Welcome, Principal Grace McCallum! Learn more about Branksome Hall's 8th Principal.
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Branksome Hall News

Grade 4 Student Ashley Represents Canada at 2023 World Cadet Chess Championship

This past October, new Branksome Grade 4 student Ashley travelled to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt to participate in the 2023 World Cadet Chess Championship held by the International Chess Federation. Having finished first in her age group in July’s 2023 Canadian Youth Chess Championship, Ashley was thrilled to have this opportunity to compete in the Girls U10 category after just four years of playing chess.
She and her family stayed in Egypt for two weeks, seeing the sites and meeting players from countries around the world. Her schedule was extremely busy, with 11 games back-to-back. When asked how she spent her time during the tournament, she shared that her days were spent preparing for, playing and analyzing her games, but that there was some time for fun each day. Her favourite moments were dancing with other Team Canada members on the resort’s stage after dinner each night. The team members all became very close, helping each other with strategy and encouragement and even visiting Cairo and the Pyramids together with their families after the tournament ended.

After 11 rounds of games, Ashley tied for tenth place in her group, which included 70 players from 56 countries. This was a leap up from her starting rank in 35th place. Emily MacLean, Head, Junior School, remarked, “I am so impressed by Ashley and her ability to think strategically in a game of chess! This is such an incredible accomplishment that she should be very proud of.”

Ashley would like to continue playing chess, and plans to work towards having a higher ranking than her brother to prove that a female player can be just as strong as a male player. She also dreams about achieving a Grand Master title and opening a chess school one day. Ashley’s other interests include cross-country running and drawing, which she has jumped into in her first year at Branksome this Fall.

Congratulations Ashley for representing Canada at this competition and for your outstanding results! We can’t wait to see where your chess journey takes you next.
We wish to acknowledge this land on which Branksome operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and go to school on this land.

Setting the new standard for girls' education everywhere takes collective action. From all of us.