Monday, November 20, 2006
Meet the chess prodigy
20 November 2006 09:41
Norwich Evening News
It may be a game traditionally dominated by men, but one eight-year-old chess champ has proved that girls can be queen of the check-mate by trouncing her male opposition.
Anouska Nichols is making a name for herself in Norfolk's junior chess circles and her latest triumph is taking the Norfolk under-9 chess champion title.
The Norwich youngster won her age-group outright with six wins out of six at the Norfolk Junior Chess Championship.
Anouska, a Year 4 pupil at Norwich High School for Girls, is the first girl in recent years to win a Norfolk championship which is open to boys
......By the mid-1980s a number of women were competing regularly in events with men. In 1991, Susan Polgar became the first woman to earn the Grandmaster title on the same basis as the men.
But as of 2005, no woman has ever been the world champion and only a handful made it in to the top 500.
In September 2005, Susan Polgar's younger sister GM Judit Polgar of Hungary, then rated 8 in the world by the international chess organization FIDE, became the first woman to play for the World Championship title.
The full article can be read here.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Chess Ed, a premier group of chess education professionals serving Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, proudly present The Chess Ed 1st All Girls Chess Tournament on December 2, 2006 @ the Northfield Park District in Northfield, IL.
This is the first of a series of all girls events to be held by Chess Ed.
For details on this event and registration information please visit www.nachess.org/kumbaya
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Polgar Chess Club October Scholastic Championship
Sunday, October 29, 2006
4 Round Swiss System Tournament (Game/30 - clock play is required)
Site: Polgar Chess Center at 103-10 Queens Blvd. Forest Hills, NY 11375
Call: (718) 897-4600 or E-mail: PolgarChessClub@aol.com for further info.
Description of Tournament:
Games are in three sections: K-3, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th.
Round schedule is:
1 12:45 PM
2 2:00 PM
3 3:30 PM
4 4:45 PM
Entry Fee: $22 ($15 if rec’d by 10/19); Polgar CC members $15. USCF membership required.
Prizes: Trophies for top 3 finishers in each group.
Medals to all participants!
Specials prize to top girl performance!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
October 12, 2006
A Notable Chess Journey for Talented New York Girls
By DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN
Medina Parrilla, a sophomore at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, is nervous about a trip next week to Batumi, in Georgia, a republic of the former Soviet Union. She is going to compete in the World Youth Chess Championships.
But Medina said: “I’m not nervous about playing. I passed that stage a long time ago. I’m nervous about the country. I don’t know what to expect from a place like that.”
Darrian Robinson, a seventh grader at Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, who is going with Medina as part of the United States team, said she was excited about venturing to a new place.
The girls are accomplished chess players — Medina, 15, is ranked No. 7 in the country among girls under 16 and Darrian, 12, is No. 6 among girls under 13 — but they stand out among their roughly 25 teammates because as African-Americans they will be making history at the tournament.
It will be the first time that two African-American players have represented the United States in an international chess competition. That both are girls makes it that much more remarkable.
Although chess is a meritocratic game — all a player needs is a set, a board and an opponent— African-American players competing in organized tournaments are rare, according to Bill Hall, executive director of the United States Chess Federation.
Part of the reason, he suspects, has to do with economic barriers.
The rest of the article can be read here.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Susan Polgar National Chess Challenge for Boys and
Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls
President’s Day Weekend
February 16-18, 2007
Corpus Christi, Texas
K-2, 3rd-5th, 6th-9th, Open Section (for all ages!)
Prizes: Trophies to top 12 individuals and top 3 teams in each section. Special medals to 13th – 20th place individuals and 4th – 6th teams. 3 or more from the same school and section or same chess club and section (top 3 scores added to give team final standings). Trophies to top 3 two–person family (siblings – parent/child) team
Additional Individual Prizes to each section: Special Grand Prize to 1st!! $200 in prizes to 2nd $150 in prizes to 3rd $100 in prizes to 4th $50 in prizes to 5th! Any player with 6-0 score in the main event will also receive a digital chess clock!
Prizes for Blitz / Puzzle Solving Championships: Trophies to top 3 players in each section. Special medals to 4th – 10th place. Blitz and Puzzle Solving Championships will be only one section but trophies will be given out to separate categories.Special
Prizes: Any school with 20 or more participants will receive a set of 6 Winning Chess the Easy Way Training DVDs by Susan Polgar ($175 retail value). In addition, there will be 2 beautiful trophies for the schools with the most students competing in the championship (Top from Texas and top outside of Texas).
Entry Fees: $30 if received by December 15, 2006; $45 if received by February 1, 2007; $60 on site - On site registration: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM Friday and up to 9:30 AM on Saturday. Blitz EF: $12 - Puzzle Solving EF: $12 - Simul: $20 Special $30 entry fees for all 3 events (Blitz, Puzzle & Simul) - Susan Polgar mini chess camp: $25
Checks payable to: Susan Polgar Foundation 103-10 Queens Boulevard (Suite 1C) Forest Hills, NY 11375 www.SusanPolgarFoundation.org
Bayfront Plaza Hotel 601 N. Water Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Phone: (361) 882-8100 or 1-800-688-0334 or www.bayfrontplazahotelcc.com. For chess rate, please mention Chess Tournament & Code Word "Chess" beginning now.
Hotel rate cutoff date: January 27, 2007.
Incredible Hotel Rates: $59.00 up to 3 people $69.00 up to 4 people $89.00 suite – FREE Wireless Internet – FREE hot breakfast buffet - FREE appetizers nightly & live music on Friday and Saturday night at the hotel Atrium.
The winner of each section in the SP National Open Championship for Girls (must meet age and residency requirements) will automatically qualify to the 2007 SP National Invitational for Girls in New Jersey!
For more info, please check out www.SusanPolgarFoundation.org or contact Dan Deleon 361-883-3930 or email PolgarFoundation@aol.com
Monday, September 18, 2006
* Qualified through peak rating - Others qualified based on October list
Those who met the criteria will receive the prizes and invitations to SPECIAL All-Star Training sessions.
Those who reached within 100 points will not receive the prizes but will receive invitations to SPECIAL All-Star Training sessions.
Age - Minimum Peak Rating
Age 6 & Under - 1300: None
Age 7 - 1400:
Xiang, Evan 7 TX USA 1330 (within 100 pts)
Age 8 - 1500:
*Xiang, Ellen 9 TX USA 1553
Age 9 - 1600:
Zhu, Caroline 9 TX USA 1637
Chen, Michelle 9 MA USA 1611
*Chiang, Sarah 9 TX USA 1584
Age 10 - 1700:
Yang, Sylvia 10 TX USA 1806
Zhurbinskiy, Eve 10 NJ USA 1599 (within 100 pts)
Age 11 - 1800:
Kuzniatsova, Alena 11 NY USA 1776 (within 100 pts)
Qiu, Katherine 11 TX USA 1719 (within 100 pts)
Robinson, Darrian 11 NY USA 1711 (within 100 pts)
Age 12 - 1900:
Dai, Yang 12 VA USA 1942
Liu, Jennie S 12 NJ USA 1836 (within 100 pts)
Age 13 - 2000: None
Age 14 - 2100:
Jamison, Courtney 14 TX USA 2002 (within 100 pts)
Age 15 - 2150:
Melekhina, Alisa 15 PA USA 2182
Marshall, Abby 15 VA USA 2048 (within 100 pts)
Age 16 - 2200: None
Age 17 - 2250:
*Ross, Laura 18 NY USA 2252
Age 18 - 2300:
*Abrahamyan, Tatev 18 CA USA 2293
Congrats to all who qualified!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Ettie Nikolova and Abby Marshall faced each other on board 1 in round 4 at the 2006 Virginia Closed State Championship!
In the black shirt is Ettie, VA rep for the 2004 SP National Invitational. Ettie actually finished as the top female player at the 2004 US Open. Unfortunately, Ettie did not pay the $75 fee to the AF4C and that's why she did not receive a spot in the US Championship.
Abby of course won the SP National Invitational in 2005 and 2006.
Both Abby and Ettie ended up in a tie for second and both broke the 2000 rating mark! Congratulations to both Abby and Ettie!
Yesterday, I received a post from Emily Liu, a young female chess player from Katy, Texas. Emily is not even 10 yet and she has her own cool chess blog. This is Emily's blog. I am amazed of the technical knowledge of the youngsters today. This is so wonderful!
Blogging is a great way for your voice to be heard! Use it wisely! Use it positively!
Friday, September 08, 2006
LUBBOCK – Three internationally known female chess players and a fourth student recruited from Texas have received chess scholarships from Texas Tech University.
The students received a $1,000 scholarship for their first year. Funds for the scholarships were provided by the Office of the President and the W. H. Freeman Publishing Company. One of the scholarship winners will be designated as the university’s W. H. Freeman Chess Scholar.
Texas Tech Receives Top Honor
As a result of this activity, Texas Tech received the highest award given to colleges by the U. S. Chess Federation. Texas Tech and University of Connecticut School of Engineering both received the 2006 Chess College of the Year Award. Texas Tech joins the ranks of such colleges as Stanford University, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Maryland, St. John’s University and Rhode Island University.
Dr. Hal Karlsson, faculty advisor to the Knight Raiders chess club at Texas Tech, awarded three of the scholarships after attending the first Susan Polgar World Open Chess Championship for Girls – a tournament held June 16-18 in Las Vegas for females younger than 21.
Best in the World
Karlsson selected three tournament participants as scholarship recipients. The students, chosen for their tournament performance and on their academic potential, are: Laura Morales Mendoza of Mexico, Luciana Morales of Peru and Magdalena Matyszewska of Poland.
Mendoza, of Mexico City, Mexico, is a FIDE Master – a title awarded by the World Chess Federation. She won the chess puzzle contest portion of the Polgar championship and placed 5th in the slow-control tournament. Mendoza has won numerous girls’ tournaments in Mexico City and she was member of Mexican Women Team in the Chess Olympiads.
Morales is a Women’s International Master from Lima, Peru. She ranked 3rd in the regular Las Vegas tournament and won the blitz tournament, which consists of speed chess. Morales was named Peruvian National Chess Champion 18 times in various age categories and also was the 2006 Peruvian Women’s Olympiad team captain. She tied for third place in the Continental Championships of the Americas in 2005. She is the first Peruvian chess player to qualify for World Championship playoffs.
Matyszewska was born in Poland, but lives in Wyandotte, Mich. Matyszewska placed 4th in the regular portion of the Polgar tournament.
Freshman is National Champ
A chess scholarship also was awarded to freshman Bryan Pernes, who has played in nearly 180 rated tournaments nationwide. He won the amateur section of the 2004 Texas State and Amateur Championships, the 2004 Texas High School Scholastic Championship and placed 3rd in the 2004 National High School Championship.
The Office of the Provost provided funds for Pernes’ scholarship.
Dr. Hal Karlsson, associate professor of geosciences, Texas Tech University, at (806) 742-3130.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Among the participants are the reigning Japanese Overall Elementary School Chess Champion (her name is Natsumi - she's in the blue shirt in the back row) and one of the top third grader in the state of New York.
Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls
President’s Day Weekend
February 16-18, 2007 Corpus Christi, Texas
K-2, 3rd-5th, 6th-9th, Open Section
The winner of each section (must meet age and residency requirements) will automatically qualify to the 2007 Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls in New Jersey!
TIME CONTROL: G/45 or G/40 with 5 seconds delay
Prizes: Trophies to top 12 individuals and top 3 teams in each section. Special medals to 13th – 20th place individuals and 4th – 6th teams. 3 or more from the same school and section or same chess club and section (top 3 scores added to give team final standings). Trophies to top 3 two–person family (siblings - parent/child) team
Additional Individual Prizes to each section: Special Grand Prize to 1st!! $200 in prizes to 2nd $150 in prizes to 3rd $100 in prizes to 4th $50 in prizes to 5th! Any player with 6-0 score in the main event will also receive a digital chess clock!!
Prizes for Blitz / Puzzle Solving Championships: Trophies to top 3 players in each section. Special medals to 4th – 10th place. Blitz and Puzzle Solving Championships will be only one section but trophies will be given out to separate categories.
Special Prizes: Any school with 20 or more participants will receive a set of 6 Winning Chess the Easy Way Training DVDs by Susan Polgar ($175 retail value). In addition, there will be 2 beautiful trophies for the schools with the most students competing in the championship (Top from Texas and top outside of Texas).
Friday, February 16:
3:30 PM Lecture for players / parents / coaches by Susan
5:00 PM Puzzle Solving Championships
6:15 PM Tandem Simul (Maximum 70 players)
Saturday, February 17:
10:00 AM Opening Ceremony
Rounds: 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, 4:00 PM
6:15 PM Blitz Championships (G/5 - 6 SS)
8:00 PM Dance Party
Sunday, February 18:
Rounds: 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM
4:00 PM Closing Ceremony
Monday, February 19:
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Susan Polgar Mini Chess Camp
Entry Fees: $30 if received by December 15, 2006; $45 if received by February 1, 2007; $60 on site - On site registration: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM Friday and up to 9:30 AM on Saturday. Blitz EF: $12 - Puzzle Solving EF: $12 - Simul: $20 Special $30 entry fees for all 3 events (Blitz, Puzzle and Simul) - Mini Chess Camp: $25
Make checks payable to Susan Polgar Foundation 103-10 Queens Boulevard (Suite 1C) Forest Hills, NY 11375 www.SusanPolgarFoundation.org
Bayfront Plaza Hotel 601 N. Water Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Phone: (361) 882-8100 or 1-800-688-0334 or www.bayfrontplazahotelcc.com. For chess rate, please mention Chess Tournament & Code Word "Chess" beginning now. Hotel rate cutoff date: January 27, 2007.
Incredible Hotel Rates: $59.00 up to 3 people $69.00 up to 4 people $89.00 suite –
FREE Wireless Internet – FREE hot breakfast buffet - FREE appetizers nightly & live music on Friday and Saturday night at the hotel Atrium.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Cities are even using chess to boost their image and tourism. Many US cities are putting chess tables in public parks and organize local chess events. Professor David Robertson of John Moores University and chairman of the Liverpool Chess Foundation said:
A year ago we had the idea to broaden the basis of the 2008 Capital of Culture year by staging a number of international chess tournaments to put Liverpool on a par with other European chess cities, such as Turin, Dresden, Zurich and Budapest ... Other European cities have found chess to be a relatively cheap and extremely helpful way of boosting their image around the world ... With the exception of football (soccer), chess is the only game with a global reach. It is a completely inclusive game, neutral to gender, class and ethnicity. We want to use it to create a new image alongside the familiar images of Liverpool, selling the finer qualities of the city.
Moreover, there are countless commercials, TV shows and movies that include chess scenes. There is even a book devoted to the latter. Many celebrities and athletes love chess and publicly talk about its wonderful benefits. It is an amazing phenomenon!
The rest of my column can be read here.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Tri-State Scholastic Chess Challenge
(Hosted by NY Athletic Club and Sponsored by the Susan Polgar Foundation)
October 7 - 8, 2006
Open to all USCF members grade K-12
3 Sections: K-3rd 4th-6th 7th-12th grade
Location: NY Athletic Club - 180 Central Park South - New York, NY 10019
Time Control: G/60
Onsite Registration: October 7 from 10am - 11:45am
Format: 5 rounds – Swiss system
Schedule: October 7: 12pm - 2:30pm
October 8: 10am - 1pm - 2:30pm
Entry fee: $12 by 9/20 On site: $20
Prizes: Trophies to top 6 in each section
Top three finishers in each section $100-$50-$25 in chess prizes.
In addition, the overall winner and the top girl of each section receive a free one year
Gold membership at the Polgar Chess Center ($300 value each)
Entry Form: Please PRINT all info and make check payable to: Susan Polgar Foundation
Name: ______________________________ Phone: (_____) _________________
Email: _______________________________ Age: ____ Section______________
USCF Rating (if any) ______________USCF ID#:___________________________
Monday, September 04, 2006
I thought you would get a kick out of hearing how a couple of Polgar girls have performed so far at the Virginia State Closed Championship, a three-day, six-round event that determines who will be crowned the 2006 Virginia champion. In a field that includes 1 FM, 3 national masters, and 3 experts, Ettie Nikolova and Abby Marshall were tied for first at the half-way point with perfect 3.0 scores.
Ettie, the 2004 Polgar rep from VA, defeated 2 experts in the first three rounds. Meanwhile, Abby knocked off FM and 2002 VA state champ Macon Shibut (rated 2323) in round two. In round three, she faced defending state champ Daniel Miller (rated 2339), who was going for a record four consecutive state titles. She beat Daniel in 21 moves.
The fourth round witnessed a first in the history of the event: two girls playing one another on the top board. For some of the younger girls who were playing in the reserve section, the match presented something of a quandary because they had been rooting for both Abby and Ettie throughout the tournament and now they did not know who they wanted to win. The game ended in a draw, so I suppose none of their fans were disappointed.
The tournament is still underway, with two rounds to go. Abby and Ettie are still tied for first place along with one other player. Several more are lapping at their heals with 3 out of 4 points. The tournament directors took some digital pictures of Abby and Ettie playing on board one. I'll tell them to send you some. It really was quite a spectacle and a great advertisement for women in chess.
Thank you Jeff for the report!
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Lowell student reigns in circuit
By Mike Lipka, Globe Correspondent August 31, 2006
LOWELL -- The chess world is one of chivalry and royalty, of stern faces and seriousness. And as much as Lowell High School sophomore Jessica Wamala tries to fit in, she cannot.
She is certainly good enough: She recently won the title of the top under-21 female player in Massachusetts. It's just that when the 15-year-old Jessica is beating you, she's unable to hold back her big smile.
``It's really rude," she said with a smile. ``I feel bad. I really try not to."
Wamala has had a lot of smiles to contain over her nine-year chess career, and just talking about chess leaves her beaming. For her, the game is about fun. (``I never really got so bummed out playing chess," she said.) And that's just the way her father, Severine, wants it.
But Severine Wamala almost didn't learn how to play chess in the first place. While he was an undergraduate at Makerere University in his native Uganda, his roommate tried to teach him, but it was no easy task; Wamala was fervently devoted to his studies, determined to avoid another distraction.
``I told him, `Don't teach me chess because I don't even have time,' " he said.
Wamala, who traveled to the United States in 1988 to work toward a doctorate at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, laughed at the story last week. He said that once his roommate twisted his arm, it didn't take long to realize its benefits with problem-solving and mental exercise.
``When I started playing chess," Wamala said, ``I stopped worrying about my education, and I just did it."
So, as soon as his children were old enough to learn, he taught them. Jessica, at 6, and Jacob, at 7, quickly embraced the game, engaging in countless head-to-head battles. When Severine wasn't away playing at tournaments, he'd play them both at the same time (what chess players call a ``simul"), beating them both easily.
Things have changed since then.
``My Dad doesn't want to play me anymore," Jessica said, explaining that she surpassed him in rating about a year ago, not long after Jacob got better than his father. The youngest Wamala, 10-year-old Youwana, probably won't be far behind.
For Jessica, chess went from hobby to obsession at age 9, when her father took her and Jacob to one of his adult tournaments. Jessica, who said she was ``just happy to be there," lost all of her games, but her father told her to just keep playing.
``We had this computerized chess board, and I'd play the computer. Then, I'd go over the game and see where I went wrong," Jessica said. ``Once I started seeing patterns and stuff, my rating would go up."
Chess ratings range from zero to around 2,800, which is super grandmaster status achieved by only a handful of people in history. When you break 2,000, you're considered an expert -- a status Jacob Wamala has reached. Jessica is a notch below, between 1,800 and 1,999 as a Class-A player, but she continues to cut down on her mistakes.
Whatever their rating, the Wamala children have always dominated the competition (Jessica cannot even put a number on how many tournaments she's won). They started out playing in adult tournaments, but soon afterward, their father got them involved in scholastic tournaments, which give out trophies to their top finishers. After a few years of scholastics, an entire room of the Wamala house was devoted to trophies.
Jessica's most recent success was last month at the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls in Oak Brook, Ill., where Jessica finished sixth out of more than 50 competitors. She earned the spot by winning the Massachusetts under-21 girls title.
At such a high level it can be a grind to outthink your opponent, she said, since you have to go into the contest with a plan, react to your opponent's method, and constantly be thinking four or more moves ahead.
The rest of the article can be read here.