An online chess academy for girls has been launched in Malta, following the hype of Netflix’s smash hit series The Queen’s Gambit.
The Queen’s Gambit Academy was founded by UK-born chess master Charlie Storey, who moved to the islands in search of sunnier places amid the pandemic.
Storey, who has won over 160 chess tournaments and coached last year’s British under 16 chess champion, saw a skint scene of chess in Malta and decided to settle here and set up academies and opportunities for chess players.
Then, Netflix’s series The Queen’s Gambit took the world by storm and changed everything.
“That show has been phenomenal for people who weren’t exposed to chess,” Storey mused, adding that he watched the series himself and thought it was fantastic.
Seeing how popular the show became, Storey quickly moved to give girls a better opportunity to play.
“It is an enthralling watch but was not entirely realistic,” the chess master added. “Unfortunately the protagonist Beth has an addiction. There are anti-doping laws in chess-like other sports. You’re not even allowed to have more than four cups of coffee a day if you’re playing a tournament.”
Nonetheless, Storey and other chess coaches look forward to welcoming girls to the male-dominated game.
Coaches Charlie Storey and Adrian Mihalcisin, the latter a prestigious Chess Grandmaster, will help students under 16 reach their full potential and conquer the checked boards.
Like The Queen’s Gambit’s main character, who famously uses a visualisation technique to train, the online academy features a tool called the blind bot, which will help players train with their eyes closed, just like Beth Harmon style.
“The chess board is like a battleship. It’s like a language. Learning how to visualise is a great way of improving your skills,” Storey explained.
This isn’t the only project up the chess player’s sleeve, with an academy for boys in the works too.
The Queen’s Gambit Academy costs €3 per week on their yearly plan or €20 a month with an option to cancel anytime. For those who want to up their game more seriously, they also offer also private coaching lessons.
Right photo courtesy of Netflix
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