For the first time, USChess is sponsoring two all-women’s teams at the 2024 World Senior Team Championships!  And BCS Founder and President Elizabeth Shaughnessy is on her way to Krakow, Poland, representing the US on board four of the Women’s 65+ Team! This is a professional homecoming for Elizabeth, who played in her 1st Chess Olympiad (representing her home country of Ireland) in Lublin, Poland, 55 years ago in 1969, the year before she became the Irish Women’s Chess Champion!   Elizabeth is in Ireland right now, fine-tuning her circadian rhythm to European Central Time before the Championships begin July 2nd.

Here are the US lineups:  For the Women’s 50+Team, players are  2023 US Senior Women’s Champion and Team Captain WGM Angelina Belakovskaia, WIM Beatriz Marinello, WFM Olga Sagalchik, WFM Natalya Tsodikova, and WFM Ivona Jezierska. For the Women’s 65+ Team, players are Team Captain WIM Shernaz Kennedy, Julia O’Neill, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, Polly Wright, and Amy Nunn. Of the ten players competing on the women’s teams, six participated in the first US Senior Women’s Championship hosted by Elizabeth and the Berkeley Chess School in 2023, with the generous support from USChess and the Eade Foundation. In fact, it was the success of the Senior Women’s Championship and the camaraderie of the players that launched the effort to field a women’s team at the World Senior Team Championships.

“We’re going!” the players decided, “We just have to figure out how!”

Initially, Elizabeth hoped for a non-playing role as team captain for the Championship.  Her extensive international tournament experience (playing in the European Championship in Lyon, Spain; and representing the Irish Federation in seven Chess Olympiads: Lublin, Istanbul, Bled, Turin, Dresden, Elista, and Siberia) and the support of the players made her a prime candidate.

But when USChess decided to field a Women’s 65+ team as well, Elizabeth transitioned from would-be captain to player.  “I’m honored, but terrified!” she said.  Fortunately, a regular stint as the house player for the Berkeley Adult Chess Club, and the coaching of teacher and author extraordinaire NM Bruce Pandolfini, has helped her prepare for her new role.  In Round 1 of the Championship, the US Women’s 65+ team will face the Irish Team (all men).  Time to school your countrymen, Elizabeth, and best of luck!

Read more about our senior teams here:  and follow the games at!