Tournament time for GSSEM’s 1st Chess Team

Tournament time for GSSEM’s 1st Chess Team

The GSSEM Chess Team has had a remarkable time since starting up in the fall. The girls have been learning the sport through in-person and virtual trainings, and recently had the chance to show off their new skills. 

The team went to the Cincinnati Queen City Chess Classic and took to it like a boss! 

The girls played a grueling 5-match tournament against the best scholastic players in the Midwest/South area. 

GSSEM Girl Scout Juliette Windsor Polk tied for 7th place out of 59 players in her section, grades 4 – 6, while Onika Ryan, Troop 77284, helped her assigned team take 1st place in the grade 5 section!

For their first tournament, the GSSEM Chess Team did themselves, their supporters, and their coach proud. 

“The girls were resilient, never giving up against stiff competition,” said coach Kevin Fite, GSSEM’s VP of STEAM, Financial Literacy & Entrepreneurship. “They played strong and didn’t back down from anyone, all while having fun with each other.”

It wasn’t all games and fun. (Okay, yes it was!) The team met and learned from chess royalty including Grandmaster Irina Krush – the 8-time U.S. Female chess champion, and Maurice Ashley – the first-ever African American Grandmaster. 

“The chess weekend was really cool,” said Natalie True, 6th grader, Troop 76591, Rochester. “I didn’t know there were so many styles of playing chess!”

“This was my first-time seeing Grandmaster players play in person. They were so close to me!”

Not about to miss an opportunity, the parents helped the girls sell cookies during the tournament.

“Seeing a whole bunch of people playing chess at the competition was a fun experience. I’m so happy my Girl Scout teammates could experience something new like this with me.”

– Natalie True, Troop 76591
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