*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***
Contact 9 Queens: Jean Hoffman
Contact Chessqueen: Alexandra Kosteniuk
CURRENT WOMEN’S WORLD CHESS CHAMPION COMES TO TUCSON
Tucson nonprofit selected as one of the few chess programs in the nation honored by Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk
(TUCSON, AZ ) Current Women's World Chess Champion and Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk has selected the Tucson nonprofit organization 9 Queens as one of the few chess programs in the country to honor with her Christmas Goodwill Offer. On December 20, 2009, as part of her national goodwill tour to promote the benefits of chess, Ms. Kosteniuk will fly to Tucson, Arizona to participate in a range of free educational activities hosted by 9 Queens. From 2-4 pm at the Parasol Project Arts Space (299 S Park Avenue), Ms. Kosteniuk will answer questions from participants in the 9 Queens Academy and read from her new book "Diary of a Chess Queen." Immediately following the Queens Academy, 9 Queens will host a reception and simultaneous chess exhibit at MAST a new boutique located next door to Parasol Project. During the simultaneous chess exhibit, Ms. Kosteniuk will play up to 50 chess players at the same time.
In addition to serving as the current Women's World Chess Champion, Ms. Kosteniuk, also serves as the co-chair for the World Chess Federation's Commission for Women’s Chess. Ms Kosteniuk, a notable chess celebrity, is widely regarded as the most popular chess player in the world. Known for the mantra "Chess is Cool," Kosteniuk was recently voted the most influential chess player on Twitter.
"Alexandra has done so much to promote not only women's chess but chess in general," says 9 Queens executive director Jean Hoffman, "It is a huge honor to have her come to Tucson and recognize our growing chess community.
Over the past two years, 9 Queens has created a range of programs designed in empower under-served and under-represented populations through chess. In August 2008, 9 Queens created the Tucson Queens Initiative--a multi-year campaign designed not only to increase the percentage of female chess players, but also to empower girls to achieve academic, personal and professional success. Since then the percentage of women participating in 9 Queens beginner chess tournaments as skyrocketed from less than ten percent to almost fifty percent. The high percentage of female chess players in Tucson stands in stark contrast to national trends where women make up around eight percent of the chess community.
"I could not think of a better organization to do this goodwill event with since I support 9 Queens strongly,” explained Kosteniuk regarding her decision to partner with 9 Queens.