The Centre for Women in Science hosts simultaneous chess exhibition


Photo by Luke Sarazin

On March 13, 2018, the Centre for Women in Science at Wilfrid Laurier University hosted a simultaneous chess exhibition at the Science Building Atrium.

Woman International Master Natalia Khoudgarian took on 30 students at the same time, playing chess against each student simultaneously. The 30 chess boards were organized in a rectangle in the Atrium and Khoudgarian moved from one board to the next, making one move at a time.

The Centre for Women in Science (WinS) organized this event to celebrate women and with International Women’s Day being celebrated on March 8, it was the perfect time for Laurier to honour a woman chess master.

“This event is being hosted to celebrate International Women’s Day which was on March 8,” Shohini Ghose, director at Centre for Women in Science, said.

“We wanted to organize a fun event that raises the awareness of WinS on campus and showcases women’s abilities to excel in any area including chess, which is considered intellectually demanding and typically thought of as an area that men excel in.”

Natalia Khoudgarian has won the Canadian Women’s Chess Championship on four different occasions, along with representing Canada twice at the Women’s Chess Olympiads and the Women’s World Chess Championship.

With chess being seen as the ultimate test of intelligence, this exhibition was the perfect way to celebrate the intellectual capability of a woman, and to honour the fact that women can be extremely successful across all disciplines.

The event not only showcased Khoudgarian’s chess ability, it also raised awareness for the Centre for Women in Science, along with giving students the chance of a lifetime to compete against an expert in the chess.

The Centre for Women in Science launched at Laurier in 2012, aiming to tackle the barriers that women still face today in sciences and social sciences. The main objective of the Centre for WinS today is to “make the centre redundant”, and events like this simultaneous chess exhibition are only going to help them achieve that goal.

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