Thursday, April 27, 2006
The Susan Polgar Foundation, the New York City Sports Commission, the Office of NY City Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Athletic Club are proud to present the 2006 Mayor's Cup Invitational Super Chess Tournament.
The event will take place on Sunday, June 25 and Monday, June 26, 2006 at the New York Athletic Club located at 180 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019.
The event will be a double round robin format. The participants are:
Title - Name - USCF - FIDE
GM Gata Kamsky 2736 - 2671
GM Alex Onischuk 2704 - 2650
GM Ildar Ibragimov 2704 - 2637
GM Boris Gulko 2659 - 2585
GM Alex Stripunsky 2659 - 2569
GM Susan Polgar 2557 - 2577
This would be the strongest round robin tournament in US history! More details will follow soon!
Week 1: July 10 - 14
Week 2: July 17 - 21
Week 3: July 24 - 28
Week 4: July 31 - Aug 4
Week 5: Aug 14 - 18
Week 6: Aug 28 - Sept 1
What will the campers learn? They will
• Have a clear and precise knowledge of important chess positions
• Learn unique and critical chess tactics and combinations
• Master vital endgame patterns
• Develop a sound understanding of chess openings
• Comprehend middlegame ideas
• Create logical plans and strategies
• Study winning chess psychology
• Develop chess mental toughness
• Learn to use various chess software to improve and much more…
9:30 AM - 2 PM except Aug 28 - Sept 1
10 AM - 4 PM (Monday - Friday)
Classes are conducted at the Polgar Chess Center by Susan and other top-level coaches
This is a special Chess Camp for youngsters from age 5 and up. Everyone will be taught with a special training method that has been exclusively developed by 4-time World Champion & 5-time Olympic Champion Susan Polgar.
Cost: Weeks 1 - 5: $325 and Week 6: $399 per week (lunch included daily). PCC members get 10% off. Register by May 31st and get a $50 discount
Monthly Scholastic events at the Polgar Chess Club! Weekly tournaments - Classes for all levels! Please visit www.SusanPolgar.com for the exact schedule!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Chess Mom Kirsten Lewis just sent me this story about girl's chess in Santa Cruz, California. I would like to thank Kirsten, all other chess Moms and Dads and Coaches across the country for giving girls a chance in chess. This mission cannot be accomplished without the help from everyone!
New Santa Cruz chess tournament admits girls only
By Rosy Weiser
Santa Cruz Sentinel Correspondent
Four-year-old Sydney Lewis, a charmer with big eyes and a coy smile, has put her stamp on the game of chess.
On a recent Sunday at the weekly chess club at the Santa Cruz Central Branch library, Lewis, dressed in pink frills and stripy tights, arrives toting a Hello Kitty chess bag and a pink playing mat and sits down opposite a similarly clad opponent, the only other girl in a room full of boys.
She wiggles, sucks on her fingers, even ends up under the table briefly. But she still manages to stay relatively focused as her counterpart, Alyssa Beltran, a girl nearly twice her age, eventually announces "Check mate!"
It's an incongruous sight when you think of this ancient, complex board game enjoyed by some of the world's most fascinating minds.
But Lewis and Beltran are part of a growing movement of female players who relish this world of rooks, knights and queens just as they play house and push dolls around in strollers.
"Historically, chess has always been an afterthought for girls," said library chess teacher Gjon Feinstein. "There's been this presumption girls would not be attracted to something so competitive, so left brain," he said, adding that, much like the national numbers of chess-playing girls about 10 percent, only a handful of girls attend his classes and tournaments.
Next week, Santa Cruz County girls will have the chance to compete in the area's first ever single-sex chess tournament. Organized by Feinstein, and Lewis' parents, the event will feature a talk by 15-year-old Louiza Livschitz, one of Northern California's top-ranked junior players, followed by a simultaneous chess exhibition where Livschitz will play all challengers at once, moving from board to board.
"We need more girls playing. I want to show that you can have fun with the game," Livshitz said. "It's nothing to be scared of," she added, explaining that her experience as one of the only girls in a sea of boys at tournaments was initially intimidating.
Livshitz, along with many young girls seriously into the chess scene, refers to Susan Polgar as their primary Chess Mentor.
In 1991, Polgar, the top player in the United States, and one of the top 10 players, became the first woman ever to earn the title of chess "Grandmaster", one of the highest rankings in the chess world.
Her fans describe her as nothing short of a chess missionary; intent on getting girls interested and involved in the game, she's sponsored a number of all-girl events throughout the country.
Theories about the discrepancy in numbers between the sexes include the idea that girls don't receive enough encouragement from non-chess playing parents who assume the game is a 'boy thing,' an 'intimidation factor' relating to the skewed ratio of boys versus girls, and chess teachers who don't recognize girls may have different learning styles, according to Polgar's Web site.
Girls do approach the game with a different "energy," said Feinstein. Qualities like creativity, graciousness and patience are all skills that can work to a chess player's advantage, he said.
Back at the library, chess club is over but Lewis isn't finished with her daily dose of chess: she may play her brother later, go online and look at the Polgar Web site, or spend time in the family chess room working on board problems set-up by her parents.
"At this age, they're able to absorb a lot," said her father, Brian Lewis. "For us chess is about developing life learning tools, like concentration, confidence, winning and losing."
And while Lewis won't be participating in the girls tournament this time around she's too young she has her sights on next year.
"I like chess 'cause I like to win. I like chess because I want to show my friends that I got a trophy," she said.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
I was just informed that Texas Tech University has just agreed to award 2 scholarships at the upcoming Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls under 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada!
Thank you Texas Tech University!
June 16 - 18, 2006 Las Vegas, Nevada
Format: 6 SS Sections: Under 21, 15, 13 and 10 (as of June 14, 2006)
Time control: G/45 (Please be sure to bring your own chess set and clock)
· Prizes: Trophies to top 20 individuals and top 3 teams in each section. Special medals to 21st – 30th 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). Every player receives a special hand signed certificate from Susan Polgar.
· AWESOME Additional Prizes: In each section, 1st place receives a Laptop Computer. $200-150-100-50 gift prizes for 2nd-5th. Any player with 6-0 score also receives a digital clock!
· Prizes for Blitz Championship: Trophies to top 3 players in each section. Special medals to 4th – 10th place. Blitz will only have one section but trophies will be given out to separate categories.· Prizes for Puzzle Solving Championship: Championship Cup to first each section (Unr – 800, 801 – 1100, 1101 – 1400, Open). Special medals to 2nd – 6th place.
· Special Prizes: Any school with 20 or more participants will receive a set of 7 Winning Chess the Easy Way Training DVDs by Susan Polgar (Over $200 retail value).
There will be many additional surprise prizes and gifts! Winner of each section will qualify for the 2006 Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls in Chicago (Winners must meet the age and residency restriction). More information can be found on www.SusanPolgarFoundation.org.
§ Friday, June 16:
3:30 PM Lecture for players / parents / coaches by Susan Polgar
5:00 PM Puzzle Solving Championship
6:15 PM Simul with Susan Polgar (Maximum 70 players)
§ Saturday, June 17:
9:00 AM Opening Ceremony
Rounds: 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, 4:00 PM
7 PM Blitz Championships (G/5 - 7 SS)
§ Sunday, June 18:
Rounds: 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM
4:00 PM Closing Ceremony
Entry Fees: $30 if received by March 15, 2006; $45 if received by May 25; $60 on site - On site registration: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM Friday and up to 9:30 AM on Saturday. Blitz EF: $15 - Puzzle Solving EF: $12 - Simul: $20 Special $35 entry fees for all 3 events (Blitz, Puzzle and Simul). Please make checks payable to: Las Vegas International Chess Festival, PO Box 90925, Henderson, NV 89009-0125 or online at www.lvchessfestival.com. No telephone entries. NS. W. FIDE.
Hotel Information: Riviera Hotel and Casino, 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109. HR: $71 single or double ($81 Friday and Saturday nights) includes free tickets to one of three Mardi Gras Riviera Las Vegas Shows Wednesday, Thursday or Monday. 1-800-634-6753 or (702) 734-5110. Make your reservations early and be sure to ask for the chess rates; the Riviera sells out most weekends. Cutoff for special hotel rate is May 25th. Rates may be as high as $140 a night after May 25th. Credit card or one night room deposit will be required to hold reservation, may be canceled 48 hours in advance for nominal fee.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Susan Polgar All-Stars Girl's Chess Team
I would like to offcially announce a new initiative that is designed to help raise the playing level of young talented female players in the United States. The program is the Susan Polgar All-Stars Girl’s Chess Team.
Its goal is to recognize girls who already excel in chess and it to serve as a motivational tool for others. All girls who qualify for the team will be nationally recognized, they will receive a special Susan Polgar All-Stars jacket, a special All-Stars Certificate, and an invitation to the exclusive and intensive Susan Polgar All-Stars Girl’s Training Program conducted by me and other highly qualified top-level coaches, similar to the historic 2004 US Women’s Olympiad Training Program that I created. This program will greatly assist them in improving their chess skills.
Below are the criteria for the Susan Polgar All-Stars Girl’s Chess Team:
Age Minimum Peak Rating (October rating list each year)
6 & Under 1300
In addition, any girl who is within 100 points from the above criteria can apply for special exemptions to attend this exclusive training program. It will not be an easy task for girls to qualify for the Susan Polgar All-Stars Girl’s Chess Team. However, it is a bar to motivate girls to try to achieve.
There is no stopping any young female player from qualifying for another award such as the Trophies Plus All-America’s Chess Team. They can qualify and accept either award or both, it is entirely up to the players who earned it. Therefore, we are not offending any individual young female players. This is a non-profit initiative to help the USCF and young female players in the United States. Girls are dropping out at an alarming rate. We need to reverse this trend before we can expect to produce large numbers of good female players. The Susan Polgar Foundation is fully committed to do this.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
I love chess and I strongly believe in the benefits of chess for people of all ages, especially children. That is why I opened my own Polgar Chess Center in Queens, New York nearly ten years ago.
The second Polgar Chess Center was opened last year in Corpus Christi, Texas and it is thriving.
If you know of a local chess club that needs help or if you live in an area that does not have a chess club (general or scholastic chess club) and you want to do something to help, please let me know. Perhaps I can give you some ideas or help you in one way or another.
Let's work together for the benefits of chess, one area at the time!