Wednesday, March 19, 2014

11th annual SPF Girls' Invitational - Additional prizes for World Youth Qualifiers

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Rules & Conditions for the 11th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational
(Over $200K in prizes and scholarships)
July 10 – 15, 2014 at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri)

Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus for all qualifiers!

The annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational, in its 11th year, is the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States. It will once again be held at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri).

• There will be an intense training session with Susan Polgar and members of the SPICE team, followed by a 6 round (g/90+30) FIDE rated championship tournament.

• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.

• There will be many chess prizes awarded, as well as scholarships to Webster University.

Each state is allowed one representative to be nominated by May 20, 2014. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than June 15. (Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions to the May 20 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state.

Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are under the age of 19 on July 10th of the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended college on a full time basis prior to June 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, are eligible to represent the state in which they reside.

Exception: If a player graduates from high school early and is already attending college, she may still represent her state if nominated. This is the decision of each state affiliate.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The participants of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational DO NOT have to be high school students. Any qualifier under the age of 19 (by July 10th of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

Special invitation for this year only: All past participants of the SPNI and SPFGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2013) are invited to participate in the 2014 SPFGI. The idea is to have the past participants learn my method of training so they can go back home and share their knowledge with the younger players. However, registration MUST be made ASAP since space is limited. There will be mutual training sessions for all, however separate section & prizes for alumni participants over the age of 19.

Players are required to furnish the organizer an emergency phone number and the e-mail address of a parent/guardian.

There is no entry fee to participate in the 2014 SPFGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel. For all state representatives, and qualifiers from the SPNO or SPWO, Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus.

For alumni participants, wild card/special invites, coaches, parents, or other family members, inexpensive accommodations are available for housing and dining on Webster’s campus. Please note that all reservations and registrations MUST be made (and accommodation expenses prepaid) no later than June 15, 2014.

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, and the SPFGI Championship. Co-champions are recognized in the case of a tie, with each champion receiving a Champion’s Plaque or Trophy.

The Champion (or Co-Champions) of the main event will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement).

Champion: Webster University scholarship* (approximately $24,000+ per year x 4 years) Champion's Cup. (In case of a tie, a playoff will used to determine the level of scholarships)

2nd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $14,000+ per year x 4 years)

3rd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $12,000+ per year x 4 years)

Brand new additional prizes this year!


Top under 16: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 14: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 12: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 10: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

* The scholarships to Webster University must be exercised no later than Fall of 2017, and are not transferable. In addition, these scholarships cannot be combined with other academic scholarships, or stacked. If players won scholarships in past events, they can choose to exercise the highest one.

** After flight ticket has been purchased, a $1,000 reimbursement check will be sent to the winners.

The Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California, two for Texas, and two for Missouri) and the District of Columbia represented. We strongly encourage each state and the District of Columbia affiliate to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine each state’s champion and representative. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state who has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Polgar Committee as soon as possible.

Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee and its members may elect to award a limited number of wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational.

Special qualifying events: The Polgar Committee will award automatic qualifying spots to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar NO for Girls (New Orleans) and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (Chicago).

The SPFGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com).

Contact info: Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com)

The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through info@PolgarFoundation.org.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2013 SPF Girls' Invitational Results

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Pair | Player Name                    |Total|Round|Round|Round|Round|Round|Round| 
 Num  | USCF ID / Rtg (Pre->Post)      | Pts |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  | 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 | LUISA MERCADO MENDOZA          |5.5  |W  42|W  21|W  23|W   6|W   5|D   2|
   KY | 15205563 / R: 2027P5 ->2120P11 |N:1  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 | BECCA LAMPMAN                  |5.0  |W  39|D  17|W  29|W  10|W  15|D   1|
   WA | 13656505 / R: 2031   ->2045    |N:1  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 | DANITZA FERNANDA VAZQUEZ MACCARINI    |5.0  |W  33|W  28|W   4|L   5|W  22|W  12|
   PR | 13731325 / R: 1730   ->1803    |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 | ALEXANDRA VALERIA BOTEZ        |4.5  |W  34|W  24|L   3|D   8|W  30|W  16|
   OR | 12882405 / R: 2043   ->2033    |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5 | JACKIE PENG                    |4.5  |W  44|W  26|W   9|W   3|L   1|D   7|
   ON | 14308925 / R: 1954   ->1963    |N:1  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6 | MARGARET  M HUA                |4.5  |W  35|W  13|W   7|L   1|D  10|W  20|
   MO | 13289400 / R: 1929   ->1937    |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7 | KATHERINE VESCOVI              |4.5  |W  46|W  22|L   6|W  34|W   8|D   5|
   KY | 15205578 / R: 1834P5 ->1882P11 |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8 | JENNIFER R YU                  |4.0  |W  45|W  18|D  15|D   4|L   7|W  27|
   VA | 14117950 / R: 1993   ->1985    |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9 | KATHERINE SHAW DAVIS           |4.0  |W  40|W  19|L   5|W  27|D  16|D  10|
   NY | 14381402 / R: 1841   ->1845    |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   10 | SAITHANUSRI AVIRNENI           |4.0  |W  47|W  30|W  16|L   2|D   6|D   9|
   GA | 14299428 / R: 1790   ->1821    |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   11 | KIANA HAJIARBABI               |4.0  |W  43|D  29|W  17|D  15|L  12|W  28|
   KS | 14796433 / R: 1802   ->1796    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   12 | OLGA CHEREPAKHIN               |4.0  |W  55|L  16|W  35|W  31|W  11|L   3|
   WA | 13615684 / R: 1669   ->1682    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   13 | ANDREA CECILIA CRIST BOTEZ     |4.0  |W  50|L   6|W  14|L  22|W  34|W  36|
   OR | 14261485 / R: 1524   ->1523    |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   14 | JESSICA ROSS                   |4.0  |L  16|W  55|L  13|W  49|W  26|W  24|
   OR | 12998062 / R: 1224   ->1354    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   15 | ELLEN XIANG                    |3.5  |W  31|W  20|D   8|D  11|L   2|D  18|
   TX | 21029572 / R: 2072   ->2044    |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   16 | EVAN XIANG                     |3.5  |W  14|W  12|L  10|W  26|D   9|L   4|
   TX | 12966415 / R: 1944   ->1921    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   17 | REBECCA DELAND                 |3.5  |W  38|D   2|L  11|W  32|D  24|D  19|
   NM | 13470414 / R: 1699   ->1701    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   18 | SHREYA B MANGALAM              |3.5  |W  51|L   8|D  43|D  39|W  42|D  15|
   IL | 14385521 / R: 1684   ->1673    |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   19 | HIYA GHOSH                     |3.5  |W  53|L   9|L  40|W  48|W  41|D  17|
   CA | 14603628 / R: 1691   ->1657    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   20 | MIRANDA LIU                    |3.5  |W  37|L  15|D  39|W  40|W  23|L   6|
   IL | 14042343 / R: 1627   ->1641    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   21 | CARMEN PEMSLER                 |3.5  |W  49|L   1|L  34|W  46|D  28|W  39|
   ID | 13758206 / R: 1635   ->1608    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   22 | SASHA KONOVALENKO              |3.5  |W  60|L   7|W  51|W  13|L   3|D  23|
   MI | 14154014 / R: 1455   ->1494    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   23 | ANNASTASIA MARIE WYZYWANY      |3.0  |W  36|W  27|L   1|D  28|L  20|D  22|
   LA | 13984743 / R: 1861   ->1817    |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   24 | SHAYNA PROVINE                 |3.0  |W  48|L   4|W  42|D  30|D  17|L  14|
   IL | 14137968 / R: 1699   ->1661    |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   25 | JANET PENG                     |3.0  |U    |W  32|U    |W  43|U    |W  40|
   ON | 14308910 / R: 1567P21->1587P24 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   26 | AIYA CANCIO                    |3.0  |W  57|L   5|W  33|L  16|L  14|W  45|
   AZ | 13850035 / R: 1527   ->1507    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   27 | CASSIE PARENT                  |3.0  |W  52|L  23|W  38|L   9|W  35|L   8|
   IL | 13591356 / R: 1497   ->1494    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   28 | ANASTACIA ANTONIA LOPEZ SANCHEZ    |3.0  |W  58|L   3|W  46|D  23|D  21|L  11|
      | 14689726 / R: 1450P13->1470P19 |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   29 | HEIDI LOUISE DARSEY            |3.0  |W  54|D  11|L   2|D  41|L  36|W  46|
   NM | 14279295 / R: 1492   ->1469    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   30 | AMELIA FLORENCE WYZYWANY       |3.0  |W  56|L  10|W  52|D  24|L   4|D  33|
   LA | 13984737 / R: 1409   ->1413    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   31 | HANNAH FARELL                  |3.0  |L  15|W  37|W  50|L  12|D  33|D  32|
   OK | 12848139 / R: 1382   ->1376    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   32 | ELIZABETH MILLER               |3.0  |D  41|L  25|W  44|L  17|W  52|D  31|
   NY | 14345792 / R: 1362   ->1361    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   33 | IRIS YI-XIAN ZHOU              |3.0  |L   3|W  58|L  26|W  56|D  31|D  30|
   MO | 14467261 / R: 1317   ->1314    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   34 | JACINDA LEE                    |3.0  |L   4|W  48|W  21|L   7|L  13|W  52|
   UT | 14131555 / R: 1235   ->1292    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   35 | SKYLAR HSU                     |3.0  |L   6|W  57|L  12|W  50|L  27|W  48|
   MD | 14427353 / R: 1210   ->1214    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   36 | TERESA PHIVAN ELEANO KNECHT    |3.0  |L  23|L  52|W  57|W  51|W  29|L  13|
   IA | 14194781 / R: 1198   ->1191    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   37 | ALANA MACKENZIE MC GUINNESS    |3.0  |L  20|L  31|W  53|L  42|W  51|W  44|
   RI | 14582271 / R:  984   ->1045    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   38 | ISABEL T BRIELER               |3.0  |L  17|W  56|L  27|L  52|W  50|W  42|
   MO | 13933375 / R: 1015   ->1031    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   39 | SHEENA ZENG                    |2.5  |L   2|W  41|D  20|D  18|D  40|L  21|
   KS | 14640432 / R: 1484   ->1487    |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   40 | ANJANA MURALI                  |2.5  |L   9|W  53|W  19|L  20|D  39|L  25|
   WI | 14490650 / R: 1081   ->1181    |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   41 | JANICE M EVANS                 |2.0  |D  32|L  39|W  45|D  29|L  19|U    |
   HI | 15201616 / R: Unrated->1344P5  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   42 | KATERINA B BAUMGARTNER         |2.0  |L   1|W  49|L  24|W  37|L  18|L  38|
   OH | 14523514 / R: 1330   ->1296    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   43 | DIAMOND ABDUS-SHAKOOR          |2.0  |L  11|W  54|D  18|L  25|L  44|D  47|
   MO | 13972728 / R: 1264   ->1237    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   44 | ELLISON GRACE VAN SCOY         |2.0  |L   5|L  50|L  32|W  54|W  43|L  37|
   OH | 14561583 / R: 1253   ->1189    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   45 | SARA LIN                       |2.0  |L   8|L  51|L  41|W  53|W  49|L  26|
   TX | 14316952 / R: 1206   ->1157    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   46 | IOANA MURGULET                 |2.0  |L   7|W  60|L  28|L  21|W  55|L  29|
   TX | 14534577 / R: 1077   ->1072    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   47 | SHAHRZAD HAJIARBABI            |2.0  |L  10|U    |D  54|U    |W  57|D  43|
   KS | 14796448 / R: 1020   ->1016    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   48 | HANNAH V WHATLEY               |2.0  |L  24|L  34|W  58|L  19|W  56|L  35|
   SC | 13269020 / R:  971   -> 962    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   49 | KATLYN BONNELL                 |2.0  |L  21|L  42|W  60|L  14|L  45|W  57|
   IN | 13419970 / R:  946   -> 931    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   50 | ANANYA MURALI                  |2.0  |L  13|W  44|L  31|L  35|L  38|W  58|
   WI | 14692845 / R:  807   -> 849    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   51 | SARAH FARELL                   |2.0  |L  18|W  45|L  22|L  36|L  37|W  56|
   OK | 13306541 / R:  674   -> 786    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   52 | REBEKAH FARELL                 |2.0  |L  27|W  36|L  30|W  38|L  32|L  34|
   OK | 13393122 / R:  589   -> 765    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   53 | SOFIA SAGGIANTE                |2.0  |L  19|L  40|L  37|L  45|W  54|W  55|
   MD | 13471397 / R:  512P14-> 634P20 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   54 | TALIA BUXBAUM                  |1.5  |L  29|L  43|D  47|L  44|L  53|W  60|
   MS | 14907453 / R:  579   -> 586    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   55 | GISELE JOSEPHINE DELGADO       |1.0  |L  12|L  14|L  56|W  58|L  46|L  53|
   TX | 14491700 / R:  850   -> 767    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   56 | BAYLIE ELIZABETH REDMAN        |1.0  |L  30|L  38|W  55|L  33|L  48|L  51|
   MT | 15181826 / R: Unrated-> 683P6  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   57 | ANNA LEE                       |1.0  |L  26|L  35|L  36|W  60|L  47|L  49|
   UT | 14133614 / R:  620   -> 611    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   58 | MADISON IVY ANDREA FORD-MCKNIGHT  |1.0  |L  28|L  33|L  48|L  55|W  60|L  50|
   PA | 14972281 / R:  389   -> 399    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   59 | ALEXANDRA NICOLE NAGER         |0.5  |H    |U    |U    |U    |U    |U    |
   AL | 14916661 / R:  126P10-> 126P10 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   60 | KATE BERGERON                  |0.0  |L  22|L  46|L  49|L  57|L  58|L  54|
   LA | 14930004 / R:  350P17-> 301P23 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 SPF Girls' Invitational


Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/116302832360230031699/SPFGirlsInvitational2013InStLouis

More pictures will be updated daily. A total of 61 players were invited / qualified for the 2013 SPF Girls' Invitational. Updates will be made throughout the tournament at https://twitter.com/SusanPolgar

The budget for this most prestigious all-girls event is approximately $250,000, making it by far the largest all-girls event in the United States, and most likely in the world.

More information here: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2013/07/big-10th-anniversary-surprise-for-girls.html

Friday, July 19, 2013

Even more prizes added for the SPF Girls' Invitational




Last night, I made the announcement that I will personally sponsor an additional $5,000 cash prizes for the top 3 finishers of the 10th annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational. You can read what I wrote below.

Today, one of the sponsors / partners of the Susan Polgar Foundation just donated another special prize for the winner, valued at approximately $2,400! The official announcement will be made at the Opening Ceremony.

This means that the winner can potentially win the following:

- Full tuition and fees scholarship to Webster University (approximately $100,000)
- Cash scholarship ($3,000)
- iPad mini (approximately $340)
- Another special prize (approximately $2,400)

- Champion's trophy
 

Here is what I wrote yesterday:

Around 12-13 years ago, the Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) visited me at my Chess Center in Queens, NY, to ask me to help the federation in various important areas. Two of the things I was asked to help were:

- To create a serious US Women's Olympiad chess program as no women's team from the US has ever won any medal before that.

- To help boost girls' chess popularity in the US as they were being ignored at that time.

I said yes and immediately began to work to improve a number of different aspects. The first official business was to create the Susan Polgar Foundation (SPF).

Then, the Women's Olympiad training program was created in late 2002 / early 2003. The program included IM Irina Krush, IM Anna Zatonskih (at that time was a WGM), IM Rusa Goletiani (at that time was a WGM), and WGM Jennifer Shahade (at that time was a WIM). I even came out of retirement after nearly 9 years of hiatus to participate and lead this team.

In 2004, the US Women's team captured 4 medals (2 gold and 2 silver) at the Calvia Chess Olympiad. Since 2003, every single US Women's Champion has come from this Women's Olympiad training program which I created.

Also in 2003, I created the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (it is now called the SPF Girls' Invitational), the most prestigious all-girls national championship in the US. This was the first all-girls national championship created in the United States and it was unanimously approved by the Executive Director and the USCF Executive Board.

A few months later, I persuaded the USCF to approve the All-Girls National Championship (sponsored by KCF). I also created two additional events: the Susan Polgar National Open for Girls and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (both sponsored by the SPF).

Since then, nearly $2 million in scholarships (through SPF and our partners) have been awarded to girls in events which my foundation organized and sponsored. This is the 10th year of the SPF Girls' Invitational, and it will be the largest one ever, with 58 young ladies qualified. To celebrate the tremendous success of this event, I decided to expand it by inviting some additional young female players from North, Central, and South America.

The total budget / prizes / scholarships for this championship is almost $250,000! It is unprecedented for girls' chess anywhere. All state representatives and qualifiers will receive free rooms and meals for the entire duration of the event, plus many extra goodies. Over the years, thousands of girls have competed all across the United States to earn spots in the invitationals.

I am very proud to lead the charge to get more girls involved in chess, and to revolutionize girls' chess in America. To celebrate the special 1oth anniversary, I have just decided to personally sponsor $5,000 cash scholarship to the top 3 finishers ($3,000 to 1st, $1,500 to 2nd, and $500 to 3rd).

This is a surprise as it was not announced before. The winners can use the cash prizes toward school / tournament expenses, or additional coaching, however they wish. I also hope to attract additional sponsors next year to make this event even better.

http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2013/07/big-10th-anniversary-surprise-for-girls.html

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Big 10th anniversary surprise! $5,000 cash prizes added!


Around 12-13 years ago, the Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) visited me at my Chess Center in Queens, NY, to ask me to help the federation in various important areas. Two of the things I was asked to help were:

- To create a serious US Women's Olympiad chess program as no women's team from the US has ever won any medal before that.

- To help boost girls' chess popularity in the US as they were being ignored at that time.


I said yes and immediately began to work to improve a number of different aspects. The first official business was to create the Susan Polgar Foundation (SPF).

Then, the Women's Olympiad training program was created in late 2002 / early 2003. The program included IM Irina Krush, IM Anna Zatonskih (at that time was a WGM), IM Rusa Goletiani (at that time was a WGM), and WGM Jennifer Shahade (at that time was a WIM). I even came out of retirement after nearly 9 years of hiatus to participate and lead this team. 


In 2004, the US Women's team captured 4 medals (2 gold and 2 silver) at the Calvia Chess Olympiad. Since 2003, every single US Women's Champion has come from this Women's Olympiad training program which I created.

Also in 2003, I created the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (it is now called the SPF Girls' Invitational), the most prestigious all-girls national championship in the US. This was the first all-girls national championship created in the United States and it was unanimously approved by the Executive Director and the USCF Executive Board.

A few months later, I persuaded the USCF to approve the All-Girls National Championship (sponsored by KCF). I also created two additional events: the Susan Polgar National Open for Girls and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (both sponsored by the SPF).

Since then, nearly $2 million in scholarships (through SPF and our partners) have been awarded to girls in events which my foundation organized and sponsored. This is the 10th year of the SPF Girls' Invitational, and it will be the largest one ever, with 58 young ladies qualified. To celebrate the tremendous success of this event, I decided to expand it by inviting some additional young female players from North, Central, and South America.

The total budget / prizes / scholarships for this championship is almost $250,000! It is unprecedented for girls' chess anywhere. All state representatives and qualifiers will receive free rooms and meals for the entire duration of the event. Over the years, thousands of girls have competed all across the United States to earn spots in the invitationals.

I am very proud to lead the charge to get more girls involved in chess, and to revolutionize girls' chess in America. To celebrate the special 1oth anniversary, I have just decided to personally sponsor $5,000 cash scholarship to the top 3 finishers ($3,000 to 1st, $1,500 to 2nd, and $500 to 3rd).
 
This is a surprise as it was not announced before. The winners can use the cash prizes toward school / tournament expenses, or additional coaching, however they wish. I also hope to attract additional sponsors next year to make this event even better.


Rules and Conditions for the 10th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational (SPGI)
July 20 – 25, 2013 at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri)

 
THIS WILL BE THE BIGGEST SPGI EVER!

- Over $200,000 in chess scholarships, chess prizes, and iPad mini, etc. (Full tuition and fees scholarship to the top finisher! *)

- Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus for qualifiers!

The annual Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States, will be held at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri). 

 
• There will be an intense training session with Susan Polgar, followed by a 6 round (g/90+30) FIDE rated championship tournament.
• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.
• There will be many chess prizes awarded, including iPad mini, and scholarships to Webster University.
 

Each state is allowed one representative to be nominated by June 1, 2013. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than June 15. (Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions to the June 1 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state.
 

Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are under the age of 19 on July 25th of the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended college on a full time basis prior to June 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, are eligible to represent the state in which they reside.
 

Exception: If a player graduates from high school early and is already attending college, she may still represent her state if nominated. This is the decision of each state affiliate.
 

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The participants of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational DO NOT have to be high school students. Any qualifier under the age of 19 (by July 25th of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

Special invitation for this year only: All past participants of the SPNI and SPGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2012) are invited to participate in the 2013 SPGI. The idea is to have the past participants learn my method of training so they can go back home and share their knowledge with the younger players. However, registration MUST be made ASAP since space is limited. There will be mutual training sessions for all, however separate section & prizes for alumni participants over the age of 19.
 

Players are required to furnish the organizer an emergency phone number and the e-mail address of a parent/guardian.

There is no entry fee to participate in the 2013 SPGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel. For all state representatives, and qualifiers from the SPNO or SPWO, Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus.

For alumni participants, wild card/special invites, coaches, parents, or other family members, inexpensive accommodations are available for housing and dining on Webster’s campus. Please note that all reservations and registrations MUST be made (and accommodation expenses prepaid) no later than June 25, 2013.
 

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, and the SPGI Championship. Co-champions are recognized in the case of a tie, with each champion receiving a Champion’s Plaque or Trophy. The Champion (or Co-Champions) will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement). 

Champion: Webster University scholarship (approximately $23,000+ per year x 4 years *) + iPad mini + Champion's Plaque / Trophy  
2nd and 3rd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $13,000+ per year x 4 years)  
Top under 13: iPad mini  
Top under 10: iPad mini
 

* The scholarship must be exercised no later than the Fall of 2016. 

The New Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California, two for Texas, and two for Missouri) and the District of Columbia represented. We strongly encourage each state and the District of Columbia affiliate to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine each state’s champion and representative. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state who has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Polgar Committee as soon as possible. 

Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee and its members may elect to award wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational. 

Special qualifying events: The Polgar Committee will award automatic qualifying spots to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar NO for Girls (New Orleans) and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (Chicago).
 

The new SPGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ). 

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com).

Contact info: Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com)

The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through info@PolgarFoundation.org.

Webster University is located at 470 E. Lockwood Avenue Webster Groves, MO 63119

BIG THANKS to President Dr. Beth Stroble and Webster University for hosting and sponsoring this very prestigious event for girls! 


* Webster scholarships may be upgraded but may not be stacked. For previous winners of partial scholarships, a maximum of $1,000 per year may be added to the previous scholarship.

Monday, July 08, 2013

The Revolutionary Mind, an interview by Renata Holcmann

Polgar: The Revolutionary Mind, an interview by Renata Holcmann
 

I was interviewed by Renata Holcmann of Columbia University. With her permission, I would like to share what she wrote with you.

The very first time I heard the name Polgar was when I was at a local chess tournament in my hometown of Papa, Hungary. Both me and my sister won first place in our categories and some people were murmuring that “they might be the next Polgar sisters.” This idea of sibling chess prodigies very much appealed to my mother and she encouraged us to keep playing and hoped that we -as sisters- would go far with chess. Unfortunately, this dream of hers evaporated in a sudden moment when my sister decided to quit chess when she lost a game to me. So from then on, it was only me, who followed the news about the Polgar sisters and dreamed of meeting them one day. But out of the three sisters I really wanted to meet Susan – the oldest one –, who was the fore-runner in the Polgar family and became a true icon, for many of her accomplishments, in the chess world.

Susan (Zsuzsanna) Polgar was born in Budapest, on April 19th in 1969. Both her parents –Laszlo and Klara Polgar- were school teachers. When I asked Susan how she started to play chess, she quite surprised me with her answer: “Accidentally. I was searching for a new toy and found the chess set.” Then she went on explaining with quite an enthusiasm how she immediately fell in love with the shape of the pieces. She demanded her mother to play a game with her, but she told her that she has to wait until her father comes home and he would teach her then. Then the studying of this royal game began for Susan, just at the age of four! She very much enjoyed learning tactics and found the checkmate puzzles a lot of fun. Not long after her 4th birthday, she entered a chess tournament in Budapest. She competed in the 1st to 4th grade category (almost everyone was twice her age) and won all her ten games, becoming the Budapest Champion. After this event, her life changed forever. The media started following her every move and she was labeled as a “wunderkind.” Hungary’s reaction to her sudden success was divided: a small group of people responded positively to her great achievement, believing that she truly is a chess prodigy. While others started attacking her parents for not letting her play with dolls or at the playground, instead making her sit by the chessboard for hours. This was the bigger group, the pessimists and jealous crowd who also thought that her winning the Budapest Champion title was just an accident, a one-time lucky event and saw no future for her in chess. They could not be more wrong about her…

When Susan turned six years old, her parents made a decision to home-school her since she already knew how to read and write, was years ahead in Math and also spoke Russian fluently. Susan claims, “My Russian became almost as good as my native tongue” due to being enrolled in a nursery school in the previous years where they only spoke Russian. Also, not being in school all day, gave her the chance to spend more time with chess. Predictably, because of this, her parents were constantly attacked in the media. Susan emphasized how much her parents sacrificed for her and her sisters to make it possible for them to succeed. There were many hurdles over the years, but they gave a tremendous support for them at all times. At the time in Hungary, it was acceptable for a high-school aged athlete to be home-schooled in order to practice more and travel to competitions, but nobody had ever heard of keeping a child home -from the very beginning, grade one- to improve her chess skills! Then again, the world still had to wait and see how Susan’s hard work and determination would pave the road to her successful future.

Susan has two sisters, Sophia who is five and a half years younger and Judit, who is seven years younger than her. Being the oldest one, Susan often taught her sisters chess throughout the years, but she was also setting a good example for them about her work ethic. She worked extremely hard, some days practiced even six to eight hours! Usually, she played in ten to twelve tournaments per year. These were long competitions that lasted two or three weeks. Starting from age four, Susan studied from books and studied with different chess coaches. From our conversation I found out that her father was an excellent teacher, but she also had other influential coaches in her life. For instance, Eva Karakas gave Susan the love for the game, but she gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from Laszlo Hazai and Lev Psakhis as well. She studied chess in various ways:

* Solved puzzles to improve her tactical and calculation skills
* Studied many grandmasters’ games to understand different strategies
* Memorized master games and played blindfold chess to improve her visualization skills
* Studied many endgames
* Played a lot of practice games with family members and friends
* Regularly played in club tournaments

In 1979, at the age of ten, Susan became a National Woman Master after finishing in sixth place in the Hungarian Women’s Championship. In 1982, she earned her first FIDE Master norm after beating a much higher ranked player –Laszlo Liptay- with black pieces in the last round of the Balatonbereny, Hungary tournament. (FIDE is the World Chess Federation.) Soon after that she earned her other two norms and became a FIDE Master and automatically received her Hungarian National Master title as well, since the FIDE Master title is a higher. I asked Susan how she felt when she was just a child, competing against -very strong- adult players, all the time. She told me that she greatly enjoyed the challenge, and it made her feel big, she wanted to be looked at more than just a little girl, she wanted to be taken seriously.

In 1981 she played abroad for the first time, in the World Under-16 Girls’ Championship in Westergate, England. It was a tough tournament, but after defeating two main rivals of the tourney -the English Teresa Needham and the Polish Jolanta Rojek- she only needed a draw in the last round against the American Baracca Shabbaz to win 1st place. So even though she was up a pawn, she could agree to a draw and with that she captured the World Under-16 Girl Chess Champion title.

Susan, even though she was a top-class player- was left out of many chess tournaments due to being a female chess player. According to Susan, her the most painful experience was when she was denied the chance to compete in the Men’s World Chess Championship, -after qualifying for it from the overall Hungarian Championship- providing her an unreasonable explanation that it was only for men and she could not represent Hungary. The most shocking fact was that she was officially the #1 ranked female player on the July 1984 world rating list, but still FIDE would not allow her to play. I can only imagine the sadness she must have experienced at that time, but she turned her frustration to strength and from then on -because of this unfair treatment-, she tirelessly fought for equality in chess. In the 1986 FIDE Congress she finally achieved that they officially changed the name of this event, leaving the “Men’s” part out of it and making the title the World Chess Championship. So due to Susan’s incredible success in chess and her courage to stand up and fight for her beliefs, today girls and women can compete in chess tournaments among men.

Susan‘s prowess in chess rightfully earned her a place to be in the highest circles of the chess world and this gave her the opportunity to not only meet, but play chess with many of the most elite chess players and world champions of our times. Among them were Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Spassky, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov and Anand.

In 1984, after ten years of hard work and sacrifices, Susan became an International Master. In the summer of 1988, in Royan, France, Susan earned her very first GM (grandmaster) norm. A year later, she earned her second GM norm, in Leon, Spain. Also, in 1988, she was selected with her two sisters –Sophia and Judit- along with Ildiko Madl to represent Hungary in the Olympiad in Thesasaloniki, Greece. Susan played on the first board all the fourteen games -without a break- and scored 10.5 and did not lose a single game! Her sisters and Ildiko also performed well and the Hungarian teenage team won the Olympiads, beating the “unbeatable” Soviet team.

In 1990, the Hungarian team –with the same players- won the gold medal again in Novi Sad. But besides the team’s gold medal, the Polgar sisters also won individual gold medals on board one, two and three. (Ildiko Madl only played two games at this time.) This time, Susan scored 11 points, winning eight games and drawing six. This again, was truly an unbelievable achievement at such a high-class competition.

In January of 1991, Susan earned her final GM norm in Pamplona, Spain and with that she became the first woman ever to earn the highest chess title of International Grandmaster. When I asked her what it meant to her to achieve this great height in chess, she told me that: “It was very special to me. Even when I was a teenager, many professional players doubted me. They simply didn’t believe that it was possible for a woman to meet all the requirements to earn the Men’s Grandmaster title. I was very eager to get there and was working very hard for many years. So when I finally earned the title, it was justification as well as fulfillment of my long-awaited dream.”

In 1992, the Hungarian Chess Federation organized the Blitz (5 min.) and Rapid (30 min.) Women’s World Championship in Budapest. Susan scored 22.5 points out of 25 games and won 1st place. In the fifteen-round rapid tournament, she collected 12 points without losing a single game and again finished ahead of her sisters, at 1st place. Susan repeated these phenomenal performances in later years and in 1996 she won her fourth Women’s World Chess Championships. To add to that, she is the only World Champion, male or female, who ever won the triple crown (blitz, rapid and classical world championships). She is also a five-time Olympic Chess Champion who collected ten overall medals (five gold, four silver, and one bronze). When I asked her about her favorite game, she told me that it was from the 2004 Olympiad, in Calvia, against Maia Chiburdanidze, the former Women's World Champion. I looked at the game. It was truly brilliant, full of tactical ideas and strategic maneuvering. In the endgame, Susan had two passed pawns -supported by her rook- that were unstoppable, so after the 39th move Chiburdanidze resigned.

Susan holds a record for 56 consecutive Olympiad game unbeaten streak and all on board one. In fact, she has never lost a single game. In 2005, Susan played 326 simultaneous games (won 309, drew 14 and lost only 3), and by doing so, she broke four previous world records. In 2006, she became the Woman’s Chess Cup Champion. She won the US Open Blitz Chess Championship three times, in 2003, in 2005 and in 2006, ahead of all the other male participants.

When I asked her how she could become such a strong chess player -in other words, what was her recipe for success- she told me “The love of the game was number one, then discipline, but also, perseverance and motivation were essential too.”

In describing herself as a chess player, I learned that first, she wants to achieve a solid base, so she plays the opening carefully. She always plans ahead, looks at the whole picture and reacts to the needs of the situation at all times. So in order to succeed, one must be a flexible, universal player.

In 2002, Susan founded the Susan Polgar Foundation, a non-profit organization to promote chess as an educational tool –especially among girls-, as well as a social and a competitive activity. She is also the director of SPICE, the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence where she has been coaching the Knight Raiders Chess Team. She expressed to me that she greatly enjoys sharing her knowledge with her students and loves to see them improve and perform well in tournaments.

Her chess team recently had a huge success at the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, beating teams like Yale and Stanford. The TTU Knight Raiders made the Final Four in its first try in Division I. They won the Final Four which is the National Division I Championship in the second try, in spite of being the lowest seed. Again, she made history.

In an article called, “Knight Raiders Win National Championship” Paul Truong said that: “Susan became the first female to coach a men’s Division I team to the National Championship. You cannot even imagine, let’s say, a female coaching a men’s basketball team or men’s football team to the national title, but in chess, she showed that it can happen.”

She dominated the coaching scene by coaching 3 different teams with 2 different universities, TTU and Webster University, to win three straight Final Four Championships.

Susan also sponsors and organizes several prominent annual events, such as the Susan Polgar World Open and National Open for Boys and Girls, the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls Championship and the prestigious SPICE Cup at TTU and Webster University.

Over the years, Susan won many impressive awards for her work. Here are some examples:

* “Coach of the Year” (2013)
* “US Scholastic Chess Ambassador” (2006, again, she was the first recipient ever)
* “Chess Educator of the Year” (2003, she was the first recipient ever)
* Three-time Winner of the Chess Journalists of America Award for Best Magazine Column and Best Endgame Analysis

I asked Susan what her message is to today’s young chess players. This is what she responded: “I believe chess is a great opportunity. Whether you just play for fun or play competitively, you improve your thinking skills and learn many life skills. Also, you can use chess to open doors to a better future. In the United States there are more than thirty colleges that offer chess scholarships. In addition, chess can also help you get job interviews and potentially help you get hired. It truly has countless benefits.” I could not agree with her more.

Susan Polgar truly made a difference in the world. By breaking the gender barrier, she proved that woman can play chess just as well as men or even better. Due to her efforts to achieve equality in chess, today, girls and women do not have to go through any hurdles –that she experienced- but can freely play chess anywhere in the world. In my view, sports must have freedom, so that any athlete/player can reach their full potentials without facing unnecessary obstacles along the way. Susan is one of the purest examples of motivation and perseverance; she showed the world that everything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard. She is my inspiration and I am certain that there are many others out there who feel the same way.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013 SPICE Cup Open - $11,000 guaranteed


2013 SPICE Cup Open 
Sponsored by Webster University 
and the Susan Polgar Foundation

St. Louis, Missouri
October 15-19, 2013 

GM/IM norm opportunity - Minimum rating (FIDE) 2100 
Limited to first 50 entries  

4 IM/GM norms were earned last year: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com

PRIZES: $11,000 guaranteed 

$4,000-$2,000-$1,500-$1,000-$500
U/2400 FIDE $500-$250-$125
U/2300 FIDE $500-$250-$125
top female $250

October 2013 rating will be used

ENTRY FEES: 

Free to all GMs, IMs, WGMs and all FIDE rated players over 2300, if registered by September 30, 2013. $50 later or on site.

$100 to others if received by September 30, 2013. $150 later or on site.

VENUE: 

Crown Plaza Clayton Hotel 7750 Carondelet Ave, St Louis, MO 63105 (FREE shuttle from the Lambert–St. Louis International Airport) $109/night, FREE Breakfast/Internet 

Send entries to  


Webster University - SPICE
470 E. Lockwood Ave 
St. Louis, MO 63119

Questions? Email: spice@webster.edu or call 314-246-8075