A group of young girls gathered to go over battle plans at the Brownsville Public Library Main Branch. Leading them was 17-year-old chess champion Priya Trakru, who explained strategies behind the game on a digital chess board on a television screen.

Trakru, a rising senior at the South Texas Academy for Medical Professions, used grant funding to partner with Brownsville administrators to create the Pawns and Queens Girls Chess Clinic that was held Friday. She said her goal is to increase the number of girls playing chess in Brownsville.

“When you’re younger, there are some girls in chess, (but) there’s almost a stigma,” Trakru said, adding that there are 10 boys to every girl chess player. “If you can get girls into that male-dominated field, it’s really empowering and you get more confidence. We’re just trying to give girls an opportunity to see what it’s like.”

During the clinic, 21 girls ranging in age from 7 to 14 looked on as Trakru went over chess tactics. They reviewed chess moves used by chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar, credited along with her two sisters for breaking the glass ceiling in chess for women.