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Who Run the World? Girls (Who Play Chess)

Posted by on 3/13/2014 to Community

If you know us, you know that we love the game of chess. That’s because, more than almost any other activity, it teaches higher level thinking skills, such as the ability to visualize, analyze, and think critically. That’s a set of skills we want every girl to own.

When we signed on to help sponsor girls for the 11th Annual KCF All-Girls National Chess Championships, we had no idea we were about to fall in love. Knowing that we, at Hipsters for Sisters, are all about empowering women, the Foundation’s co-founder and Executive Director, Sheila Heiser, approached us with the opportunity to sponsor a school team comprised of only girls. Needless to say, we were delighted with the prospect and anxious to find out more about them. This awesome team of fourth grade girls is one of the only all-girl chess teams currently in existence! The girls: Kendall, Angela, Aniyla, Danielle, Dezarae, Precious, and Shamiya have only been playing chess since last October, but their teacher has already seen clear signs of “neurons popping” (a good thing, I think!). 

Take a peek into the minds of our future leaders by meeting these seven members of the Oglessby Montessori “All-Girl” school team!

Kendall Oglesby All Girls Chess Team


“Hi. I'm ten. If I was a chess piece, I would be the queen because she's powerful and she can move anywhere on the chess board. Her best move is check mate, and stale mate, which is like a draw. The chess timers are fun because when you move you get to press it fast.

My favorite field trip in Montessori was going to Nature's Classroom for a week. I like Montessori because you get to eat in the classroom with your friends and you get to do biology and science work. Right now I'm reading Big Nate Flips Out.

I like to do swimming and I like to go bike riding. I want to see Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. Scary movies don't scare me.”  

       Aniyla and Angela Oglesby All Girls Chess Team

Angela and Aniyla


“Chess gives me lots of strategies in my thinking. My favorite piece is the rook because you can corner the king and trap it with a rook. My favorite move is moving my pawn to E3 because that way if they move to D6 I can put them in check right away.

I am a first time player. I love sky blue because it's a light color and shows an emotion which is happy, artistic and creative. My favorite movie is Ghost Cat.  One more thing...I like to take tests, like the ISAT, and I like to take quizzes too.”


“I thought chess looked hard at first, but after Mr. Fisherman came, I learned. My favorite piece is the queen because it attacks diagonally from anywhere. I love sky blue. It is my favorite color. My favorite movie is White T. I love Beyonce and I dance like she does. Dancing is fun and dance mime in church is fun too. It makes me feel good.”

Amarea Oglesby All Girls Chess Team


“I'm 9 years old. I like poems now. I love Big Sister Tells Me That I'm Black (see photo). Can I tell you my favorite movie? I like LittleMan. My favorite color is blue. I do like blue in the sky and snow falling down blue and a snow angel. My favorite song is OMG Girlz.  It's T.I.'s daughter. I practice a lot for the chess tournament with my grandfather. I play on my tablet too.”

Dezarae All Girls Chess Team


Chess is hard.  It's difficult.  Chess is serious.  The most important things to me are chess and my family.  I am a 9 year old girl.  My favorite color is pink.  I've got three siblings.  I try my best even when I don't win.  

My favorite music is Michael Jackson's.  I like his dance moves and like it when he says "Hee Hee".  This is me doing a Michael Jackson move.

Danielle Oglesby All Girls Chess Team


“I'm 9 years old. I like to play chess. If I was a chess piece I would be the queen because I would go EVERYWHERE! I wouldn't want to be a king because I could be caught so easily.

My favorite work in school is dissection of a frog.  My favorite color is blue. Louder Than A Bomb was the best trip with my Montessori class, and a play called Number the Stars.... and Nature's Classroom camp.”

Precious Oglesby All Girls Chess Team

Precious and her mom        

“My name is Precious. I'm ten. I'm funny. My favorite color is pink. Sometimes it's blue and lime green. I like the Seahawks! I like Beyonce, how she does her beats and her songs because she is very intelligent. I like “Blue Ivy, Hold On To Me” best. I like my family and my friends. They are so funny.”

Shamiya Oglesby All Girls Chess Team


“I like the chess clock. You move the pieces and you've got to tap it really fast. I like playing in tournaments because you get to compete with people you never met before. 

My favorite color is purple. It reminds me of a dress I was wearing at my brother's birthday dance. I love plays, especially Number the Stars about soldiers in World War II. Kristi was the little sister in that play. 

This summer I hope I get to go to a water park.” 

About Oglesby Montessori Foundation

The Oglesby Montessori Foundation (OMF) was developed in 2012 and funds an alternative school choice to low-income families and their children in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of Chicago: Auburn Gresham/Englewood. The proven method of Montessori education supports individualized learning, skills for conflict resolution, and fosters critical social and academic skills throughout the primary to upper elementary levels. Through continued support of private and public funds, OMF plans ongoing expansion of the program into middle school continuing excellence in education for their students.

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