Monday 3 June 2019

Event Announcement (2): Teesside International Women’s Invitation Chess Championship

We are delighted to announce details of another brand new event.

Teesside International Women’s Invitation Chess Championship
Supported by the English Chess Federation

Dates: Thursday 20 – Friday 21 June

Venue: The Links Primary School


Agnieszka Milewska (Poland)

Jo Hutchinson (England)

Raphaele Schmitz-Hastings (France)

Gulbahor Hamdamova (Uzbekistan)

Rayelynn Posadas (Philipines)

Format Day One: All-play-all tournament with 25 minutes per clock.

Format Day Two: The chess players will work with groups of children at The Links Primary School, acting as mentors, tutors and role models.

This event, which is supported by the English Chess Federation, has many aims, including:

  • The creation of a new international tournament.
  • Impacting on the school children and community of Teesside.
  • Raising the profile of women’s chess and providing the children with role models.
  • Celebrating the contribution of overseas women to English chess.

The players in this brand new Teesside International Women’s Invitation Chess Championship will be playing for the Vera Menchik Memorial Trophy.

Vera Menchik, born in Moscow in 1906, moved to England in 1921. She became the first Women’s World Chess Champion in 1927 and went on to successfully defend her title six times. Menchik was still the reigning champion when, very unfortunately, she was killed during the war when a V1 rocket hit her London home. She was just 38 years old.

Despite her short life, Vera Menchik became a role model and inspiration for female chess players everywhere, with her regular appearances at the famous Hastings tournament having a particular impact on chess in England.

The trophy for the Women’s Chess Olympiad is called the Vera Menchik Cup and she had a further honour bestowed upon her when she was inducted to the World Chess Hall of Fame in 2011.

Chris Fegan, ECF Director of Women's Chess said:

'This is a fantastic new initiative which I am delighted to support and highlights the contribution made by overseas women to English chess over decades and keeps alive the spirt of Vera Menchik. The event is the type of example of new innovate and "out of the box" thinking that is needed in English chess to move the game forward in England and to try to stop the decline of the game which we have seen in recent times. 

English chess needs to reinvent and reinvigorate itself to make out attractive to new players both in a social and competitive arena and we need to do more and more to encourage women of all ages to play socially and competitively.

It is vital that we promote chess as a game for women and to help do so we need to move away from the old style, outdated and outmoded image and indeed often reality of chess as something played by middle aged men in the upstairs back rooms of back street pubs."

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