Monday, March 09, 2009
Two Chess Girls in Washington State
At the Washington State Middle School and Junior High School Team Championship, held on March 7th at the Islander Middle School on Mercer Island, a team from Bellevue’s Odle Middle School captured first place for the fourth year in a row. For the first time, however, the championship team has two girls on its five-member roster.
Megan Lee in 7th grade playing Board 2 and Leanne Hwa in 6th grade playing Board 5, both scored perfect 5.0/5. These girls have had many accomplishments in their short chess-playing endeavors: they are both nationally ranked on the various USCF-maintained Top Player Lists and both played in the prestigious Susan Polgar Invitational for Girls national tournament in the past (Megan Lee in 2007 and Leanne Hwa in 2008).
It was refreshing to see girls from several schools participating in this tournament. As in typical chess contests, boys far outnumber girls, especially at middle and high school levels. For these motivated girls, chess must be a very “cool thing”!
Links: http://www.whsca.org/ and http://www.whsca.org/MSTeam.html
Special thanks to Howard Hwa for sending us the picture and article!