September 19, 2013 •

Chess Girl


My name is Ashley Tapp. I’m 13 years old. I am Canadian. And I play chess competitively.

That’s a surprise for most girls that know this, as chess is historically a male dominated sport. Most people — mainly male adults and boys, from my experience — don’t think that girls have the ability to play chess, or even do well. In history there have been a handful of great women chess players. Today, many more prominent women players lead the world stage. It has been a struggle for me in my own city, Vancouver, Canada, to show that I have the ability as a girl to play chess. And I’d like to see more girls play. Chess certainly deserves sponsorship and I’m happy to say I’ve incorporated a girls chess foundation this year to encourage more girls to play, the BC GIRLS CHESS FOUNDATION .


Education for girls is my focus today. Each and every girl deserves the right to a full education. As for chess, it’s been proven that chess is one such example of an academic that supports memory, logical and strategic thinking, and sets the stage for brain development. Chess teaches life lessons: to win with humility; lose with grace; to think before you move; and to accept consequences for your actions.

At my first International World Youth Chess Championship in Slovenia 2012, it was great to see that the girls there were highly competitive, as I am, and had a good team spirit. Later, they exchanged contact details with me.  This is very important. Girls understand the value of friendship which creates a peaceful experience! They want to compete and they are all motivated to be winners!

My plea to the world today is that people recognize that girls have the ability to do great things in this world and we have to give them this chance! Girls deserve the right to life, good health, a safe loving home, mentors to inspire, a book to read, a dream to believe in and a place to go to show they are someone special. Give them the opportunity!

Ashley Tapp 13 (CHESS GIRL)

Vancouver, BC Canada
On the Canadian Chess team – World Youth Chess Championship Al Ain UAE Dec 17-29, 2013

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Other articles: Ashley playing ‘CHESS FOR A CAUSE’ for because I’m a girl:

Canadian Chess Federation:


  • Maria says:

    I think this if wonderful! You are such an brilliant young lady!
    I’m 17 and am constantly working at becoming a light in my commmunity
    and you make it seem effortless! Keep being an amazing role-model for
    younger girls, and older girls- like myself!

    • Ashley Tapp says:

      Hi Maria,

      I am so happy to ready your message, especially because you are a girl and that you are older than me too. I do think girls are super able and talented to do anything they want. I hope that you can do the things you want to do and if you want to stay in touch, please email me.

      Love Ashley

  • Andre says:

    You’re a great inspiration, Ashley. I hope your vision is realized where people see the value of chess and also where people recognize the potential of girls and women in the many male-dominated fields and sports that are out there.