9 Queens on a Board Near You
By co-founders Jean Hoffman and WGM Jennifer Shahade   
November 28, 2008

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Jennifer Shahade giving a simul in Belize. Photo by Elia Baron
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have nine queens?

Although unlikely and requiring quite a lot of help from your opponent, it is possible to promote all eight pawns and end the game with a total of nine queens.

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Unlikely, yes but impossible, no!


9 Queens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing all children with equal opportunities to realize their potential and enjoy the benefits of chess. 

Even though the queen is the strongest piece on the board, 9 Queens is concerned that all too often, there are not enough real life queens and princesses competing in scholastic events. With the goal of making the ratio more even, 9 Queens hosts all girls' programs and events in Tucson, Philadelphia and Charlotte and even coached at a Belize girls chess camp (belizechess.org) .

Even if there's not a 9 Queens event near you (find out at www.9queens. org), you can challenge yourself to the following highlights from 9 Queens instructors, events and workshops. Please e-mail your answers to gpetersen@uschess.org or mail to Glenn Petersen, 44-D Manchester Court, Freehold, NJ 07728. There will be a drawing among correct entries for a special 9 Queens prize.

1.

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Jenelle Wallace of the National High School Championship team, Catalina Foothills, volunteers at a Queens Academy in Tucson led by 9 Queens co-founder Jean Hoffman.  In the following position, Jennelle's opponent just played ... Re8, but this was a fatal mistake. Why?


2.

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In a 9 Queens workshop in Philadelphia, Jennifer Shahade asked students to create from scratch, positions to describe a particular theme. The following example, created by Sanjana Friedman and Kateryna Kruzement Prykhodko,  elegantly illustrates what theme?



A position created by 9 Q students. What's the situation if it’s black to move and what if it's white’s turn?


3.

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This summer in the 9 Queens knockout in Chelsea, rap star RZA and women’s grandmaster and 9 Queens co-founder Jennifer Shahade faced off in a team game versus two girls from multi-national Junior High Championship team, I.S. 318. Jennifer and RZA, playing Black chose the obvious Qxd5, but there was a much better move. Can you find it?


Ladies only!


These are toughies. Guys, you can try and come up with the right answers, but for this contest, we will only consider the responses from the real queens of the chessboard! Ladies, let’s hear from YOU! And my gnomes from Outer Mongolia will have nothing to do with this one. All responses will be forwarded to WGM Jennifer Shahade for consideration.

-Editor