"If we could make chess a cool thing for girls to do…we could also solve the problem of why we don't have more female engineers, or more females in math and sciences," laments Ruth Haring, president of the U.S. Chess Federation. "It's something we have to address so that girls can have some role models — and that's what this type (The National All-Girls) of tournament will create.”
We, at Hipsters for Sisters, couldn’t agree more. Research shows there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement. Numerous studies have proven that students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability. It teaches higher level thinking skills such as the ability to visualize, analyze, and think critically. Sadly, most girls are not taking advantage of this learning opportunity.
Why are so many girls missing out? Would it surprise you to learn that girls make up less than 3% of the tournament community? This means fewer of them are competing for scholarships, fewer are eligible to play at the world-class level and fewer are training in the analytical skills the sport is grounded in, said Haring. The reasons girls stray from chess are many, she said. “For those who learn to play as youngsters, they may leave because the activity is male-dominated and not considered cool, she said. When girls go to tournaments and meet-ups, they have no one to talk to and no one they feel a connection with, she said.”
"Sometimes girls simply shy away from chess because it pits them one-on-one against boys, whose attention and favor they are trying to capture, said Robert McLellan, the executive producer of "Brooklyn Castle," a documentary about one school's immersion in the sport." Girls are taught early not to beat boys," he said. "They will sometimes throw games and lose on purpose. Men don't view (competition) the same way."
We at Hipsters for Sisters believe that chess symbolizes intellectual achievement in a male-dominated arena. Part of our mission is to level the playing field in terms of women’s self image, self-esteem and intellectual development. The National All Girls Tournament helps deliver on that mission. This is why we choose to support the All Girls. In addition to awarding belt bags to the top three finishers, we have partnered with Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation (the organization that runs this tournament) to sponsor girls that might not otherwise be able to play due to financial restraints. Through March, 2% of the purchase price of every belt bag sold online will be used to sponsor as many girls as possible to attend this national tournament.
For more more information of the benefits of chess, check out the following sites: