When Ashley Priore was growing up, and playing chess professionally, she noticed the space was often ... [+] hostile towards women. She set out to change that -- and make the world of chess more inclusive.
Move over Beth Harmon, theres a real-life chess queen in town. Her name is Ashley Priore, 21, and at just four years old, she beat her dad in chess. An incredible feat for a child, but ultimately not surprising when you see how much shes accomplished: already she's run for public office, published three books, and founded two nonprofits with missions close to her heart.
The first nonprofit Priore created in 2014 when she was just 14. It's called Queens Gambit Chess Institute, and offers chess classes, chess clubs, tournaments, and private chess tutoring to students in Pittsburgh. She educates all students, but focuses on young women and girls; Priore wants to provide a space she never had coming up in the male-dominated chess world.
Her journey began in Pittsburgh, where she was born and raised. Priore is the youngest of four; she has two older brothers and one older sister. When she was a child, she watched her dad teach her brothers chess and knew she wanted to play.
"My mom had asked our dad to teach our brothers how to play chess, and my sister and I were really mad. We were like, 'Why are they learning how to play chess, and not us?" Priore said.
"And that's the first example I remember of this difference between men and women in chess. It's so male-dominated, so focused on the boy or the son learning chess and not the daughter."
But soon enough, all four Priore siblings were playing the game competitively.
Priore looks back fondly on competing in chess tournaments but remembers facing quite a bit of harassment, misogyny, and sexism. She and her sister were always the only girls competing. She says a young boy she beat even threw a chessboard in her face at one match.
"As time went on, I was still playing, but the atmosphere for women and girls in chess didn't get any better," she said.
And then, at only eight years old, Priore started teaching chess. The harassment and degradation continued, not just by fellow children, but also by their parents. She was regularly made to feel less than, because she was a female and young.
"Many parents didn't want their sons to learn chess from an eight-year-old girl," Priore said.
This didn't stop her. She then started teaching chess classes at local community centers and schools and marketed her classes towards young women. But there was still no central place for young girls and women in chess to come together.
"I realized that there needed to be an organization that not only supported young women and girls in chess, but that made sure that they're using the skills that chess provides to handle all of these different elements that life throws at them," Priore said.
"I wanted chess to sort of be the vehicle where women take control of the chessboard, and then they can take control of their life. They can learn all of these different skills, like strategy, critical thinking, and concentration. They can learn how to look at a problem and find multiple solutions for it."
At 14, Priore began researching the nonprofit process. After months of planning and preparation, she founded Queens Gambit Chess Institute.
Ashley Priore created her nonprofit, Queens Gambit Chess Institute when she was only 14. It has ... [+] since grown tremendously, with more than half of the students taught being women and girls.
Queens Gambit Chess Institute has grown since its inception. According to Priore, since 2018, the nonprofit has taught over 10,000 students, over half of them young women.
"When I was playing chess, it not only opened so many doors for me to be able to concentrate and sit for long hours at a time. It allowed me to feel like I had control of something," Priore said.
"A lot of times when we're young, and we are growing up, we feel like there are tons of things that are out of our control. But with chess, you have control over the board; you have control over these pieces."
Queens Gambit Chess Institute expanded during the pandemic. Like most businesses, they were forced to go virtual and went from providing classes in-person, only in the Pittsburgh area, to teaching people around the country and world.
Towards the end of 2020, Priore and her students were talking about more than just chess virtually. For the first time, a series about chess with a female character at the helm was released on Netflix. The Queen's Gambit made for exciting conversation for Priore and her students.
While she loves the series because it highlights a strong woman playing chess, she was disappointed in some of the plot points.
"It didn't show the struggle that young women go through," Priore said. "I mean, I've had mentors in the game who were sexually harassed at chess tournaments and who were raped there. And the show just sort of showed that all these people support Beth [the main character in Queens Gambit]. But in reality, she wouldn't have been [supported.] And that's what disappointed me because I felt like they had this opportunity on a global scale, to highlight what women face."
When Priore isn't focused on her chess nonprofit, she's involved in several extracurriculars, including politics. In 2019 Priore announced her candidacy for the Pittsburgh Public school board. She was one of the youngest people to ever run for that office in Pennsylvania. She says she ran on the belief that young people should be representing their school and should be part of the decision-making process.
As she began campaigning, she said she often faced harassment or incredulous comments from her male counterparts. And when they weren't commenting, she says, they were typically ignoring her.
It's why Priore recently founded another nonprofit called Y22, which focuses on getting young people on nonprofit boards.
After creating a nonprofit at 14, Ashley Priore realized how young people aren't often taken ... [+] seriously in business and politics. So she founded another nonprofit called Y22, which focuses on getting young people on nonprofit boards.
"I feel like Queens Gambit opened my eyes to so many problems and obstacles in the world, and one of those is youth representation," Priore explained. "I became passionate about youth representation, after being a young person in different circles and seeing how you're treated differently."
As Priore gets older, she isn't slowing down.
When she envisions her future, she sees herself full-time in politics. And at a certain point, likely after she turns 25, she will step away from Queens Gambit, as she believes the nonprofit should continue to be youth-led.
When she reflects on how far she's come, Priore is thankful and she's hopeful Queens Gambit Chess Institute will continue to inspire young women to take control of the chessboard, their lives, and change the world.
"I hope that [the institute] continues to inspire young girls and show them that they really can do anything that they want. We face so many barriers in life. And I hope that chess provides a way for us to look at opportunities and possibilities that we can take part in."
Originally posted here:
- CodePen - CSS 3D Hartwig chess set (fully playable) - July 25th, 2021
- Chess Sets Used by Jews During the Holocaust - kottke.org - kottke.org - July 25th, 2021
- Star Trek 3D chess and more out-of-this-world ways to celebrate International Chess Day - ZDNet - July 25th, 2021
- How the game of Chess has helped mold Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux - NBC Sports - July 25th, 2021
- Indian American Abhimanyu Mishra is the youngest chess grandmaster ever - Northwest Asian Weekly - July 10th, 2021
- Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand Goes Down To Anish Giri In Croatia Grand Chess Tour - Outlook India - July 10th, 2021
- Of Anand, simultaneous chess and the cheating controversy - The Hindu - June 28th, 2021
- Chess in The Parks held at Myrtle Park in Indian Orchard - WWLP.com - June 28th, 2021
- The Londoner Inviting a Guy Over to Play Chess - The Cut - June 28th, 2021
- The Martial menagerie of King Alfonso the Wise - TheArticle - June 28th, 2021
- Carol Jarecki: From chess mom to one of the game's greatest referees - Washington Times - June 28th, 2021
- NBA Playoffs 2021: The chess match between Trae Young and the Milwaukee Bucks' defence is only beginning - NBA CA - June 28th, 2021
- Chess Corner: Sitting on the 7th rank - Muskogee Daily Phoenix - June 11th, 2021
- Joe Burrow is so competitive he's trash talking teammates about...chess - Bengals Wire - June 11th, 2021
- PhosAgro Renews Strategic Partnership Agreements with FIDE and the Russian Chess Federation - PRNewswire - June 11th, 2021
- Long Island brothers create website to bring chess lovers together virtually - News 12 Bronx - June 11th, 2021
- Nuclear powers must stop playing nuclear chess and atomic roulette - The Mail & Guardian - Mail and Guardian - June 11th, 2021
- Joe Burrow has Been Talking Crap About Chess to a Key Offensive Target - Sportscasting - June 11th, 2021
- Aamir Khan will face the chess with chess champion Viswanathan Anand - asume tech - June 11th, 2021
- 2021 Scholar-Chessplayer Award Winners Announced | US Chess.org - uschess.org - uschess.org - June 11th, 2021
- 2021 Executive Board Election Ballot Mailing | US Chess.org - uschess.org - June 11th, 2021
- East vs. West: Battle of the rising stars! - ChessKid.com - chesskid.com - chesskid.com - June 11th, 2021
- New tables give you the opportunity to play chess/checkers at two EC parks - WQOW TV News 18 - May 30th, 2021
- A Chess Game: Everyone will win or lose after the NATO summit | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah - May 30th, 2021
- Xiong Wins May 25 Titled Tuesday - Chess.com - May 30th, 2021
- Grandmaster Judit Polgar to Appear in US Chess Women Girls Club - uschess.org - May 30th, 2021
- Cummings, a chess man in a gambler's world | Comment | The Sunday Times - The Times - May 30th, 2021
- The inspiring journey behind 10-year-old chess masters success - Yahoo News - May 30th, 2021
- Chess event promotes solidarity between Jews and Arabs - The Jerusalem Post - May 30th, 2021
- Taylor Jenkins and Quin Snyder are in a NBA playoffs 'chess match' that's years in the making | Giannotto - Commercial Appeal - May 30th, 2021
- Mind games: Two intellectuals and chess on a football pitch - The Indian Express - May 30th, 2021
- Theatre review: Chess the Musical - InDaily - May 30th, 2021
- 10-Year-Old Chess Prodigy Who Overcame Homelessness Named National Chess Master - NewsOne - May 18th, 2021
- Top chess player in the world visits Indianapolis - WTHR - May 18th, 2021
- 10-year-old boy who once lived in a homeless shelter achieves remarkable title: chess master - USA TODAY - May 18th, 2021
- Ventura sweeps National Youth and Schools Online Chess Tourney - PhilBoxing.com - May 18th, 2021
- Chess master, former law enforcement officer to give seminar on surviving police interaction - - Champion - May 18th, 2021
- First Ever Chess-Focused Sports Agency Launched - World Chess - May 18th, 2021
- More than a game: How Cook County is using chess to prepare inmates for life on the outside - Daily Herald - May 18th, 2021
- The Queens Gambit Star Anya Taylor-Joy: Its Not About Chess, Its About Loneliness And The Price Of Genius Contenders TV - Deadline - May 18th, 2021
- Chess Market Is Expected To Expand At An Impressive Rate By 2027 KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - May 18th, 2021
- Announcing The Botez Bullet Invitational On May 5 - Chess.com - May 5th, 2021
- New In Chess Classic: Carlsen Strikes - Chess.com - May 5th, 2021
- Jazz Cartier on His Chess Docuseries With Diddy, Skincare Line, and Next LP - Complex - May 5th, 2021
- Cover Stories with Chess Life #36: Taylor Kingston - uschess.org - May 5th, 2021
- Meet Tani Adewumi: The 10-year-old Nigerian refugee who became a national chess master | NewsChannel 3-12 - KEYT - May 5th, 2021
- Learn Chess Online With This Lesson Bundle, Which Is Currently 92% Off - Forbes - May 5th, 2021
- Are the Rams trying to play chess with NFL Draft pick Tutu Atwell? - With the First Pick - May 5th, 2021
- The Chess Match Ahead in the East - Japers' Rink - May 5th, 2021
- Mother tongue and chess is there a connection? - Chessbase News - May 5th, 2021
- Great Moments in Chess: Kasparov Seizes the Crown - chess24 - May 5th, 2021
- 'A sport for the mind': New chess team a big hit at MHS - Yahoo News - May 5th, 2021
- All India Chess Federation launches initiative to help chess community fight COVID-19 - Firstpost - May 5th, 2021
- It's your move: Pittsburgh police invite the public to play chess in Market Square - TribLIVE - April 21st, 2021
- Pittsburgh Police To Join Street Chess Players During The Summer - WTRF - April 21st, 2021
- Aagaard on the Candidates - Round 9 | US Chess.org - uschess.org - April 21st, 2021
- The game of Chess - The Times of India Blog - April 21st, 2021
- What America Taught The World About Chess - Chess.com - April 21st, 2021
- The real story of women in chess - The Independent - April 21st, 2021
- Cops in Paraguay discover 20k worth of high purity cocaine bound for Ireland inside chess set... - The Irish Sun - April 21st, 2021
- Mike Tyson heads to Arnold Schwarzeneggers mansion for game of chess and golf along with UFC icon Henry C... - The Sun - April 21st, 2021
- Classic games like chess and Sudoku are now easier to play on iPhones and iPads - TechRadar - April 5th, 2021
- Clash Mini: Everything we know about Supercell's upcoming auto chess game - Pocket Gamer - April 5th, 2021
- Bucs decision to bring back Godwin and Barrett was a chess game - Bucs Nation - April 5th, 2021
- Artemiev Swindles Nakamura To Win Another Titled Tuesday - Chess.com - March 9th, 2021
- Chess lovers practice the art of the checkmate - KNBN NewsCenter1 - Newscenter1.tv - March 9th, 2021
- Play Chess With Agadmator, Nemo, Cramling, Canty, And More - Chess.com - March 9th, 2021
- Turkish chess group head works to inspire young girls - Anadolu Agency - March 9th, 2021
- Chess Player Koneru Humpy Is The BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year - Femina - March 9th, 2021
- He loves the chess aspect: is Rooney made to measure as a manager? - The Guardian - March 9th, 2021
- Battle of the Minds: 4 legends compete in chess and poker - chess24 - March 9th, 2021
- Wednesday Workout: Leveling Up Through the US Chess Rapids - uschess.org - March 9th, 2021
- John Leguizamo on Critical Thinking [VIDEO] | US Chess.org - uschess.org - February 20th, 2021
- Teaching the right moves across the board - The Hindu - February 20th, 2021
- How this 25-year-old makes six figures a year playing chess on Twitch - CNBC - February 20th, 2021
- Maharashtra Chess Association back as a governing body after 4 years - The Bridge - February 20th, 2021
- Chess and Artificial Intelligence (1) - Chessbase News - February 17th, 2021
- Rockford Chess Club Gets Revived Thanks to ' The Queen's Gambit' - q985online.com - February 17th, 2021
- Aaron Chess, District 1 council candidate, wants to bring hope back to the district - CIProud.com - February 17th, 2021
- Check out these chess tips before you hear check mate - KELOLAND.com - February 17th, 2021