* Michael Khodarkovsky (L), Nicole Maffeo, Karsten McVay, Garry Kasparov (R)

Winning is not a secret that belongs to a very few, winning is something that we can learn by studying ourselves, studying the environment and making ourselves ready for any challenge that is in front of us.
— Garry Kasparov (Grandmaster, former world chess champion)


In 1997 and at the age of six, Nicole Maffeo and Karsten McVay played their first chess match together.  They went on to compete against one another for over a decade as top nationally ranked players.  20+ years later, Nicole and Karsten reconnected over coffee in the East Village (Mud Park) and the idea for this non-profit was born.


Our Mission

We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit dedicated to girls in chess.

Our mission is to encourage and enable more girls to not only learn chess but to stick with it.  Chess teaches invaluable lessons that carry weight well beyond the board.  Chess has the ability to shape minds, instill learnings and impact life's trajectory.     

Unfortunately, the retention rate for girls in chess is low and the drop off point is ~13 years old.  With few female peers and female role models, the ideology behind "selective attrition" becomes very real.  We plan to change that.