Over 460 female players from 82 countries participated in the individualand team tournaments within the Queens’ festival global chess tournaments run from June 11 to June 27.The ambitious global project aiming at connecting women chess players from around the world of all ages and all rating groups was organized by FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess in cooperation with FIDE Events Commission and with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as Asian Chess Federation, African Chess Confederation, European Chess Union, and Confederation of Chess for Americas.
After four continental qualifiers, the strongest players in their rating categories advanced to the Queens’ Online Individual and Team Finals.
In the highest-rated category (> 2100), the individual tournament saw the triumph of IM/WGM Martha Fierro from Ecuador with IM/WGM Olga Zimina (Italy) finishing second and WGM Gong Qianyun (Singapore) coming in third.
Argentina scored 29.5 points and emerged as the winner of the Team Blitz Tournament. Georgia with 29 points and Indonesia with 28 points finished second and third respectively.
The event format allowed winning prizes in different rating categories and gave a chance to all to represent their countries in the finals. In addition, winners got multiple training sessions with leading chess coaches: Arthur Jussupow, Aleksey Dreev, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Ilaha Kadimova.
“One of the important goals of the FIDE WOM Commission is to build a network and a database for women in chess so we can share and spread important information more easily and efficiently. The Queens’ Festival is a clear step forward to achieve this goal. We believe that education can bring lasting results to boost female participation in all aspects of chess life. Therefore we offer our winners multiple training sessions with leading chess trainers. Our commission is also constantly supporting women by arranging numerous educational seminars for them in recent years, free of charge,” said the Chair of FIDE WOM Commission Eva Repkova.
Queens’ Festival side events also enjoyed considerable interest. Presentations by speakers of the project were watched by thousands of viewers on the FIDE YouTube Channel. Many important topics were covered, including gender equality, which is of utmost importance to the chess community and society in general.
“We are so happy with the outcome of the seminars! Ten speakers, participants from 54 countries, many hours of very interesting discussions. It was an important part of our project,” said the FIDE Vice President Lukasz Turlej.
All the seminars as well as broadcasts of individual and team blitz finals can be watched here.
The Queens’ Festival was warmly acclaimed by many female chess players who participated in the tournaments or watched the online seminars. “Thank you so much for organizing this event. You have no idea how much this means to me. At my age, most of my female friends already gave up chess, and even I did… (until I got married to a chess player), but God has a way of bringing back the dreams we thought we lost forever.” – wrote Melody Lady G. Takayasu from Japan.
The first edition of “The Queens’ Festival” was a success and the organizers hope that the project will grow in the coming years. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) is proud to contribute to this initiative and will continue to do so in the future. Especially as the year 2022 was declared to be “The Year of Woman in Chess” by FIDE.