Tag Archives: women in chess

CANCELLED – Chess lecture by Liza Orlova – Jan 6

UPDATE – this event is now cancelled. We regret to inform you that Liza has come down with a cold/flu and is unable to give her lecture.

Annex is starting the new year off with a special guest lecture by Woman National Master / WCM Liza Orlova.

Liza won numerous regional titles as a young player in Toronto, and played on the Canadian Women’s Olympiad team. She also founded Pub Chess Toronto. More recently, she has published a beginner chess book, streams on Twitch, and has launched the Vancouver Chess Club. Liza currently lives in Vancouver, where she teaches chess and studies graphic design.

Chess for Beginners, by Liza Orlova, Nov 2018

Liza’s lecture will cover an exciting game between four-time US Champion Yasser Seirawan and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. If you bring your copy of her chess book (#1 on Amazon Kindle and #3 for paperback) – she’ll be happy to sign it for you.


Monday January 6
459A Bloor Street West, Toronto
Doors open – 6:00pm
Free lecture – 6:30-7:30pm
Regular club tournament – 7:30 (sign up before 7:00)

Annex Women’s Chess Club

Liza Orlova is running a new Women’s Chess Club at Annex. The club is open to women and girls age 12 and up.

Liza wants to help women learn chess not just to play the game, but to benefit from it in many aspects of their lives.

The club meets from 7:20 to 8:20 on Monday nights in a room of their own at 918 Bathurst. The club features chess lessons and games for women and girls at either a beginner or an intermediate level.

Brand new players will start at the very beginning with how the pieces move, and more advanced players will work on understanding strategies and tactics.

Join the club for a course of seven one-hour sessions from March 13 to May 1 for $140.

Register on site March 13. If you’re not sure whether chess is something you want to learn or whether the course is a good fit, go ahead and take the class on a trial basis – there’ll be no charge if you decide not to continue.

four square shadow

Where did the girls go?

Many girls stop playing chess in high school. Either it’s not cool in the opinion of their peers – or they fear it won’t be – or boys’ behaviour in and around the game becomes unappealing.

There’s a lot of judgement in high school; everyone is constantly judging others and intensely aware of being judged. Despite her previous success with chess and much to her later regret, Liza found herself in a place where she thought that if she were known as a chess champion, it would be seen as a bad thing. She kept it a secret as much as possible and quit playing for over a year.

Many boys and men quit chess too at one point or another, but usually for different reasons and often to return later. For too many girls, their departure is permanent.

Not enough women competitors

It’s a problem that begets itself. The girls who do continue with chess often look around in a tournament hall full of players and see they’re the only woman there – or at most they see just one or two others. No wonder they start to feel out of place!

Not enough female coaches

Then, as the previous generation matures, girls coming up in the next cohort have few female role models among their chess teachers. And it’s not just a problem for the girls: boys too are deprived of the opportunity to see women in this role.

Not enough chess moms

Many moms support and encourage their kids to learn the game, but when these kids come home from their lessons, in many cases only their dads can understand what they’ve learned or help with their homework. Combined with other factors, it can be hard for girls to stick with an activity they can’t see their mothers doing.

How can you benefit from taking these chess classes?

The Women’s Chess Club invites new players to learn chess for the first time and former players to come back to a game they once loved.

Taking this course can lead to great opportunities for young women to teach chess in lunch, after-school, or evening classes either in schools or in learning centers. And students of all ages will realize many aspects of learning chess can be applied to real life. (For example, patience, concentration, short and long-term planning, etc.)

Who is Liza Orlova?

Liza is a young and talented chess professional, an experienced teacher, and a popular coach. As a player, she has won many championship titles and has represented Canada in the Chess Olympiad.

Liza Orlova running some post-game analysis during a tournament at U of T (onlookers L-R: Arthur Calugar, Nick O’Bumsawin, Matthew Nicholson)

four square shadow

The woman in the featured image is Tania Sachdev, a top female player from India. Her mom taught her the game when she was six.

2012 Toronto Women’s

Toronto Women’s Chess Championship

Sanctioned by the GTCL, which represents Greater Toronto in the Ontario Chess Association, this is a six-player round-robin tournament, featuring the top Toronto female chess players who applied. It will be played on Monday nights at Annex Chess Club, 918 Bathurst, from October 15 to December 3.

# Name CFC rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 total
1 Kaneshalingam, Mathanhe 1311 × 1 1 F 0 1 0 3
2 Abbarin, Shabnam 1390 0 × 0 0 1 1 2
3 Sametova, Zhanna 1644 0 F 1 × 1 1 1 4
4 Giblon, Rebecca 1662 1 1 0 × 1 1 4
5 Souchko, Larissa 1084 0 0 0 0 × 0 0
6 Renteria, Manuela 1682 1 0 0 0 1 × 2
Zhanna Sametova
Larissa Souchko
Shabnam Abbarin
Rebecca Giblon
Mathanhe Kaneshalingam
Manuela Renteria

Zhanna Sametova wins the tournament! Even though Rebecca Giblon has tied her at 4.0/5, Zhanna wins the head-to-head tie-break. Congratulations, Zhanna, you are the 2012 Toronto Women’s Chess Champion!

Rd 1 (Oct 15): 1-6, 2-5, 3-4.
Rd 2 (Oct 22): 6-4, 5-3, 1-2.
Rd 3 (Oct 29): 2-6, 3-1, 4-5.
Rd 4 (Nov 5): 6-5, 1-4, 2-3.
Rd 5 (Nov 19): 3-6, 4-2, 5-1.

Alex has posted games on Chess5.

The Toronto Women’s and Junior Championships closing ceremony will take place at Hart House during Winter Open – on Saturday, January 5, just before round 3 – at 3:50 pm.
All Toronto Women’s and Junior Championships participants will get book prizes donated by our perennial sponsor – Mr. J. Ken MacDonald.

Canadian Women’s Chess Championship 2011

15th Canadian Women’s Chess Championship 2011: October 8-10

(voir la page Championnat féminin d’échecs du Canada 2011 en français)

Annex Chess Club is pleased to host the 2011 Canadian Women’s Chess Championship.

WIM Natalia Khoudgarian is the new Canadian Women’s Champion – see the results page.

This event is sanctioned by the Chess Federation of Canada (CFC). The winner will become the Canadian Women’s Champion, and will earn a place on the 2012 Olympiad Women’s Team. The event will also raise funds for the 2012 Olympiad Women’s Team.

former Women's Champion,
Dina Kagramanov

15th Canadian Women’s Chess Championship 2011

Saturday October 8 to Monday October 10

Organized by:

  • Chess Institute of Canada (CIC)
    c/o Ted Winick, 41 Nina Street, Toronto, ON M5R 1Z5

Tournament Director:

  • Bryan Lamb


  • Annex Chess Club, 918 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON


  • 6-round Swiss


  • registration – Saturday @ 9 am
    Round 1 – Saturday @ 10 am
    Round 2 – Saturday @ 4 pm
    Round 3 – Sunday @ 10 am
    Round 4 – Sunday @ 4 pm
    Round 5 – Monday @ 10 am
    Round 6 – Monday @ 4 pm
    Playoffs – immediately following, or at a mutually convenient time
  • Those who cannot play Saturday because of Yom Kippur can play the first two rounds in advance

Time Control:

  • 40 moves/90 minutes; remaining moves/30 minutes; 30-s increment from move 1


  • All players must be up-to-date CFC members. The tournament will also be FIDE rated.


  • Chess sets, chess boards, and digital chess clocks will be provided


  • Projected Prize Fund: $1000
  • We are pleased to announce an additional prize, as follows: $250 to be shared among all players with a perfect score of 6/6. There has never been a perfect score in the Canadian Women’s Championship!
  • The 2011 champion will also receive free accommodation in Montreal for the 2012 Canadian Women’s Championship (courtesy of the 2012 organizers)

Entry Fee:

  • $150

Advance Registration:

  • pay by credit card to CFC,
    mail cheque to CIC (see address above),
    or pay by credit card to CIC (see PayPal registration below)

On-site Registration:

  • cash only

Filming Notice:

  • A Chess Institute of Canada camera crew will be on site, Monday October 10, filming for a video on chess in Toronto. By registering for the tournament, you are giving permission to appear in this film unless you indicate otherwise on your registration. If you do not wish to take part in the film, please inform the organizers on your registration form, and you will be seated so your game is not on camera.

PayPal Registration

Pay by VISA, MC, or Amex:

15th Canadian Women’s Chess Championship 2011
Entry Fee: $150

PayPal – The safer, easier way to pay online!


# Name CFC/ Expiry CFC Rating FIDE/ FIDE Rating FIDE Title Notes Rds 1 and 2 in advance
9 Daniela Belc 121686 CFC expired 2052 2603861 2053 WFM women’s Olympiad team 2000 no
10 Myriam Roy 139360 OK 2001 2032589 1957 top female player in Quebec, rated 2088 FQE no
4 Iulia Lacau-Rodean 144348 OK 1994 1211285 2008 women’s Olympiad team 2010 poss.
5 Liza Orlova 138247 OK 1994 2601826 1931 WCM women’s Olympiad team 2010 poss.
1 Olya Chichkina 120564 CFC expired 1885 0 no
3 Natasa Serbanescu 111320 OK 1869 2605724 1824 no
12 Qiyu Zhou 151707 OK 1811 505161 1660 no
8 Rebecca Giblon 141076 OK 1564 2608324 1732 yes
11 Melissa Lee 139352 CFC expired 1563 2614448 0 no
2 Jiaxin Liu 149747 OK 1502 2611872 0 WCM no
7 Melissa Giblon 142624 OK 1474 2608286 1580 yes
6 Jessica Danti 151192 OK 1367 2613573 0 no
# Name CFC# Expiry Rating FIDE# Rating Title Notes 1 & 2 in advance

Also, the following players have indicated that they will play:

# Name CFC# Expiry CFC Rating FIDE# FIDE Rating FIDE Title Notes Rds 1 and 2 in advance
# Taylor Zhang 150152 OK 1215 2615665 0 no
# Rachel Tao 146055 OK 1155 2616300 0 no
# Name CFC# Expiry Rating FIDE# Rating Title Notes 1 & 2 in advance

15th Canadian Women’s Ch. – Advance Group

Rounds 1 and 2, results from games played in advance

# Round 1 Result
1 Melissa Giblon – Iulia Lacau-Rodean 0-1
2 Rebecca Giblon – Liza Orlova 0-1
# Round 2 Result
1 Iulia Lacau-Rodean – Rebecca Giblon 1-0
2 Liza Orlova – Melissa Giblon 1-0