Saturday, August 02, 2008
2008 SPNI Champion
Dallas teen wins Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls chess competition
By Adam Young AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
Saturday, August 02, 2008Story last updated at 8/2/2008 - 2:06 am
Courtney Jamison started playing chess at age 6 after her mom suggested the game as a way to keep an eye on her and her two brothers.
"(My brothers) stopped when they were in the sixth grade and I just kind of kept going because it was something I really did well at." Jamison said.
Now, the 16-year-old from Dallas is the champion of the fifth annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, the most prestigious all-girls national chess championship in the United States and hosted by the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech.
"I'm not athletically inclined - I can't get sports scholarships - and I'm academically OK," said Jamison, who also has competed in Pan-American Chess Festival in Argentina. "But with chess, it's something that if you put enough work and just a little bit of talent, then you can do really well."
Winners of the six-day tournament held at the Frazier Alumni Pavilion on the Tech campus were announced at the event's closing ceremony Friday.
Fifty-two girls age 19 and younger representing the highest-rated chess players in their home states competed for approximately $150,000 in scholarships and prizes at the tournament.
Paul Truong, spokesman for SPICE, said Polgar, a four-time women's world chess champion, hosts the tournament for girls because people in the past didn't believe girls could or should play chess.
"Susan has proven time and time again for the last three decades that that's not true," Truong said. "Girls can play chess, they can be smart and they can have fun at the same time."
Ashley Carter of Michigan and Linda Diaz of New York tied for second and third place and split $550 in prizes as well as each receiving a $1,000 scholarship to Tech.
Here is the full story.