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July 19-21
Sports Connection Northlake
8626 Hankins Rd, Charlotte, NC 28269

Queen's Gambit is a 3-day event where practitioners of many fencing schools come together to learn, socialize, and compete. This year we are pleased to offer sparring tournaments using sideswords with mixed companion weapons and longswords, an invitational spear tournament, a dagger sparring tournament, a skills-based obstacle course, workshops, and lectures. We will not have a cutting tournament this year. Enjoy the evening with your fellow fencers at our Saturday masquerade dinner and peer awards ceremony, with after-dinner Renaissance dancing!

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Events and Schedule

Friday, July 19:

11:00am – Doors Open
12:30pm – Dagger Rules Briefing 
1:00pm – Gear Check  
1:15pm – Dagger Tournament – Rose Division
2:30pm – Dagger Tournament – Crown Division
4:00pm – Dagger Finals – Rose Division 
4:30pm – Dagger Finals – Crown Division
5:00pm – Break
5:00pm-8:00pm – Free Sword Portraits available courtesy of Dustin Jones Photography
5:30pm – The Circles of Meyer Workshop with Keith Cotter-Reilly & 
Lecküchner Between the Lines lecture with Owen Sykes
6:30pm – For Shifts and Giggles workshop with Derek Steel-Baron & Book History Through The Lens of Joachim Meyer by Michael Chidester 
8:00pm – Lessons of the Shield Wall workshop with Michael Tucker
& Stick it to 'Em workshop with Jessie Allen Harrigan 
11:00pm – Everybody Out

Saturday, July 20: 

8:00am – Doors Open
9:00am – Longsword Rules Briefing  

9:30 – Gear Check for Longsword Rose Division
9:45am – Longsword Tournament – Rose Division
11:30am – Lunch
12:30pm – Gear Check for Crown Division
12:45pm – Longsword Tournament – Crown Division
3:00pm – Rose Division Finals
3:30pm – Crown Division Finals
4:00pm – Spear Rules Briefing
4:30pm – Gear Check
4:45pm – Spear Tournament 
6:15pm – Spear Finals
6:45pm – Break
7:30pm – Masquerade Dinner
7:30pm-8:30pm – Free Portraits available courtesy of Dustin Jones Photography 
8:30pm – Peer Awards and Raffle
9:00pm – Group Photo
9:15-10:15pm – Renaissance Dancing
11:00pm – Everybody Out

Sunday, July 21:

9:00am – Doors Open
9:30am – Sidesword Rules Briefing
10:00am – Gear Check for Rose Division
10:15am – Sidesword Tournament – Rose Division
12:00pm – Lunch 
1:00pm – Crown Division Gear Check
1:15pm – Sidesword Tournament – Crown Division
3:30pm – Rose Division Finals
4:00pm – Crown Division Finals 
4:30pm – Event Ends / Farewell 

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Workshops and Lectures

Queen's Gambit is proud to host in-depth workshops and lectures taught by nationally recognized instructors on a variety of topics.


2024 Lineup:

"The Circles of Meyer" workshop with Keith Cotter-Reilly of Atlanta Historical Fencing Academy, Atlanta GA
The stereotype of Meyer longsword is flourishing with large circles and big motions for no other reason than it looks "cool." Meyer also would likely not have approved of these, either! This workshop goes over where Meyer used circle-like actions, how to use them, and when to use them. Hint: Not 5 feet away from your opponent. Gear requirements - Fencing mask, gloves, longsword.

"Lecküchner Between the Lines" lecture with Owen Sykes of Swordwind, Charlotte NC

Who was Johannes Lecküchner?  He was a writer, fencer, and clergyman who wrote perhaps the most extensive work on Messer fencing. This lecture will examine his writing and the context of his surroundings to try and paint a picture of the man behind the source. If you've ever wondered about the mad lad behind some of the craziest plays in the HEMA sources, this is for you!


"For Shifts and Giggles" workshop with Derek Steel-Baron of The 1595 Club, Seattle WA 

An exploration of footwork in fencing (as opposed to "leg"-work). How The 1595. Club suggests we apply that most cryptic of statements from our dear Saviolo's book His Practise: "...that in the stirring of a foote he (meaning one) may be soddenlye overtaken and slaine...". 
We will discuss the value of foot-work in "tempo", how these interact with movements of the body and hand to make more efficient fencing actions, and how we can apply these efficiencies to our fencing.

A single handed cut and thrust sword of "military" weight (around 1Kg) is preferred, but in actuality any weapon can be used (though single handed weapons make for better training partners).

Fencing masks, at least light jackets, and gloves requested.


"Book History Through The Lens of Joachim Meyer" with Michael Chidester of Wiktenauer and HEMA Bookshelf

There is much more to a book than just the words printed on its pages. Why and how was it made? Who bought it and what did they do with it? Who read it and what did they think of it? And did anyone in the 16th and 17th centuries actually use the fencing treatises to learn about fencing? In 2019, Sarah Barsness and I set out to examine these and other questions by creating a definitive catalog of the surviving copies of the treatise of Joachim Meyer. This lecture will discuss my preliminary findings from personally examining four copies of the 1570 edition, five copies of the 1600, and what we've learned from assembling descriptions of most of the 70 other known copies (based on studying scans or sending other researchers to examine them in person).


"Lessons of the Shield Wall" workshop with Michael Tucker of Tuathair Academy of Martial Arts, Indianapolis IN
i.33 is not the only means of using a shield while sparring. Let's take a look at the bucklers big brother, its context, and what we can learn from it, all the while discovering techniques that can enhance your understanding of the best side arm.


"Stick it To 'Em" workshop with Jessie Allen Harrigan of Swordwind, Charlotte NC
An introduction to the body mechanics and techniques of the two handed stick, with a focus on application to longsword and overall combat training.

You will need a mask, gloves, and a roughly chest-height staff for this workshop! Some loaners will be available, but if you have one, please bring it!

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We are hosting nine tournaments this year.

Cutting Obstacle Course.  We're doing things differently this year due to nationwide issues regarding insurance and sharp swords. This course will feature BLUNT swords. In this Obstable Course fencers will face several obstacles in 3 different phases - first with the Spear, next with the sword, and lastly with the dagger. This course can be completed with either a Longsword feder or a Sidesword feder (must meet the specifications listed in our sparring ruleset)
The Obstacle Course will be available Friday 11:00am - 10:00pm and Saturday 8:00am - 7:00pm. We will announce the winners at the Saturday night Dinner. Video of the course will be available one month before the event so fencers will be able to practice the patterns and be prepared for the obstacles.


Sidesword with Mixed Companion Weapons - Rose Division.  A sparring tournament for fencers under 5'10"using sideswords accompanied by bucklers, daggers, or cloaks.  Fencers are required to provide their own steel weapons and companion weapons.

Sidesword with Mixed Companion Weapons - Crown Division.  A sparring tournament for fencers 5'10" and above using sideswords accompanied by bucklers, daggers, or cloaks.  Fencers are required to provide their own steel weapons and companion weapons.

Longsword - Rose Division.  A sparring tournament for fencers under 5'10" using longswords accompanied by daggers.  Fencers are required to provide their own steel weapons and companion weapons.

Longsword - Crown Division.  A sparring tournament for fencers 5'10" and above using longswords accompanied by daggers.  Fencers are required to provide their own steel weapons and companion weapons.

Dagger Duels - Rose Division. Returning for 2023, this Saturday morning sparring event will focus on dueling with the dagger in the cut-and-thrust style of the Bolognese tradition. Weapons will be provided. Rose division is for fencers under 5'10"

Dagger Duels - Crown Division. Returning for 2023
, this Saturday morning sparring event will focus on dueling with the dagger in the cut-and-thrust style of the Bolognese tradition. Weapons will be provided. Crown division is for fencers 5'10" and above

Spear.  A sparring tournament using partisans.  Weapons will be provided. 


Swordwind reserves the right to remove any entrants from participating in any tournament at their discretion. This decision may be based on factors such as violation of rules, unsportsmanlike conduct, or any other behavior deemed inappropriate by the organizers. Organizers may take into account behaviors shown at any event, club activity, or that we are otherwise made aware of that would cause safety concerns for either the fencer or others. 

The organizer's 
decision in this matter is final and not subject to appeal. 

Each case will be re-examined and discussed on a yearly basis. We believe in growth and second chances! 

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Location and Accommodations

Queen's Gambit 2024 will be held at:
Sports Connection Northlake
8626 Hankins Rd, Charlotte, NC 28269

Recommended hotels nearby include:
Fairfield Inn Charlotte Northlake

9230 Harris Corners Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28269

Courtyard by Marriott Charlotte Northlake
9110 Harris Corners Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28269

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Tournament Rules

You can view our 2024 ruleset here

New for this year, we have a Code of Conduct. You can view that here

These rules are subject to change until July 1, 2024. Please follow us on social media or join our Facebook event page to be notified of any updates. 

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Register for Queen's Gambit in two easy steps:

  • Purchase your tournaments and pay the event fee in our SHOP 

  • Complete the email form when it is sent to you post registration (it may take a few days, please keep an eye on your email) 

Registration Options:

​This year we have changed our pricing structure. Every participant will need to puchase an Event Fee to attend Queen's Gambit. This fee will also cover access to the Friday workshops and lectures, plus the Saturday Dinner and Dancing. 

  • Cutting Obstacle Course: $20

  • Sparring Tournaments: $50 each 

Judging Exemption Fee. Another new feature this year! If you would like to be exempt from judging please select this fee at checkout. Otherwise you will be eligible to be pulled into judging. Judging duties will be called upon for the other division of the tournament you are fighting in. 

Will be issued in Full until June 21
50% refunds will be issued June 22 - July 5
No refunds will be issued after July 5

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Queen's Gambit is made possible thanks to the support from our sponsors. 

Tier 2

Tier 1

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Queen's Gambit cannot happen without the help of our volunteers! We have positions available for many different skillsets. Please consider volunteering! Our sign-up sheet can be found by clicking here.

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We at Queen's Gambit like to be transparent. Hosting events is a costly endeavor and one that leaves many clubs, schools, and individuals in debt - sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars. 
Like other events Queen's Gambit has yet to operate at a profit as we only seek to (at best) break even each year. If we do have a profit this year we will carry that amount over into our operating budget for next year and adjust pricing accordingly. 

2023 posted budget estimate: $15,000
2023 actual amount spent: $18,990

2024 Estimated Budget

Venue Rental: $5,550
Saturday Dinner and Dancing: $3,000

Food for Volunteers: $1,500
Volunteer T-Shirts: $900

Awards: $500

Lanyards: $400

Liquor License: $100
Save the Dates for 2025: $300
Raffle Baskets and Competitor Prizes: $800
Cutting Obstacle Course - materials and design: $500

EMS Team: $2,000

Instructor Fees: $600

Miscellaneous: $500


Total Estimate: $16,650

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