Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Excitement Continues at Texas Tech

The Excitement Continues at Texas Tech

The final round of the 6th annual SP National Invitational for Girls concluded on Friday, July 31. Going into the final round, eight players could still mathematically win the championship.

Needing only a draw to clinch clear first, top seed Yang Dai still pushed hard for the win. It almost cost her the championship. Samyukta Bhat fought valiantly. The position was very close and Samyukta actually missed a chance to obtain an overwhelming advantage. But at the end, Yang’s nerve held up and she emerged as the winner! Congratulations to a deserving champion! Here are the three key last round’s games.

Dai, Yang (2057) - Bhat, Samyukta (1740)
Susan olgar National Invitational Lubbock, TX
(6.1), 31.07.2009
Scandinavian Defense [B01]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bc4 Bg4 5.f3 Bc8 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.Nge2 Nb6 8.Bb3 Nbxd5 9.d4 e6 10.0–0 Be7 11.Ne4 0–0 12.c3 b6 13.Bc2 Bb7 14.Qd3 g6 15.a3 Nd7 16.c4 N5f6 17.N2c3 c6 18.Bh6 Re8 19.Rad1 Bf8 20.Bg5 Be7 21.f4 Nxe4 22.Nxe4 Nf6 23.Qg3 Nh5 24.Qh3 Nf6 25.Rf3 Nxe4 26.Bxe4 f5 27.Bxe7 Qxe7 28.Bc2 c5 29.d5 exd5 30.cxd5 Rad8 31.Bb3 Kg7 32.Bc4 Rd6 33.Rf2 Qf7 34.Rfd2 Re4 35.b3 Rxf4 36.Qg3 Rxc4 37.bxc4 Qf6 38.Re2 Ba6 39.Qd3 Kf7 40.Kh1 Qh4 41.Qe3 1–0

Here are the top ten finishers from sixty total players:

1. Yang Dai 6.0
2-3. Rachel Gologorsky, Epiphany Peters 5.0
4-7. Linda Diaz, Courtney Jamison, Samyukta Bhat, Joanne Koong 4½
8-19. Alexandra Botez, Dana Hannibal, Victoria Bian, Julia Jones, Michelle Chen, Margaret Hua, Indira Puri, Rebecca Lelko, Apurva Virkud, Sayaka Foley, Autumn Douthitt 4.0

In addition to winning the national championship, Yang Dai and Fiona Lam teamed up to go 5-0 in the bughouse championship. Yang also finished second in the SPNI puzzle solving championship.

Other big winners include

Epiphany Peters of Michigan: Epiphany, member of the 2008-2009 SP all-star girls’ chess team. She won the SPNI puzzle solving championship with a score of 10/10. She also won the SPNI blitz championship with the score of 5/5. She finished in a tie for second with Rachel Gologorsky in the main event.

Rachel Gologorsky of Florida: Rachel, also a member of the 2008-2009 SP all-star girls’ chess team. She finished in the main event in a tie for second place. Rachel and Epiphany also shared the $500 Ursula Foster award to the top girl under 14.

Yang Dai, Epiphany Peters, and Rachel Gologorsky also won scholarships to Texas Tech University. Each scholarship is valued at approximately $36,000 for out of state students.

Courtney Jamison of Texas, 2008 SPNI champion, is about to start her senior year in high school. As the top junior (entering the senior year) of the event, Courtney received a full academic scholarship to Texas Tech University. Even though Courtney won last year, she did not receive this scholarship because she was only a high school sophomore.

Each year, the SPNI participants vote for their favorite player. The one who gets the most votes win the Miss Congeniality award. This year, the Miss Congeniality award goes to Michelle Farell of Oklahoma.

Emily Nguyen of Texas, won the $100 biggest upset prize, courtesy of Mr. Dewain Barber (American Chess Equipment).

Once again, special thanks to all our volunteers, supporters, sponsors, parents and coaches, Texas Tech, the City of Lubbock, TX, Mayor Tom Martin, Visit Lubbock, and everyone else who made this tournament so special.

Here is the full article.
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