Team Battles Chess: Femme 'Batale,' North America vs Europe Tuesday
It's the first all-female team battle on Chess.com.

Team Battles Chess: Femme 'Batale,' North America vs Europe Tuesday

IsaacSteincamp
IsaacSteincamp
|
43 | Chess.com News

Chess.com's Team Battle series continues on Tuesday, November 19 at 1 p.m. PST on Twitch.tv/Chess. This month's theme, Femme "Batale," will feature a women's continental clash between Europe and North America.  

WFM Maria Emelianova and IM Anna Rudolf will play for Europe against WFM Alexandra Botez and WGM Jennifer Shahade, who will represent North America. The women will fight for a $3,500 prize fund, and another $500 will go to the charities U.S. Chess Women (which is headed by Shahade), and Chess in Schools & Communities, led by Malcolm Pein. 

Maria Emelianova
WFM Maria Emelianova (Europe) will make her first team battle appearance in this month's clash.

The match will last two hours, featuring a 15+10 time control. The two teams of two players will play hand and brain to score as many points as they can before time runs out.

As the program director of US Chess Women, I'm really psyched to raise money for bringing more girls and women into the game via our programs and Chess in the Schools UK.

—WGM Jennifer Shahade

This team battle's prize & charity fund of $4,000 was generously provided by Twitch users. The Twitch member "maprail" donated $1,000 and raised an additional $1,500 from two unnamed donors. "NikolaStojsin" contributed $1,000 and "KevinCWong" contributed $500. All of these donors are active supporters of the chess community. The concept for this groundbreaking team battle was conjured by the chess community mainstay and philanthropist "chessbae94."

Emelianova said that her life has been devoted to chess and that she is eager to do her part to promote the game for talented girls and women. 

"Chess came to my life early on," said Emelianova, "but with the absence of support for young talents and especially girls where I grew up, it was financially challenging to do more professionally, so I turned my focus toward education. Chess has remained my true passion, and it didn't take long before I got back into the game as a chess photographer and a crazy nomad traveling to every chess event.

"I want to give back to chess world by helping the U.S. and U.K. chess federations support talented girls in Europe and America, and maybe my little contribution can change someone else's life just like mine," said Emelianova.

Botez was excited at the prospect of facing off against her European counterparts.

"An opportunity to trash talk Europeans and donate to charity? Sounds like the best day ever," said Botez. "But on a more serious note, I'm honored to join alongside such talented lady commentators and streamers. I'm looking forward to an entertaining and educational event!"

Alexandra Botez
WFM Alexandra Botez (North America) will make her second team battle appearance of the season, and will face a familiar rival: IM Anna Rudolf (Europe).

Along with playing for the prize pool, the players will compete on behalf of their charities, and viewers will be able to donate to them during the stream.

Pein, the director of The Chess in Schools and Communities charity supported by the European team, said about the cause: "The Chess in Schools and Communities charity is devoted to encouraging more girls to play chess through its core activity of chess lessons in school classrooms in curriculum time that ensures equal participation by boys and girls. Thank you to the streamers for supporting us and for supporting a brilliant charity over the pond."

Anna Rudolf Chess
IM Anna Rudolf will be leading her European team into battle on behalf of Chess in Schools & Communities.

Women's chess is currently growing, with registration in the U.S. Chess Federation at an all-time high of 14.6 percent.

As a leader of women's chess in the U.S., Shahade will be making her debut in the team battles events.

"I can't wait to play with and against some of my favorite ladies in chess on Femme Batale," said Shahade, the host of the popular Ladies Knight chess podcast. "As the program director of US Chess Women, I'm really psyched to raise money for bringing more girls and women into the game via our programs and Chess in the Schools UK. Chess is great for everyone but I think it has specific benefits for girls' confidence, focus and the understanding we can compete even in fields where we are vastly outnumbered."

US Chess Women programs include girls' clubs at national events, where girls from all over the country can meet and learn from top players. The organization also partnered with the Saint Louis Chess Club in awarding 11 projects in the U.S. with funds to promote girls' and women's chess, including "Chess Moms Play Too!" in North Carolina and confidence workshops hosted by "Girls To Grandmaster" in New York.

Jen Shahade Chess
The well-known commentator, podcast host and women's chess advocate WGM Jen Shahade will be leading team North America.

This team battle will kick off a series of creative team clashes, including USA vs Russia, Chess vs Poker, Ladies' Battle and more on Twitch.tv/Chess and Chess.com/TV later this year, leading to a Team Chess World Championship in mid-2020.

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