champion (she unfairly lost this title in 2001--later winning a lawsuit against FIDE), continues to successively play chess at a high level (for instance, she recently won the 2003 U.S. Open Blitz championship), is a great supporter of girls and chess, and writes a few regular chess columns.  Her ChessCafe.com article from September 2002, The Gender Gap*, is a good example.  In Susan's February 2003 article, The Future of Women's Chess in America*, she writes about four of the top female chess players in America today, including Irina Krush and Jennifer Shahade (check out a fun match these two played in March 2003, and watch for their names in chess news!).  Read Susan's most recent article here.

*Susan Polgar's articles first appeared on ChessCafe.com and are linked here
by permission of both the author and ChessCafe.com.

Other notable top female chess players include:
Anna Hahn--2003 U.S. women's champion (see the tie-break report)
Laura Ross--top-rated 14-year-old chess player in the U.S.
Zhu Chen--the current FIDE women's world champion

Koneru Humpy
--16-year-old grandmaster/rising star from India
Alexandra Kosteniuk--became a WGM at age 14

Elena Donaldson--woman grandmaster now making her home in Seattle

Click here for a list of the Women's World Champions
Click here for a list of the top 100 women chess players in the U.S.

Click here for a gallery of photos of strong female chess players
Click here for pictures of the 2004 U.S. Women's Olympiad Team


Roxanne Samer, the highest-rated female chess player in Oregon,
played a simul at the 
Rise-N-Fly 2003 chess festival in downtown Portland

Can you solve these challenging tactical puzzles
from the 2003 European Women's Independent Championship?

 

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