Ashley Chess Girl – fundraising for Maribor

by ChessBase
9/10/2012 – From November 7 to 19 there is a World Youth Chess Championship in Maribor, Slovenia, with over 1500 participants. Ashley Tapp from Canada has just qualified, but unfortunately there is no state or federation sponsorship for the trip, and the family cannot provide the substantial funds involved. So this enterprising young lady is trying to raise the amount herself. Ashley is twelve years old.

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Ashley Chess Girl

By Miša Hrenič

World youth chess championship is one of the biggest chess events of the years. The event is usually attended by approximately 1500 players from all over the world. This year’s World Youth Chess Championship in Maribor, Slovenia will not be any different. According to already registered players the number of participants could reach a record this year.

World youth chess championship is a unique opportunity for every young chess player as they can prove to the world, their parents, coaches and themselves what they’re worth. It is clear that the championship is the main tournament for the most of the players. It can open many doors and due to that every young player wants to take part in the event.

Unfortunately the championship is also linked with high financial costs, and not everyone can afford to make this kind of trip. A 12-year-old girl from Canada, Ashley Tapp, found herself in a similar position. Ashley finished second at a national championship and earned herself the right to play at November’s World Youth Chess Championship in Slovenia. Ashley’s mother Sophia said that the parents in Canada feel exhausted because they have to carry the entire financial burden; they have to pay high tournament fees and even voluntarily help with the organization of the chess tournaments.

Ashley Tapp

My name is Ashley. I am 12 years old and I play chess. I just qualified for the World Youth Chess Championship in Slovenia, Nov 7-19, 2012. I am fundraising to make this trip as there is no sponsorship for me to go.

At the WYCC in Slovenia 100 countries will compete and 1500 children will be playing chess. This is a great opportunity for any chess player and I'm told this experience will change the way I look at my game.

Thanks to everyone who has offered kind words to support me, and other ways too that help make this opportunity possible! I hope you find something in my store that you like.

Chess doesn’t even have its rightful place in schools, even though there are many children who want to learn to play chess. There are also no sponsors for chess in Canada, and that’s why Ashley needs to pay all the costs that come along with the championship. But all that didn’t stop Ashley’s immense desire and love for chess. She started fundraising to make the trip to Slovenia.

That's where I wanna be: the venue of the World Youth Championship in Maribor

But the trip is not the only Ashley’s goal. At the same time she wants to get chess recognized as a sport in her country. These days Ashley is very busy as the national media showed an exceptionally positive interest in her story.

Ashley in the Park...

... and being interviewed on local TV

Ashley has been playing chess for donations and she created her own website: Ashley Chess Girl. Even the former World Women’s Chess Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk and Susan Polgar are supporting Ashley – they are allowing her to sell chess related materials in Ashley’s store on her website. Ashley clearly became a role model for all the players.

Buy a t-shirt from Ashley: we need to get this girl to Maribor

Vancouver chess prodigy Ashley Tapp

See also the video in this Vancouver Sun report

You can follow Ashley Tapp on Facebook and Twitter. We wish her great success with her project and hope to see her in Maribor!

Copyright Hrenič/ChessBase

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