12 January 2018
The entry has grown year by year to an all-time high of 86 teams for the Southern semi-final in 2018 – 258 players. This is an unprecedented number of players for a female-only chess event in the UK. Official Controller Andrew Martin is looking forward to officiating at the semi finals again this year ‘Chess among girls is flourishing in England up to the age of 13, but after that it is proving a struggle to keep female players in the UK interested. It has traditionally been a male-dominated game but, the situation is improving. We are reaching the stage where women will be able to claim they can be at least as good as men at chess.My advice for anyone who wants to play and master this valuable skill is to keep practising and persevere especially when you feel progress is slow. You will improve!’
Alice Phillips, Headmistress of St Catherine’s is also a keen supporter ‘Chess provides great training in logic and teaches calm, careful and strategic thinking. As a girls’ school we decided to sponsor this competition as nothing like it existed for girls. It has grown year on year with a record number in 2018, proving there is an untapped wealth of interest, from both state and independent schools’.