Thursday, April 01, 2010
The all new Susan Polgar Girl's Invitational
New format for the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (SPNI)
The U.S.C.F. has decided to cancel the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, the most prestigious and most successful all-girls national championship in U.S. history. They also cancelled the U.S.C.F. Polgar Committee. Unfortunately, no one officially informed me of these decisions (not even as of today!) and I did not find out about their decisions until many months later through third parties.
This event has gained enormous support among the scholastic community as well as thousands of chess parents. Many young female chess players have benefited greatly from the SPNI.
When I started the U.S. Women’s Olympiad program and the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls back in 2003, the idea was to elevate women’s chess in the United States. We have done exactly that. The U.S Women’s Olympiad Team captured the first ever Olympiad medal in the 2004 Olympiad (Silver) and again in 2008 (Bronze). In fact, members of the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympiad Training Program have won every U.S. Women’s Championship since:
• 2004 WGM Jennifer Shahade
• 2005 IM Rusa Goletiani
• 2006 IM Anna Zatonskih
• 2007 IM Irina Krush
• 2008 IM Anna Zatonskih
• 2009 IM Anna Zatonskih
The Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls also had similar unprecedented success. In the past six years, the SPNI has transformed girl’s chess in America. Thousands of girls from across the country competed in their local, regional, state, and national events to earn a special invitation. The pinnacle was in 2009 when Abby Marshall, two-time winner of the SPNI, won the Denker Tournament of High School Champions. She was the first girl in U.S. history to dominate and win this very strong event ahead of over 45 top rated boys.
No one can control what the U.S.C.F or its lifelong chess politicians would do. The only thing I could do is to listen to the hundreds of parents and scholastic supporters around the country who either wrote or contacted me about saving this event. They clearly want this special event for girls to continue.
After consulting with board members of the Susan Polgar Foundation and members of former USCF Polgar Committee, we have reached the following:
• We will combine the SPNI and SP All-Star program into one and make it even better and much more beneficial for these talented young ladies.
• The new event will take place on July 25-30 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas
• Instead of a six day tournament, there will be a five day intense training program with me and a G/30 Championship tournament on day six.
• The traditional blitz, puzzle solving, bughouse events will stay the same.
The reason for this change is I would like to help raise the playing level of all girls. After looking back at the detailed statistics in the past six years, we came to the conclusion that some of the top girls have elevated their playing levels at a faster pace while the rest at a much slower one.
This intense training will be personally conducted by me and some of the top chess coaches. I will share with all of them my training secrets to help them improve dramatically. I hope to open up a whole new chess perspective on the board for these young talented ladies and raise their understanding of chess by many folds.
Just as the past SPNI, the qualifying procedure will remain nearly the same. It will be posted in the next day or so.
I would like to thank everyone for being so passionate about this issue and I will do my best to help the young players in this country. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.