Chess camp for girls wants to boost confidence while mastering game


Chess camp for girls wants to boost confidence while mastering game
Erica Lamberg, Correspondent
Published 12:00 p.m. ET Oct. 26, 2017

Alice Dong is a chess champion and has been playing chess since age 7. A graduate of Princeton High School, Dong is a sophomore studying economics and mathematics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

On Nov. 12, Alice will host the fourth annual NJ All-Girls Chess Camp, which is free for all girls in grades K-12. The camp will be held at Windsor Athletic Club in West Windsor. Registration for the camp will go live Nov. 1 through .

“I was introduced to it through my local Chinese school and then joined a club in elementary school,” she said. “At 8, I tied for first place in the Susan Polar National Open for Girls as the only player and was the only player able to defeat the top seed. In 2010, I represented the USA to play in the World Youth Chess Championships in Greece and qualified every year after, although I attended only the ones in 2013 (the UAE) and 2015 (Greece again).

"In 2012, I won the ninth annual Susan Polgar Invitational for Girls. In 2015, I tied for first in the 12th annual Kasparov Chess Foundation National All-Girls Championships in the top section. In 2016, I was number one on the USCF’s Top 100 list for Age 18 girls. The summer before college started, I won the 13th annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls Invitational — the second person in the history of the tournament to win it twice.”

The free chess camp is open to all girls.

“Chess has been shown to be a great educational tool for students as it helps improve their problem-solving abilities, trains them to be more disciplined and patient, ad helps them learn to concentrate more effectively in class, which usually also helps enhance their academic performance,” Alice said.

“In addition, chess can help students gain confidence, make friends, and learn team work and leadership.”

She hopes that this camp will be a springboard for girls to become interested in chess.

“I believe that this camp can serve as a good entry for girls into the field of chess. It is not just completely free, but each girl also walks away with a chess set and friends in the chess world,” she added.

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