Little girls sign up in large numbers to play chess in elementary schools. Yet, by middle school, most of them quit playing chess. Out of 1500 or so grand masters in the world, only 30 are women. It is immensely important that women continue playing chess. Chess improves reading scores and emotional intelligence. It levels the playing intellectual playing field between the genders. More importantly, women carry faith in their intellectual abilities when they venture in life long battles of being the only girl in the room, whether it is at a chess tournament, or in a computer science class, or in a boardroom of a major tech company.
Chess4Girls is a nonprofit organization working to create a conducive environment for girls to continue playing chess through middle school, high school and beyond. By founding Chess4Girls, Shifa Somji's aim is to remove the misconception that chess is not a game for women. She hopes to see a day when FIDE, the world chess federation, crowns a woman as its champion.