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Madison City Chess League will open Girls Chess Night for summer 2021 on June 10 at Sweet Charlie’s. Students Mercedes Zich, from left, and Kennedy Gore discuss the schedule with Ranae Bartlett, MCCL Executive Director. CONTRIBUTED

Girls Chess Night returns for summer face-to-face, online events

MADISON – Summertime has arrived and so has the return of Girls Chess Night with special sessions that Madison City Chess League or MCCL sponsors.

Players are excited to resume over-the-board playing, now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

“We have a great combination of face-to-face and online events for our Girls Chess Club members,” MCCL Executive Director Ranae Bartlett said. “Girls Chess Night starts on Thursday, June 10 with another event planned on Sunday, June 13.”

“Whenever I ask girls why they enjoy playing in tournaments, they usually answer ‘to see and hang out with their friends,’” Bartlett said. “Now they still like to win and are fierce competitors, but the social aspect of chess is equally important.”

To build that camaraderie, Bartlett always has focused on different opportunities for girls to ‘hang out’ and enjoy each other’s company, as well as play chess. Compared to chess clubs across the country, some Madison teams have a very high percentage of girls.

The chess gathering on June 10 will start at 6 p.m. The girls will meet at Sweet Charlie’s Ice Cream Shop at 7626 U.S. 72 W., Suite 102 in Madison. The eatery’s ice cream and frozen yogurt is made to order on a cold surface below 20 degrees.

On June 13, female players will meet at Stovehouse at 2 p.m. Located at 3414 Governors Drive in Huntsville, the Stovehouse complex stands on the converted Martin Stoves factory. The All Girls Tournament on ChessKid.com is scheduled for June 27 at 2 p.m.

Another outing for the Girls Chess Club will be held on July 11 at Cook Museum of Natural Science at 133 4th Ave. NE in Decatur at 2 p.m. The innovative museum gives a hands-on, immersive experience with live specimens of sea turtles, fish, coral, reptiles and amphibians.

Another iteration of the All Girls Tournament on ChessKid.com is scheduled for July 25 at 2 p.m.

Bartlett tries to provide online and in-person opportunities for girls, along with working with instructors who are great developing female talent. Last year, MCCL sponsored classes taught by Women’s Grand Master Irina Levitina.

After the ChessKid USA All Girls Championship, in which Bob Jones High School girls placed first in the nation, U.S. Women’s Chess Champions, including GM Irina Krush, WGM Jennifer Yu and Sabina Foiser, taught the top winners.

In the future, MCCL will continue to host monthly online tournaments for girls to give additional time to play together and sharpen their skills. MCCL also has offered to host the All Girls State Championship again in Madison. “We hope the Alabama Chess Federation will take us up on the offer since we have the highest concentration of girls playing chess in the state,” Bartlett said.

For more information, call 256-970-4762, email mccl.director@gmail.com or visit madisonchess.com.

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