Chess for Girls

For various reasons, women and girls make up only around 15% of total US Chess members across the country.

HRCA is working hard to improve recruitment and retention of girls in chess in our region.  Our youth clubs boast a far greater number of girls than the national average, yet we also have trouble retaining girls beyond the elementary school years.

Not all girls (or kids in general) are interested in competitive chess.  Girls report that chess provides a tremendous self-confidence boost in addition to the other well-known academic and life benefits of chess.  Noting that girls also gravitate toward each other in a chess club setting, HRCA is piloting programs to host “Girls’ Chess Knights” at local businesses, where girls can learn, play, and socialize with “no boys allowed”.

If you are interested in hosting a girls chess event, please contact us.

NEW in Fall 2021 is the HRCA Women and Girls Chess Club at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center!  Check out that portion of our website to sign up for the current session!  Our volunteer-led club will provide informal instruction and casual play for women and girls, as well as coordinating extra activities such as outings or guest speakers, with a focus on empowering women and girls through chess!

While girls can and do compete against boys in chess tournaments, they sometimes enjoy a tournament of their own.  All girls are strongly encouraged to attend the All-Girls National Championship in Chicago every April.

Check out these articles about women and girls in chess!

US Chess Women

Make Way for the Queens of Chess!

Hou Yifan and the Wait for Chess’s First Woman World Champion

The Girls Fighting Stereotypes in the World of Scholastic Chess

A List of One’s Own:  The New Top 100 Women Rankings

National Girls Tournament of Champions:  Promote Girls Chess

HRCA Executive Director Christina Schweiss is pictured here with other prominent women chess organizers from across the United States.


To Donate specifically to our Chess for Girls program, click here:

Thank you for your support!