In November 2022, ACC launched the Toronto Women's Chess Club. This initiative promotes chess to women and girls, and meets at the club, usually on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 to 8:00.
The cost is $12 per night, or free for ACC members. (A special TWCC annual membership is available for $97, and includes casual play at ACC.)
TWCC is led by the ACC's resident WGM, Anna Burtasova. Each month she chooses a special topic and delivers a one-hour lecture, followed by casual chess play in a safe and welcoming environment.
TWCC's next meetings are:
Sign up for email updates about TWCC here.
“Chess is great for everyone. No matter the age or background, people who play chess build skills that matter in life.
Traditionally, there have been fewer women than men in chess. A strategic game and sport, it has been dominated by males, but it is our strong belief as confident and capable women that it’s long overdue that we leave outdated prejudices behind.
Women love chess, enjoy the game and can benefit from all that it has to offer. The percentage of chess players that are women has historically been about 10%, rising recently to a historical high of 15%. I’d like to see that change, so that at least a third of all GTA chess club players are women.
I invite all women of any skill level to join our women’s club to get better at chess, work on all the qualities that naturally come with chess development, and, most importantly, have fun and enjoy themselves.”
Anna Burtasova is ACC’s Resident Woman Grandmaster (WGM). She is a consultant and advisor to the club's board. She also lectures and conducts simuls.
As a player, Anna won numerous medals at the youth championships, including gold at the Russian Championship in the Girls U16, and adult tournaments. In 2009, she earned her Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title.
After graduating as a lawyer, Anna moved to Moscow and worked as an editor and reporter for the Russian Chess Federation website. She has also held jobs with FIDE and has had articles on chess published in 64 Chess Review, New In Chess, Schach, and the website ChessBase. In 2013, Anna joined the team at ChessTV (later ChessCast) as an editor and producer of programs and live broadcasts.
In 2018, Anna moved to Canada. At the end of the same year she joined the PR department of the International Chess Federation and worked there for 5 years, til September 2023.
Anna retired from professional play over a decade ago, but occasionally takes part in chess competitions, leaning towards rapid and blitz. In 2021, Anna held board three for Canada’s mixed team (men/women) at FIDE’s Online Chess Olympiad. She finished third on her team, with a score of four points in the six games she played in the nine-round event.