Young Latina Chess Players Help Team Win National Championship


A team of young Latinas are taking chess to another level. Henderson Middle School from El Paso, Texas, are once again chess champions, which is not as easy as it sounds. While the team is co-ed, Latinas make up half of the group.

According to KFOX TV, the team won two national titles from the U.S. Chess Federation Junior High Championship in April, after having won back-to-back championships with two national titles at the U.S. Chess Federation Junior High Championship.

“Every year we have to set the standard higher for our students and everyone in the community,” chess coach Saul Ramirez told El Paso Times. “We have great individuals with great potential.”

Their story was captured by Now This news and got the attention of someone very cool.

Chelsea Clinton tweeted: “Love this! Congratulations to the whole Henderson Middle School team!”

Three other Latinos on the team took home individual national titles including Saul Ramirez, Alessandra Ruiz and Sebastian Gutierrez.

“I feel like I am putting on an example to every Latina girl that’s playing chess,” Alessandra Ruiz said to reporters. “Many people say that we cannot do — that we cannot win or something but I just proved them wrong.”

Alessandra is very correct. Their example is showing millions of young girls that chess isn’t a boys game and females can win big titles.

“I see them struggle everyday in school. I get to see them struggle everyday in their daily lives and being able to help them out,” their coach told KFOX TV. “Being able to see them practice and give it everything they got. Being able to see them give it everything they go and come back champions. I’m mean they are already champions in life and now they are champions in the game of chess too.”

We can’t wait to see how they do next year. Something tells us they’re bring gold home once again.

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