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Yelizaveta Orlova says in chess, controlling the centre squares on the board is key to a successful strategy. The 19-year-old ...
who represented Canada in chess in 2010 and 2012 demonstrates some winning moves.
Tags:canadian press,canadian chess team,chess advice,chess openings,chess player,chess players,chess strategy,chess tips,controlling centre squares,girls in chess,winning in chess,women in chess,yelizaveta orlova,Vladimir Drkulec
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There is something about the high school years that makes female chess enthusiasts stop playing, the game's governing body says. According to the Canadian Federation of Chess, girls are as interested as boys in the male-dominated pursuit, but they drop out in large numbers in their teens, resulting in absymally few women at the game's top levels. For the upcoming Canadian Youth Chess Championships, about one-third of the 320 players are girls — a stark contrast to the five per cent — about 60 to 90 players — woman make up in adult competitions. "It's difficult to say exactly why that happens, but it does," said Vladimir Drkulec, the chess federation's president. "I had a girl that I was teaching that finished second in Canada in the under-14 girls' (competition), and she retired from chess after that... That seems to be a recurrent happening." Yelizaveta Orlova, who represented Canada in chess in 2010 and 2012, was about the same age when she stopped playing for a year and a half. The now-19-year-old, who has been playing since age five, said she started feeling self-conscious at 14 as chess was not seen as a traditionally cool pursuit. "The reaction of one of my friends was kind of like, 'Really? You play?'" she said. "It wasn't even the fact that he was joking about it. It was the tone that kind of set it off. "I was young; that's when girls tend to overthink about a lot of things." Orlova added that boys, on the other hand, seem to worry less about social status at that age, and male chess players thus stay in the game. "After a year, I realized I made the biggest regret of my life," she said. "If you take a certain amount of time off, it is going to be a little bit of a struggle to get back. "Every chess opening (move) gets updated, and if you haven't been playing for a couple of years, you don't know if the opening you're playing is still good or not." Canada currently has 10 male chess grandmasters — the highest rank in chess, a title held for life — but no female ones.