Wednesday, May 24, 2006

SP National Invitational Revised Rules

Rules and Conditions for the Annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (May 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 Game in 90 minutes with 30 seconds increment added on per move. This is the official FIDE time control. Registration will be required at pre-tournament registration.

2a. 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.

2b. Reigning champion(s) (must meet age requirement) will receive automatic invitation for the following year.

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. Player will be required to furnish the Tournament Director with a legible and complete score sheet.

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
2. Solkoff
3. Cumulative
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), the District of Columbia, and the Territories of the United States 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:

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 to the top finishing girls of the Elementary (K-6), Junior High (K-9) and the High School (K-12) Championship sections (top girl of each section) at the 2009 SuperNationals Chess Championship as well as 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 (

Contact: FM Paul Truong
Phone number: 212-748-9587

Contact: GM Susan Polgar
Telephone: (718) 897-4600
E-mail: Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

TTU 2007 Commencement Ceremonies

I have just accepted to be the speaker at two Texas Tech University commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 9 AM and 1:30 PM. There will be between 8,000-10,000 guests at each ceremony.

Texas Tech University awarded 3 scholarships at the 1st Annual Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls (January 2006 in Corpus Christi, TX). Texas Tech University will award 2 more scholarships at the 1st Annual Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls in Las Vegas (June 16-18).

University of Texas in Dallas (UTD) has been one of the leading universities in this country in recognizing chess. UTD is also a big supporter of the Annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. TTU hopes to emulate the success of UTD.

Big thanks to TTU for their support!
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A touching story: A Quiet Quest


Woman seeks identity in chess and in life

Monday, May 15, 2006

Of The Patriot-News

Tamara Corey sits demurely behind her chess pieces, her hands in her lap, her ankles crossed, her shoulders slightly hunched forward. She speaks softly, as though she's afraid she'll wake the pawns. Shy, perhaps from living in four European orphanages.

But in a game of chess, the Paxtang woman, 20, is a tenacious counterattacker, fierce in the endgame. "Like a sleeping bear," says Michael Mazock of Carlisle, who is coaching her in chess. "If someone awoke her with premature attacks, she would be riled."

Last month, Corey stormed back from an opening loss in the Pennsylvania State Amateur Championship tournament in Hazleton to win three matches and draw another, finishing first among players with a U.S. Chess Federation rating under 1800.

Her rating in the tournament was 1680. The average rating in the United States is 1064. A master chess player has earned a rating of 2200.

Chess might be complicated, but it's less of a mystery than Corey's life.

Corey lived in orphanages in her native country, the Republic of Georgia, until she was 8. She doesn't know the identity of her parents. She did not speak as a child because of a deformity in her palate -- the opening in the roof of her mouth to her nose was too big, and she couldn't pronounce many consonants.

She was adopted by a Pennsylvania couple and underwent surgery at age 10 to help her speak clearly. The couple introduced her to chess, just for fun. Corey found she had a talent for it -- she is patient, focused and methodical in her attacks and defenses, and it has brought her success in tournaments.

Now she's determined to become a grand master in chess, studying strategies with Mazock once a week, playing chess almost every day.

"I will never stop playing chess because God gave me the gift, and I want to make some money out of it," she said.

At tournaments, she often is the only female player. In the U.S., girls often turn away from chess as they grow up because of a phenomenon that Jerry Nash, the U.S. Chess Federation's scholastic director, calls "the geek factor."

In school, sports are considered cooler than chess, Nash said. Girls also might fear rejection by boys who lose to them in chess. They suspect a variation of the old saying is true: Boys won't make passes at girls who win matches.

"Girls competing against boys tends to be seen, I think, in a lot of places as, 'If you beat the guys, they're not going to like you,'" Nash said.

Corey has no such fear. She was schooled at home by her parents and revels in beating males in chess.

"I teach the guys a lesson," she said proudly. When the mother of two male opponents approached her at the state amateur tournament and announced, "My boys are afraid to play you," how did Corey feel? "Happy," she said.

Corey never played chess in the orphanages. All she can remember from her early childhood are dolls, not games or other toys.

She doesn't remember schooling or classes or any attempt to educate her. Her voice was nasal, and she struggled to pronounce consonants. Memories? "I remember some, but not a whole lot," she said apologetically. Happy memories? "Not so happy, maybe," she said, shrugging her shoulders slightly. "I'm not sure."

All Bobbin and Peter Corey knew as they flew to Europe to adopt Corey was that the girl did not speak. Officials in Georgia offered few details about her, Bobbin Corey said.

They brought her to their Centre County farm, where they bred dogs and kept horses. Bobbin Corey would open the family chess set, showing Tamara a couple of pieces at a time, showing her how they moved. She saved the knights for last, knowing Tamara loved horses.

"We didn't expect that so much would come of it," Bobbin Corey said.

When the Coreys moved to Paxtang in 2004, Tamara Corey joined the West Shore Chess Club, and the couple hired Mazock to coach her when she beat them in chess regularly.

"I don't play her anymore -- it's not safe," Bobbin Corey joked.

Tamara Corey's dream is to become a grand master, a difficult title to earn in chess. "Maybe in a couple years or so," she said, shrugging. "I don't know."

She has one other dream: to meet her birth parents.

One of her few memories of the orphanages is of a strange woman who visited her one day. The woman was tall, and her hair, like Corey's, was brown. She gave the girl something to eat. "I'll be back for you," the woman said.

She never returned.

"I thought maybe that was my birth mother," Corey said softly.

She hopes there is an endgame.
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Monday, May 08, 2006

Lady Bug Susan Polgar Georgia Chess Camp for Girls

July 15-16, 2006
Saturday: 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 5 PM

Classes will be conducted by me using the exclusive Susan Polgar training method.

Ages: 6-17 years
Camp Fee: $99

Space is limited, please sign up early


Agnes Scott College
Alston Campus Center
141 E. College Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030

Agnes Scott College is a women's liberal arts college in Decatur, Georgia. It is known for its science and mathematics programs and houses a new Science Center, Planetarium and Observatory. Two years ago, NASA held a space camp there with Astronaut Sally Ride, the first women in space.

Agnes Scott is a beautiful campus. You can view it at It is especially beautiful outside with lots of trees and grass, and even a gazebo. We will be in one of the very large classrooms in the Wallace M. Alston Campus Center. You can tour the Alston Center at

For information and registration contact:
Kay Umeakunne, Camp Director (770) 482-5402
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