On May 1st-2nd, Chess2All hosted the official North Carolina Girls State Chess Championship. Chess2all is both a nonprofit as well as a President’s Volunteer Service Award Certifying organization, and is completely student-run. The organization was founded in 2018 by two teenagers in North Carolina: Alex Chen and Angela Chen; in fact, Alex Chen is actually the youngest National Chess Master in NC.
This marks the first ever NC Girls State Chess Championship in the history of North Carolina to have been hosted by students. The two co-founders spent months working together in order to file a bid form, and eventually was chosen by the North Carolina Chess Association to host the tournament.
The tournament along with its side events (Official NC Blitz and Rapid Championships) was a huge success, with a total of over 70 players. Arya Kumar, champion of the Open section of the NC Girls Chess Championship, was awarded a $300 scholarship to represent NC at the US National Girls K-12 Chess Championship.
Chess2all is a stellar example of not only the beautiful impacts of the game of chess, but also the leadership and dedication of students within our community. Both Alex and Angela grew up playing chess; Alex won the Bronze Medal in the North American Youth Championship, and Angela was 2nd at previous NC Girls State Chess Championships for 2 years in a row. Now, the two have continued their love for chess by hosting tournaments for other chess players in their community, showcasing their passion for the game as well as their initiative and diligence.
On August 15th of 2020, Chess2All hosted a tournament in respect to the victims of the tragedy in Beirut, Lebanon. This tournament not only provided a fun and enjoyable environment for chess players of all skill levels to participate and learn, but it also raised over $500 for charity with the participation of more than 50 players across the nation with over 20 chess masters.
The event consisted of players from all over the country, and even across the world. Players from Chicago, California, New Jersey, Russia, England, Washington, and more all came to show their support for the cause through their common passion for chess. Some notable players that attended the tournament were:
The tournament was free of charge and consisted of two sections - the open section in which anyone could participate and the U1600 section in which players with ratings under 1600 could partake. The prizes for the open section were $50 for first place, $20 for second place, and $10 for third place. For the U1600 section, a free one hour group lesson was awarded to those who placed in the top three. There were six rounds total with a blitz format, meaning that each round lasted five minutes with two second increments.
The top three players from both divisions were:
The Lebanese Red Cross - the main provider of ambulance services in Lebanon that dispatched every ambulance they could to treat the wounded and help in search-and-rescue operations
Impact Lebanon - a non-profit organization that set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the disaster relief, in which they successfully raised over six-million dollars
Baytna Baytak - a charity that provided free housing to health care workers during the pandemic and is now raising money to give shelter to those who were displaced.
If you were not able to attend the Beirut relief event, don’t worry! Chess2All is currently planning future events to give opportunities for players of all skill levels to stay engaged and have fun amidst the pandemic. We would like to thank all the players who came out and showed their support for this relief tournament, and we can’t wait to see you all in future events.