Monday, September 04, 2006
I thought you would get a kick out of hearing how a couple of Polgar girls have performed so far at the Virginia State Closed Championship, a three-day, six-round event that determines who will be crowned the 2006 Virginia champion. In a field that includes 1 FM, 3 national masters, and 3 experts, Ettie Nikolova and Abby Marshall were tied for first at the half-way point with perfect 3.0 scores.
Ettie, the 2004 Polgar rep from VA, defeated 2 experts in the first three rounds. Meanwhile, Abby knocked off FM and 2002 VA state champ Macon Shibut (rated 2323) in round two. In round three, she faced defending state champ Daniel Miller (rated 2339), who was going for a record four consecutive state titles. She beat Daniel in 21 moves.
The fourth round witnessed a first in the history of the event: two girls playing one another on the top board. For some of the younger girls who were playing in the reserve section, the match presented something of a quandary because they had been rooting for both Abby and Ettie throughout the tournament and now they did not know who they wanted to win. The game ended in a draw, so I suppose none of their fans were disappointed.
The tournament is still underway, with two rounds to go. Abby and Ettie are still tied for first place along with one other player. Several more are lapping at their heals with 3 out of 4 points. The tournament directors took some digital pictures of Abby and Ettie playing on board one. I'll tell them to send you some. It really was quite a spectacle and a great advertisement for women in chess.
Thank you Jeff for the report!