Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 Texas Women's Championship

Texas Tech University, Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), The Knight Raiders & The Susan Polgar Foundation


2008 TEXAS Women’s Open Chess Championship

September 27-28, 2008
A 5 Round Swiss System Tournament (Game/75)

Event Site: TTU, Student Union Building, Lubbock, TX

Contact Info: 806-742-7742 E-mail:

Description of Tournament: An open tournament for female players of all ages. USCF and TCA memberships required. The top finishing Texas resident will be crowned as TX Women’s Champion.


On-site registration and check in 8:30am-10:15am. All players must check in by 10:15am.

Round schedule: Saturday 10:30am- 2:30pm- 7:00pm Sunday 10:00am and 2:00pm.

Entry Fee: $25 received by 8/30. $35 by 9/25 or $45 on site.

Prizes: $500-$250-$100 Top U1600 $100 Top Unrated $50

Other: Chess sets and boards will be provided. Bring you own clock if you have one.

Please send Entry Blank and Fees to Susan Polgar Foundation at 6923 Indiana Ave. #154 Lubbock, TX 79413.


Entry Form: Please PRINT all information and make check / money order to Susan Polgar Foundation.

Name: ________________________ Phone: (_____) __________School____________
Address: __________________________ City/State:______________ Zip:_________
Email:__________________________ DOB: _________Section__________________
USCF Rating (if any) ______USCF ID#:______ Amount Enclosed (No cash, please) $______
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bring girls together from all over America

The Susan Polgar Invitational For Girls - A Great Tournament to Make Friends, Play Chess, and Have Fun!

by Eve Zhurbinskiy

It was the fifth round of the Fifth Annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls at the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Alexandra Weiner (from Connecticut) and I both had 3 points out of 4. The stakes were high. If one of us won both rounds, then that person would have a chance to win a scholarship. With two minutes on the clock and a crowd watching, there was a lot of pressure.

As it turned out, I drew that game, and ended up with 3.5 points out of 6. Still, it was a great honor to represent New Jersey in this prestigious event. The organization of the event was amazing. All of the players and their parents were picked up from the airport and driven directly to the tournament site. The players all got free food and lodging, and parents stayed at a discounted price. All of the rounds started on time, everyone was extremely friendly, and there was a lot of fun involved.

There were 52 players in this year’s event, from almost every state, which is part of what makes it such a great tournament- you get to meet girls from around the country. I met a lot of new people from all over the U.S., and also some people I hadn’t seen in a really long time, like Courtney Jamison (who won first place) and Sylvia Yang from Texas, who were my teammates in the World Youths in France and the Georgia Republic in 2005 and 2006.

Although this was my first Polgar, for many girls it wasn’t. Ashley Carter from Michigan has even represented her state all five times! Because I never played in this event before, I didn’t know what to expect. I had only played with the 90 minutes/30 second increment time control at the two World Youths I went to, which was a while back. I also didn’t know how it would be like living in a dorm at a college, and neither did I know how it would be like in West Texas. But everything turned out to be fine, because the tournament was so well organized.

Besides the tournament, there were side events as well, such as bughouse, puzzle solving, and blitz, in which I got 4 points out of 5 and tied for third place. We also voted for a Miss Congeniality, which went to Crystal Qian from Arkansas. All of these events are what makes these six days so fun- you get to hang out, improve your chess, and laugh with friends.

Overall, I really enjoyed coming to the Polgar and meeting girls who have a similar interest as me - chess! Not a lot of girls play chess, so it was great to see so many young ladies participating and also being one of the top players in their state. This event does truly bring together girls from all over America. That is just one of the great things about the wonderful game of chess.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Chess success on campus

Polgar: Many winners, great success for chess tourney held on Tech campus
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Sunday, August 10, 2008
Story last updated at 8/10/2008 - 3:31 am

A record 52 players from across the country participated in the fifth annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls held at the Frazier Alumni Pavilion, which ended Aug. 1.

This is the first year this prestigious event was held at Texas Tech University. In past years, it was held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (2004), Phoenix (2005), Oak Brook, Ill. (2006), and Cherry Hill, N.J. (2007).

The winner of the 2008 SPNI is Courtney Jamison of Texas. Even though she had come close before, she was not able to capture this elusive title. However, this was her year.

After starting out on fire with five straight wins, she took a quick draw in the final round against a dangerous Linda Diaz of New York to clinch the title.

Here is the full article.
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Saturday, August 09, 2008

The first from SC

Area pre-teen joins Texas chess tourney

Staff writer

A North Augusta pre-teen has become one of the first South Carolinians to represent the state in a Texas chess tournament.

Tori Whatley, a Merriwether Middle School student, challenged competitors from around the country during the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls held on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, the week of July 27. This was the first time in five years a South Carolina player was seated at the competition table.

Every state is permitted to send one representative to the tournament, and Texas and California are allocated two. The tournament is named after Susan Polgar, who at the age of 39, broke the gender barrier in chess and became the first woman in history to qualify for the Men's World Championship Cycle in 1986. She went on to create the tournament to showcase top young female talent.

The tournament has become the most prestigious all-girls' event in the United States with the top finishing qualifier winning a full four-year scholarship to Texas Tech University.

Entering the tournament as a newcomer, Whatley found herself ranked No. 51 with only one person ranked lower, an unrated Texan who served as a stand-in. This didn't bother her in the least, as she knew she had nowhere to go but up.

Here is the full story.
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Friday, August 08, 2008

Tori Whatley Garners Respect For S.C. Girls Chess

Tori Whatley Garners Respect For S.C. Girls Chess

The South Carolina flag flew for the first time in the five-year history of the prestigious Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, which was held July 27th – August 1st at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Hannah “Tori” Whatley proudly represented the Palmetto State and when asked how it felt to sit in a room full of state champions, she replied, “I didn’t really see them as champions, I just saw them as new friends”. Indeed, before the closing ceremony, she would make many new friends.

The tournament featured only one round per day leaving the girls plenty of time to forge friendships as they enjoyed activities such as rock climbing, swimming, and water volleyball. The girls also played a basketball game at the University’s Recreation Center.

Sunday’s opening ceremony featured You Tube phenomenon, The Cactus Cuties performing the National Anthem. Tori, along with Arkansas’ Crystal Qian and Texas’ Rheanna English posed for a photograph with the musical group just prior to their performance. Shortly after four-time Women’s World Champion, Grandmaster Susan Polgar’s welcoming remarks, it was time for round one.

Tori’s first match against Oklahoma’s Michelle Farell, a player rated at over twice her strength, was a hard-fought game that left the Oklahoman exclaiming that Tori was a far better opponent than she had anticipated. Despite ultimately losing the game, Tori earned Michelle’s respect and later in the week, the two teamed up as partners in the extracurricular “bughouse” chess tournament.

Monday’s second round concluded with Tennessee’s Autumn Douthitt, asking for a draw. Tying this game with Autumn, who was rated 485 points higher than her, landed Tori on the “Sandbagger” report for cumulative upsets. Later that evening, Tori joined many others in the “Chess Puzzle Solving Championship”, and capped off the night with a lecture from GM Susan Polgar.

Here is the full story.
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Chief of Staff

Mr. Jodey Arrington, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor
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Georgia Olvera

Picture taken by coach DeLeon
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Sarah Garza

Picture taken by coach DeLeon
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Angel Bohanon

Angel tied for 4th

Picture taken by coach DeLeon
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Sportsmanship Award

This picture of Faith Munoz was taken by coach DeLeon
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Scholarship Recipients

Ashley Carter and Linda Diaz

Picture was taken by coach DeLeon
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Linda Diaz

This picture was taken by coach DeLeon
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Miss Congeniality

This picture was taken by coach DeLeon
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Puzzle Solving Perfect 10

This was taken by coach DeLeon
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Top 4 finishers

1. Courtney Jamison (TX)
2-3. Ashley Carter (MI) and Linda Diaz (NY)
4th on tie-breaks Rebekah Liu (CA)
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Perfect 10

All participants who solved 10 puzzles correctly
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Bughouse Co-Champions

Sylvia Yang - Courtney Jamison and Rita Mirchandani - Ashley Carter
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TTU Academic Scholarship Winner

Nisha Deolalikar of California
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Blitz co-champions

Janice Chen and Ashley Carter
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Chess champions crowned

Polgar: Chess champions crowned in three events at Texas Tech

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Story last updated at 8/3/2008 - 3:46 am

The Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, the most prestigious all-girls chess event, concluded on Friday.

In addition to the overall championship, there were three other competitions: SPNI Chess Puzzle Solving Championship, SPNI Blitz Championship, and SPNI Bughouse Championship.

The first completed event was the SPNI Chess Puzzle Solving Championship. Forty players took part in this competition. All players were given 10 identical chess puzzles to solve in 30 minutes ranging from checkmate in one to checkmate in five moves. Fifteen players solved all 10 puzzles correctly. They are:

• Rebekah Liu (California) 10 in 5 minutes 26 seconds
• Rheanna English (Texas) 10 in 6:55
• Fiona Lam (Maryland) 10 in 6:56
• Rita Mirchandani (Florida) 10 in 9:21
• Amelia Wheeless (North Carolina) 10 in 12:41
• Sonya Vohra (Illinois) 10 in 13:17
• Shinan Jin (Pennsylvania) 10 in 13:29
• Ashbea Oyadomari (Hawaii) 10 in 13:41
• Alexa Lasley (Colorado) 10 in 13:44
• Nisha Deolalikar (California) 10 in 13:47
• Mira Ensley-Field (Wisconsin) 10 in 16:50
• Hannah Helwig (Alabama) 10 in 18:05
• Morgan Mahowald (Minnesota) 10 in 18:42
• Rebecca DeLand (New Mexico) 10 in 24:45
• Susan Brown (Virginia) 10 in 25:18

The second completed event was the SPNI Blitz Championship. In this event, Ashley Carter of Michigan and Janice Chen of Utah tied for first with the score of 4.5 points in 5 games.

Chen, a high school senior from Utah, won the Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls in Las Vegas last year. She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Texas Tech University.

Carter, a 3.96 GPA student from Michigan, will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall. However, she is planning to transfer to Texas Tech the following semester. Carter is also the only five-time qualifier of the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls.
Here were the Top 10 finishers out of 40 players:

• 1-2 Janice Chen (Utah) 1772 4.5
• 1-2 Ashley Carter (Michigan) 1877 4.5

Here is the full article.
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Saturday, August 02, 2008

2008 SPNI Champion

Dallas teen wins Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls chess competition
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.
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