by Jeff Roland
Reports started coming in a few days ago from Frank Niro (an Idaho resident), Tournament Director of the 8th Annual Susan Polgar Girls Invitational held this year at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, July 24-29, 2011. Savanna Naccarato, an 8th grader from Sandpoint, Idaho was at one point, one of only four girls tied for first place after three rounds (with three rounds remaining) in this prestigious event. In round 4, and round 5, Savanna lost her games to higher ranked players, and won in the 6th round to end up with 4 points, and a 9th place (out of 46 players) finish. This is an outstanding result for an 8th grader in her first attempt.
Savanna qualified to play in this event by tying for first place in the 2011 Idaho Scholastic Girls Championship held in Boise, this past February.
Savanna and her family are very appreciative of all the support they have had for Savanna to represent Idaho at this event. The Bonner County Daily Bee helped promote a fundraiser yard sale, that actually brought in $800 toward expenses (some people dropped off money and didn't even buy anything at the yard sale -- they just wanted to support Savanna. And also community clubs and businesses and friends gave their support as well. The Spokane Chess Club also contributed as did the Idaho Chess Association.
Special thanks goes to Savanna's coach, National Master, John Graves, from Washington State, who has really worked hard and done a fabulous job preparing Savanna for this event. During the event he even called and texted between rounds.
The event finished on July 29, 2011. Click Here for the crosstable.