National Girls Tournament of Champions Renamed in Honor of Ruth Haring

CROSSVILLE, TN: US Chess has renamed a premier scholastic national championship as the Ruth Haring National Girls Tournament of Champions (RHNGTOC). Haring is a former president of the organization with a strong vision to increase the numbers of women and girls playing chess and once stated, “I look forward to the day when [US Chess] has 50% of its membership women and girls.” Currently, despite increasing numbers that are trending upwards, only 14% of US Chess membership is made up of women and girls.

The RHNGTOC is a tournament of champions for girls from across the United States in which each US Chess state affiliate sends one representative, a female player in grades K-12, who has demonstrated her ability in a manner satisfactory to the affiliate.  It is held annually in conjunction with the U.S. Open; this year’s event will be at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida, from August 3-5.  The event will feature a $5,000 scholarship funded by Robert and Barbara Schiffrin. Ruth Haring died in late 2018. Haring was elected to the US Chess Executive Board in the summer of 2009, taking her seat as vice president, a position she held until becoming president in 2011. The RHNGTOC began during her tenure in 2013 (known then as the National Girls Invitational Tournament). She remained president until 2015, completing her board term in 2016 as a Member-at-Large. As US Chess president she was committed to growing the game, stating, “I love chess and want to see it grow. I want to see more people play, more events, greater recognition of our sport amongst the general public, and better media coverage.” US Chess Executive Director Carol Meyer says, “Ruth Haring had a vision to increase the number of girls and women who play chess. She worked tirelessly toward this goal and her vision inspired the creation of The National Girls Tournament of Champions. It is fitting that it is now known as the Ruth Haring National Girls Tournament of Champions.”  


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Curious - why has the US Open never allowed grown adult women above age 18 participate in a thing like the NGTOC/RHNGTOC? I feel like adult women are a very very under-represented demographic in chess :/ (I am one myself) And most, if not all, female-related initiatives for women/girls in chess mostly seem to only focus on younger girls who are kids/teens.....

In reply to by Woman chess player (not verified)

I agree. Or at least have two separate championships; one for girls and one for women. For two years now I have negotiated with US Chess Trust and the US Chess Women's Committee for a small gift to support my event, the Texas Women's Chess Championship. The event is limited to and targets a special audience; female chess players age 16 plus. We have special guest speakers, a women's banquet, and atmosphere younger players are not mature enough to understand and appreciate. It's not just an ordinary tournament. It's an epic championship the likes of which few will ever experience. The $100,000 gift the US Chess Women's Committee has at its disposal is frankly, just a lot of vacuous talk. Unless girls 15 and younger are included they are not interested in helping. When it comes to Women's Chess the US Chess Women's Committee talks a good talk but certainly doesn't walk the walk.

In reply to by JIM HOLLINGSWORTH (not verified)

You think Adult Women’s Chess is meagerly-represented? Try Blind Women’s Chess. There are what, TWO female blind competitors in the entire U.S.? It’s discouraging, to be sure.

In reply to by Jessica Lauser (not verified)

You think Blind Women's Chess is under-represented? Try blind and deaf African-American women. ZERO competitors in the entire U.S.? Even more discouraging.

In reply to by Woman chess player (not verified)

The additional tournaments are youth or senior related so adult males not yet seniors are also out of luck for them. Females have participated in the Barber and Denker (some doing quite well) and can potentially participate in the Senior. There is the US Women's Open as a Vegas Chess Festival event.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I enjoyed knowing Ruth. I feel this is a great move.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Is there a Tournament of State Women's Chess Champions on the horizon?

In reply to by Peter Thau (not verified)

Only in Texas.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I had the honor of meeting and working with Ruth Haring over many years. I am pleased that US Chess has chosen the National Girls Tournament of Champions as a recognition point for Ruth's many contributions to chess. The US Open is the site of the four invitational events: Denker, Barber, Haring and Senior. US Chess has placed these events in their own committees that work in conjunction with the US Open committee.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I know we have had this argument before, but women should play with men. Equal honor for equal play!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hello, I am trying to start a chess program in the local school system here in Twisp WA. Using the skills as a leader I acquired in the military as a senior noncommissioned officer, I would like to use the the chess program not just to learn the game, but as a platform to teach life skills and to increase the personal dynamics of the individual. Could you please provide me with any advice or direction that would help me?

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