Saturday, February 25, 2006
Susan Polgar All-Stars Girl’s Chess Team Requirement
Age Minimum Peak Rating
8 & Under 1500
February 18. 2006
TO: Bill Hall, USCF Executive Director, Bill Goichberg, Don Schultz, Robert Tanner, Joel Channing, Beatriz Marinello, members of the USCF Executive Board
Copy: Members of the USCF Scholastic Council Jerry Nash, USCF Scholastic Director
RE: Susan Polgar All-America Girl’s Team
On behalf of the Susan Polgar Foundation, I would like to propose a co-creation of a Susan Polgar All-America Girl’s Team with the United States Chess Federation starting in 2007. My foundation will award each winner a special “Susan Polgar All-America Girl’s Team” jacket and plaque as well as other valuable chess products.
In addition, each winner will receive an invitation to attend a very special week long intensive all-girl’s training program (and / or 2-3 day special sessions at various times throughout the year) which will be sponsored by my foundation. This would be similar to the program I created for the 2004 US Women's Olympiad team which brought unprecedented historic results.
They will be joined by other most talented young female players in this nation. They will be taught by me personally as well as some of the most experienced chess trainers in the United States. I hope that this program will help produce a number of world-class female chess players in the future, something that this country sorely needs.
Thank you for your support and cooperation with this very important project.
Winner of 4 Women’s World Championships
and 10 Olympiad Medals (5 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze)
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Subject: Creative and Effective Curriculum for Improving Math and Science Education
To: President George Bush
February 22, 2006
Math and Chess for America's Schools Education is one of the single largest state budgetary expenditures. Educating our children and providing them with the necessary tools to become productive citizens is a moral and legal duty of parents and governmental entities. Our nations future depends upon our next generation's ability to remain globally competetive in the fields of math and science. Yet even with the increased focus we place on education our students still fall below national norms in math scores. There is an efficient and innovative way to teach our students mathematics. That is by integrating math with the game of chess.
Chess has long been considered a way for children to increase their mental prowess, concentration, memory, and analytical skills. To anyone who has known the game, it comes as no surprise that these assumptions were actually proven in several studies on how chess can improve the grades of students. Although chess has been shown to increase the mental abilities of persons of all ages, the main studies have been done with children. This is first for the obvious reason that students are constantly tested anyway, and therefore the data need only be analyzed, and secondly because children's mental development is more rapid and can be more easily measured than persons at a later life stage.
After several informal studies were done in the early 20th century on the effect that chess has on logical thinking and other such functions, a primary conclusion was drawn that chess does in fact not only demand such characteristics, but develops and promotes them as well. John Artise in Chess and Education wrote "Visual stimuli tend to improve memory more than any other stimuli; chess is definitely an excellent memory exerciser the effects of which are transferable to other subjects where memory is necessary.
"With this in mind, legislation in the U.S. in 1992 promoting and encouraging the incorporation of chess into the curriculum of schools was passed. Funding is available under the “Educate America Act” (Goals 2000) public law 103-277, section 308.b.2.E. The U.S. joined the more than 30 countries which already had chess included in some form in their school curricula.
In part due to the educational community, which has noted the increased academic performance of students participating in chess, there has been an explosion in the number of children playing chess in the U.S. An estimated 250,000 children in the U.S. are introduced every year through the school system to the basics of the game. Studies have already been done to confirm the hypothesis that chess is linked to increased grades in school.
As reported in Developing Critical Thinking Through Chess, Dr. Robert Ferguson tested students from seventh to ninth grades from the years 1979-1983 as part of the ESEA Title IV-C Explore Program. He found that non-chess students increased their critical thinking skills an average of 4.6% annually, while students who were members of a chess club improved their analytical skills an average of 17.3% annually. Three separate tests to determine how chess affects creative thinking were also done as part of the same study. It concluded that on average, different aspects of creative thinking had improved at a rate two to three times faster for chess playing students, as opposed to their non-chess playing counterparts.
Subsequent studies by Dr. Ferguson further supported these original conclusions. In the Tri-State Area School Pilot Study conducted in 1986 and Development of Reasoning and Memory Through Chess (1987-88) chess playing students showed more rapid increased gains in memory, organizational skills, and logic.
In Zaire the study Chess and Aptitudes, was conducted by Dr. Albert Frank at the Uni Protestant School, during the 1973-74 school year. Using sufficiently large experimental and control groups, Dr. Frank confirmed there was a significant correlation between the ability to play chess well, and spatial, numerical, administrative-directional, and paperwork abilities. The conclusion was that students participating in the chess course show a marked development of their verbal and numerical aptitudes. Furthermore, this was noticed in the majority of chess students and not only those who were better players.
A study conducted in four large elementary schools in Texas in 1997 further demonstrated the positivism of chess. Through the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), the study was done to test the difference that chess playing had on standardized tests. These schools selected all had a chess program in existence for a minimum of two years. Since a few thousand total students took the test and all types of students were tested from special education students to gifted and talented students, the sample was large and diverse enough to make a concrete conclusion. There were significant improvements in both reading and math for all grade levels and all classes of students (regular, gifted and talented, special education, academically able, etc.). Through the Texas Learning Index, or TLI, it was determined that on average the students who played chess improved in reading and mathematics at a rate between 1.5 and two times faster than non-chess playing students.
In terms of verbal improvement specifically, a study by Dr. Stuart Margulies from 1991 addressed this. Students with higher verbal skills tend to score higher on word problems than their lower performing counterparts. The "Margulies Study” is one of the strongest arguments to finally prove what hundreds of teachers knew all along-chess is a learning tool. (Inside Chess, February 1994).
"Can chess promote earlier intellectual maturation" was the question posed in the Chess and Cognitive Development study directed by Johan Christiaen from the 1974-76 school years in Belgium. The results again clearly confirmed that the group of chess playing students showed significantly more improvement then the non chess playing students. In 1982, Dr. Gerard Dullea mentioned this study and proclaimed "…we have scientific support for what we have known all along-chess makes kids smarter! (Chess Life, November 1982) In a similar study done in a test series in New Brunswick, Canada called Challenging Mathematics, the mathematics curriculum used chess to teach logic from grades 2 to 7. The average problem solving score in the province increased from 62% to 81%.
We can now say with full confidence that chess has been PROVEN to enhance creativity, problem solving, memory, concentration, intellectual maturity, self esteem, and many other abilities that a parent or teacher would desire. We should act now to provide our children with an innovative and exciting approach to learning mathematics: Math and Chess for America's Schools.
I am currently in discussions with Senator Lamar Alexander's office of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Education regarding just such a program. I look forward to sharing this information with you as well.
Last month, Texas Tech University awarded the first ever chess scholarship. In fact, they awarded 3 scholarships to 3 girls from the Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls. They are working on giving more scholarships at the Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls in June in Las Vegas.
University of Texas in Brownsville is working on the same thing. Of course University of Texas in Dallas is already a supporter of Polgar events and chess for girls.
Do you know of any other University that may be interested in awarding Chess Scholarships for Girls? If you do, please let me know. My goal is to get more Colleges and Universities to recognize Chess and support our game.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Recommended Scholastic Chess Kit
Products - Price
Special Polgar Plastic Set (Choice of colors) $10.95
* Heavy Weight Plastic Set (Type I) $19.95
* Special Heavy Weight Plastic Set (Type II) $27.95
* Heavy Weight Wood Set $39.95
Polgar Chess Vinyl Board $9.95
* Special Wood Board $59.95
Susan Polgar Digital Clock $44.95
* Excalibur Digital Clock $49.95
* Chronos Digital Clock $109.95
Polgar Chess Carrying Bag $5.95
Polgar Chess Scholastic Pad $3.95
(Susan Polgar) World Champion’s Guide To Chess $17.95
* Upgrade Option (If you want to upgrade to any other item on this list, we will gladly deduct 20% off from the price of that upgrade item)
Total Price for the Recommended Scholastic Chess Kit if purchased separately $93.70
Special Package Price: $69.95 (Price cannot be combined with any other discount)
That’s approximately 22% SAVINGS!
Friday, February 17, 2006
Rules and Conditions for the Annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (February 2006)
1. The tournament will be played during the U.S. Open Championship each year. Starting time of each round will be at 11:00 A.M. The time control will be 40 moves in 90 minutes with 30 seconds increment added on per move. After move 40, players will be given an additional 15 minutes for the rest of the game with 30 seconds increment added on per move. This is the official FIDE time control. Registration will be required at pre-tournament registration.
2. Each state will be allowed one representative. Alternates may be substituted as the official representative no later than June 1. (If there are an odd number of entrants in the tournament, the Chairperson of the Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player) The Chairperson of the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions for cause from the entry deadline of June 1. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, the Chairperson of the Polgar Committee and/or USCF may determine in its sole discretion the candidate from that state. Alternates may be substituted as the official representative no later than June 1.
3. All players must be under the age of 19 as of September 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, and have been enrolled, in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent. Home schooled students who are under the age of 19 on September 1 of the year in which the tournament is held and 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. Proof of eligibility will be the responsibility of the players and of the state official certifying the representative and alternate.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Unlike the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, the participants of the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls DO NOT have to be High School students. Any qualifier under the age of 19 (by September 1 of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!
4. Players will be required to play in and complete all six rounds of the tournament. Failure to do so, without permission of the Tournament Director, will result in a forfeiture of expense monies.
5. All players are encouraged to do their very best to provide a complete and legible scoresheet to the Tournament Director.
6. Players will be required to furnish the Tournament Director an emergency phone number and an e-mail address of a parent/guardian.
7. Players are responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses.
8. Players who complete the tournament will receive an equal amount from the sum of $5,000 in travel stipend, which is provided by the Susan Polgar Foundation.
9. The prize fund, sponsored by the Susan Polgar Foundation and the US Chess Trust, will be $1,250 divided into four scholarship prizes: 1st $500, 2nd $300, 3rd $250, 4th $200. These prizes will be paid to the players directly by the Susan Polgar Foundation and the US Chess Trust, but only upon receipt of proof of enrollment in a college, trade or technical school.
10. The winner of the tournament will be crowned the Susan Polgar National Invitational Champion. In case of ties, co-champions will be recognized and each will receive the Champion’s Plaque or Trophy.
11. The University of Texas at Dallas agrees to award a full four-year academic scholarship to the highest finishing player who has not graduated from high school by August. In the case of ties for these scholarships, tie-breaks used will be:
1. Modified Median
4. Cumulative of Opposition, in that order.
12. It is the goal of the Polgar Committee to have all 50 states (2 for California and 2 for Texas) and the District of Columbia represented. Consequently, we strongly encourage each state affiliate and the District of Columbia to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine its girls’ champion. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable.
13. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state that has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Chairman of the Polgar Committee who is currently:
FM Paul Truong c/o Polgar Chess Center 103-10 Queens Boulevard (Suite 1C) Forest Hills, NY 11375 - Tel: (212) 748-9587 - E-mail: PaulTruong@aol.com
14. The Chairman of the Polgar Committee and its members may elect to award 2 or more wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls based on very special circumstances and in its sole discretion.
15. Additional Optional Events:
- Susan Polgar National Invitational Blitz Championship for Girls
- Susan Polgar National Invitational Puzzle Solving Contest for Girls
- Susan Polgar National Invitational Chess Training Program for Girls
These events are opened to all participants and alumni of the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls.
16. In addition, the Polgar Committee will award three automatic qualifying spots at the 2009 SuperNationals Chess Championship to the top finishing girls in the open division of the Elementary (K-6), Junior High (K-9) and High School (K-12) Championship sections.
The Polgar Committee will also award automatic qualifying spots to the top finishing girls in each section of the annual Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls and the annual Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls (must meet age requirement).
17. Contact info:
The Susan Polgar Foundation (www.SusanPolgarFoundation.org – PolgarFoundation@aol.com)
Contact: FM Paul Truong
Phone number: 212-748-9587
Contact: GM Susan Polgar
Telephone: (718) 897-4600
Monday, February 06, 2006
Polgar Chess Center
The official training center for the
2004 US Women's Olympiad Team
103-10 Queens Boulevard
Forest Hills, New York 11375
Telephone: (718) 897-4600
Polgar Summer Camps 2006
August 28 - September 1 (Monday - Friday)
10 AM - 4 PM
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 Susan Polgar.
Cost: $399 (lunch included daily) - $349 members of Polgar Chess Club.
Register by May 31st and get a $50 discount plus a special gift!
Weekly tournaments - Classes for all levels!
Check out www.SusanPolgar.com for the exact schedule!
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Top Under 21
1 Abrahamyan, Tatev 17 CA 2325
2 Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 19 CA 2271
3 Ross, Laura R 17 NY 2238
4 Tsai, Cindy J 20 FL 2171
5 Itkis, Hana 17 NJ 2149
6 Eynullayeva, Roza 18 MA 2127
7 Pelletier, Katharine A. 16 NY 2110
8 Melekhina, Alisa 14 PA 2104
9 Zenyuk, Iryna 19 NY 2101
10 Levina, Anna 20 NY 2087
Top Under 16
1 Melekhina, Alisa 14 PA 2104
2 Mcvay, Karsten Alistair L 13 NJ 1979
3 Parrilla, Medina 14 NY 1964
4 Kerr, Julia K 15 NY 1930
5 Marshall, Abby 14 VA 1929
6 Livschitz, Louiza 14 CA 1910
7 Asami, Marina 15 CA 1909
8 Datta, Anjali 13 TX 1901
9 Jamison, Courtney 14 TX 1870
10 Dai, Yang 12 VA 1851
Top Under 13
1 Dai, Yang 12 VA 1851
2 Vempati, Gayatri S 12 TX 1829
3 Kuzniatsova, Alena 10 NY 1699
4 Liu, Jennie S 12 NJ 1659
5 Yang, Sylvia S 9 TX 1653
6 Kong, Lisa W 12 MD 1606
7 Chu, Helen 11 TX 1604
8 Litvak, Eve V 11 NJ 1579
9 Zhou, Kathleen 11 NJ 1575
10 Williams, Jordana Cathryn 12 LA 1571