“Chess Nationals for me has been an amazing trip filled with adventure, emotions, and connection. When I finally reached my hotel room and saw what Columbus has to offer, I felt free. No, I was free because I got away from the everyday stress of my typical world. I could say without a doubt that I lived life when I went to Ohio."
“I think that now I’m more into chess than I was before All-Girls Nationals. I didn’t think I’d go to competitions. I didn’t know about all the competitions. I like it. I really like the team part. I like the competitiveness too.”
“During this tournament I learned that my teammates have become a big part of my life, including my two coaches. They gave me hope in my confidence, self-passion, and motivation to pursue whatever I want to do.The amount of effort my teammates and coaches have put me in not only a chess player but as a human being still makes me emotional. They gave me an escape from my problems and hardships and let me sit down, move pieces on a board and fall in love with the game of Chess.”
“I like to play boys and girls. All-girls tournaments kind of excites me because I get to see how girls play. I like to see how they play differently than boys. Getting to spend time with my chess family was my favorite moment. Playing as a girl now, I feel more confident and feel like people don’t judge me based on how I play. I don’t like that boys say that we’re easier to beat or that you don’t know how to play as a girl.”
“That’s why I like this tournament; there are no boys allowed. When I play boys, they are much easier to beat. When I play a girl it takes a lot of time and a lot of thinking. A boy is straightforward and I know what they are going to do. I feel different now; when I first started I didn’t know that much about chess. Then, I started winning trophies. I have 10 trophies and 18 medals. I feel proud of myself and I’m not going to let anyone bring me down because if I have 10 trophies, I know I can do it.”
“Most people haven’t been outside of the city of Philadelphia and trips like this help people do this. Chess also strengthens your ability to interact with others. It makes you interact with people that you don’t see every day, and people with different personalities. One of the most important things is that it allows you to have more resources than you previously did. You meet people with more knowledge and experience, and they are in positions that might be good connections in the future.”