|Jen on the Queen's Gala and Carlsen-Anand|
|By Jennifer Shahade|
|November 5, 2013|
I just returned from the Saint Louis Chess Club and the World Chess Hall of Fame, where I helped promote A Queen Within and gave a series of lectures at the club.
The spectacular A Queen Within opened in Saint Louis to much fanfare. A benefit, "The Queen's Gala" raised money for the organization and featured Grandmasters, along with socialites, artists and designers from London, Paris and New York.
Two lesson packages with me were even auctioned off. I was nervous to go up on stage as attendees bid on me, but relieved and happy to see the audience respond well to my call to get more girls into the game. "Queen Power" programs in Saint Louis will tie the art of A Queen Within to chess workshops for girls.
At the public ribbon-cutting ceremony for the show, GM-elect Irina Krush and I gave simuls to local girls.
After the Queen Within opening festivities wrapped up, I stayed in Saint Louis to give a series of lectures and lessons at the Chess Club, starting with this two part series on previous Magnus Carlsen –Vishy Anand battles.
I cannot wait for the World Championship match, and am even planning to drastically change my schedule to accomodate for the early start time (4:30 AM EST!). GM Ian Rogers' CLO coverage began with a "Couch Potato's Guide" on how to best follow the match.
In Queen Power field trips, classrooms toured "A Queen Within" and followed it up with an introductory chess lesson at the Chess Club. The glamour and the beauty of the show seemed to inspire girls: "I am so much more interested in chess now."
While at the club, I ran into Webster student GM Manuel Leon Hoyos, who introduced me to Mexican WIM Diana Pereyra, in town for the SPICE Cup. Diana was also impressed by the show, calling it one of the best she'd seen.
Find more photos from my time in Saint Louis below and further info on the WCHOF site. Some press highlights: photo galleries in the Post-Dispatch, Alive Magazine and show reviews by Debra Bass for the Post and in the Modern Midwest.