Press Release on Simul

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Kevin Thurlow
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Press Release on Simul

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue May 10, 2022 10:54 am

A good event of course, and well done Emily, but "It’s the first time a chess champion has visited the UK since 1979 to play this type of match." can't be right. Garry Kasparov in 1986 for a start...

"29 UK girls take on global chess champion in once in a generation tournament, with one girl taking home a draw

29 young women and girls from across England played 2004 Global Chess Champion Antoaneta Stefanova in a rapid ‘simul’ tournament on Sunday 8 May. It’s the first time a chess champion has visited the UK since 1979 to play this type of match.

Play lasted for 4.5 hours, and Antoaneta beat 28 players and in a very close call drew with one girl, from St Albans.

The tournament was organised by charity ‘She Plays to Win’ which helps get girls and young women into chess, provides free training, support and encouragement.

Special mentions go to Emily, age 14, from St Albans who managed to leave head held very high with a draw.

Following the simul, women’s world champion Antoaneta Stefanova said:

“It was great to be here, and a rare opportunity to play with each of these talented young women and girls. I loved every moment of it, and it’s great to see the support given specifically to girls in chess.”

Lorin D’Costa, Founder of She Plays to Win, and England International Chess Coach, said:

“The last time a chess champion came to the UK to play in a simul was 1979, so it is absolutely fantastic that these girls had the opportunity to play Antoaneta Stefanova, who is a true role model for them. Well done to all the girls who took part – you all gave her a good game!

“Chess brings so many benefits to those who play, from strategy and planning, to social skills and finding your lifelong friends. Not enough girls have that opportunity compared to boys, and She Plays to Win aims to right that balance.

SPTW provides online coaching and tournaments and real life games and competitions, to make chess fun for girls and young women of all ages and across the UK. If you, your school, your daughter, sister or friend are interested, have a look at our website or get in touch.

One of the youngest players said:

Maya, London, age 12

It was a bit scary at first because I’ve never played a person with a title except my chess teachers. So it was a bit intimidating but I was also really looking forward to it.

I was very scared, but as I started playing but I began to think of it more as a regular game, with someone who was just stronger. As it goes on it gets more normal and more fun.

I do chess at school and zoom lessons once a week with a teacher, and I play she plays to win at weekends

I think it’s really important [that girls play chess], for the past couple of 100 years, only men have been known to win titles and now women are becoming more known which over the past few years has been in everything. Its really good for chess as well.

Anon girl, aged 13, London

It’s a really enjoyable game and you don’t have to be a grandmaster to find it fun.

I found it good because I’ve never played someone so good before, I’ve been playing for six years.

Anon girl, aged 9, Kent

It was amazing.

My favourite piece is the Queen

Notes to editors

About She Plays to Win

She Plays To Win (SPTW) is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to encourage more girls to learn, play and benefit from chess.

In October 2019, only 7.5% of the ECF Membership are female. SPTW plans to boost this number considerably, with a target of helping the ECF achieve its target of 15% membership by 2023.

SPTW is run by the current England International Women’s Chess Coach Lorin D’Costa who has successfully been coaching girls’ chess nationally and internationally for over 11 years.

You can register on the website here:

About the ‘Simul’ simultaneous Tournament

A simultaneous exhibition or simultaneous display is a board game exhibition (commonly chess or Go) in which one player (typically of high rank, such as a grandmaster) plays multiple games at a time with a number of other players. Such an exhibition is often referred to simply as a "simul".

About Antoaneta Stefanova

Antoaneta is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster and Women's World Champion from 2004 to 2006. She has represented Bulgaria in the Chess Olympiad in 2000 and the Women's Chess Olympiad since 1992.

In 2021 she became a Member of Parliament for There Is Such A People in Bulgaria. "

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