Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish all of you the special gifts of this holiday season - Peace, Joy and Lasting Happiness.

Susan Polgar

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Excellence ON and OFF the board

Excellence ON and OFF the board

The accumulative grade of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders chess teams (A, B and Girl's team) this semester is approximately 3.30, with 4 players earning a perfect 4.0!

Here are some of their majors: Economics, Finance, Math, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, Law, Spanish, English, Political Science, Biotech, and Microbiology, etc.

In addition to getting good grades, they also worked hard to improve their chess skills. Through the special SPICE training program, 3 of our players earned the GM title in the past 6 months!

In addition, many members of the Knight Raiders also volunteered countless hours to teach and promote chess in the Lubbock community through schools, libraries, and senior centers, etc.

I am very proud of my players and we will work hard to continue the tradition of excellence on and off the board.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Game analysis

Here is one of great games by Bobby in the historic 1963 U.S. Championship.

Bobby Fischer - Pal Benko

U.S. Championship, New York Dec. 30, 1963

This is one of the classic victories of the legendary Bobby Fischer from the 1963 U.S. Championship where he scored an incredible 11–0. Around the time of this game, Grandmaster Benko was ranked as one of the top ten players in the world.

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 These opening moves are referred to as the Pirc defense.

4.f4 With this move White gains more space and is considered the most ambitious way to counter the Pirc.

4...Nf6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Bd3 A year earlier Fischer tried 6.Be2 but Black gained a good game after 6...c5. Therefore, he tried to improve on it in this game.

6...Bg4?! Black jut pinned White’s Knight. However. if the pin is not sustainable then such a move does not make much sense. The better options according the opening theory are: 6...Nc6 or 6...Na6.

7.h3 This is a good response. It forces the Black Bishop to either trade (as Black continued in the game) or retreat.

7...Bxf3 Black could not maintain the pin by 7...Bh5, as then 8.g4 would trap the Bishop on h5.

8.Qxf3 Nc6 Black now attacks White’s d4 Pawn.

9.Be3 This is a natural developing move which at the same time also protects the attacked d4 Pawn.

9...e5 Otherwise White was going to play e4-e5 himself.

10.dxe5 dxe5 11.f5 This is a very strong move to cut Black’s Bishop out of play. Now White’s plan is to play g2-g4-g5.

11...gxf5 12.Qxf5 12.exf5 would have been a mistake as Black would get very active after 12...e4!

12...Nd4 13.Qf2 Capturing the Pawn on e5 with 13.Qxe5 instead would be an error due to Black’s discovery attack by 13...Ng4!

13...Ne8 Black is trying to regroup the Knight to d6 and then play f7-f5.

14. 0–0 Castling to the other side was also a reasonable option.

14...Nd6 Black is following up his plan, to prepare the Pawn advance f7-f5.

15.Qg3 This is good looking attacking move which creates a pin over Black’s Bishop and threatens with 16.Bh6. However, 15.Rad1 may have been even better.

15...Kh8 A better try would be to continue with the plan 15...f5.

16.Qg4 Now the f7-f5 advance is stopped.

16...c6 17.Qh5 White is slowly but surely inching closer and closer to Black’s King. White’s plan is to trade on d4 next, and then open up the light squared Bishop’s diagonal with e4-e5.

17...Qe8? This was the losing move. Fischer recommended instead 17...Ne6.

18.Bxd4 exd4 Now not the natural 19.e5 when Black would be still ok after 19...f5! Fischer has something else in mind.

19.Rf6! A truly impressive move which made it to countless combination books in the past half a century. The idea of the move is simple: to prevent Black’s f7-f5 defense after White’s e Pawn advances!

19...Kg8 If Black captures the Rook by 19...Bxf6 then after 20.e5 the checkmate is unavoidable. Also after 19...dxc3 the problem would be the same 20.e5 and if, 20…h6 21.Rxh6+! Kg8 22.Rh8+! Bxh8 23.Qh7 checkmate.

20.e5 h6 Here there are numerous ways which lead to win but the simplest is as Fischer continued 21.Ne2!

Here Black resigned as the situation is hopeless. The Knight is hanging on d6. If it moves away, White responds with 22.Qf5 with a checkmate threat on h7. If 21...Bxf6, then 22.Qh6 and it is game over.

This is a truly brilliant game by the 20–year old Fischer.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2011 Susan Polgar National Open for Boys and Girls

2011 Susan Polgar National Open for Boys and Girls

Over $100,000 in scholarships & prizes!

March 4-6, 2011
Chandler (Phoenix), Arizona

7 Round SwissSys G/45. 8 Sections: Primary (K-2), Elementary (K-5), Middle School (K-8) and High School (K-12) , separately for boys and girls. Rounds: Sat. 9:15 A.M., 11:15 A.M., 1:15 P.M. and 3:15 P.M.; Sun. 9:00 A.M., 11:30 A. M. and 1:30 P.M. Awards at 4:00 P.M. Online Registrations: Girls and Boys. Entry: Chess Emporium, 10801 N 32nd St., Suite 6, Phoenix, AZ 85028.

Bogle Junior High School - View Map
1600 West Queen Creek Road
Chandler, AZ 85248


Friday, March 4th
6:30 PM - Puzzle Solving Championship
7:00 PM - Bughouse Round 1
7:30 PM - Bughouse Round 2
8:00 PM - Bughouse Round 3
8:30 PM - Bughouse Round 4
9:00 PM - Bughouse Round 5

Saturday, March 5th
9:15 AM - Main Event Round 1
11:15 AM - Main Event Round 2
1:15 PM - Main Event Round 3
3:15 PM - Main Event Round 4
5:00 PM - Susan Polgar 20 Board Simultaneous Exhibition
6:30 PM - Blitz Round 1
7:00 PM - Blitz Round 2
7:30 PM - Blitz Round 3
8:00 PM - Blitz Round 4
8:30 PM - Blitz Round 5

Sunday, March 6th
9:00 AM - Main Event Round 5
10:30 AM - Susan Polgar Q&A
11:30 AM - Main Event Round 6
1:30 PM - Main Event Round 7
4:00 PM - Awards Ceremony

Hotel Info:

Holiday Inn
1200 W. Ocotillo Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248

Call: 480-203-2121 mention "Chess" to get special rate of $95/night for 2 Queen or King room.


9-12 Grade Boys & Girls sections:

Scholarships to Texas Tech University!
Trophies to top 10 individuals
Trophies to top 3 School Teams
Medals to all participants!

K-2, 3-5 & 6-8 Girls and Boys sections:

Netbook to 1st!!
$200 in chess prizes to 2nd
$150 in chess prizes to 3rd
Trophies to top 20 individuals
Trophies to top 3 School Teams
Trophy to Top Club Team
Trophies to top 3 Sibling Teams
Medals to all participants!

Tournament Fees

* Main Event:

$55.00 if postmarked by 01/15/2010
$59.00 if postmarked by 02/15/2011 or
$65.00 if postmarked by 03/02/2011 or
$69.00 on site registration

# Puzzle Solving Championship: $15 by 2/25/11, $20 thereafter, registration closes 5:30 PM Fri. 3/4

# Blitz Championship: $20 by 2/25/11, $25 thereafter, registration closes 5:30 PM Fri. 3/4

# Bughouse Championship: $20 (Team) by 2/25/11, $25 (Team) thereafter, registration closes 6:00 PM

# Susan Polgar Simultaneous Exhibition: $25 by 2/25/11, $30 thereafter, registration closes 15 minutes prior to start time.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Historic chess initiative in Texas

Texas Tech University and SPICE officially launched the UIL Chess Puzzle Solving Statewide Pilot in the state of Texas earlier today at Wester Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas. UIL is the largest interschool organization of its kind in the world!

More than 300 students, teachers, parents, administrators, and various media, etc. were on hand for the launching of this historic competition.

This will potentially provide excellent opportunities for millions of chess playing students in the entire state of Texas to compete and earn scholarships for years to come. This is the first time that Chess has been accepted as an UIL Competition in its 101 year history!

"The seeds of the UIL were planted in 1904, when Dr. S.E. Mezes, president of UT, decided the state's foremost university needed to be of service to the entire state.... Since 1910, the records and achievements of state high school participants have justified the decision of the University to support this program of public school service. The UIL has grown into the largest interschool organization of its kind in the world, and is the envy of similar groups nationwide. The UIL exists to provide educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests. So successful is the program that one of every two high school seniors has participated in a UIL event prior to graduation. The initials "UIL" have come to represent quality educational competition, administered by school people on an amateur and equitable basis." (Official UIL Info)
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Texas Tech, SPICE Introduces Old Game to Young Players

DATE: Dec. 10, 2010
CONTACT: Karin Slyker,
(806) 742-2136

Texas Tech, SPICE Introduces Old Game to Young Players

WHAT: Texas Tech University announces a state pilot program for students of Lubbock Independent School District.

WHEN: 1 p.m. Monday (Dec. 13)

WHERE: Wester Elementary, 4602 Chicago Ave.

EVENT: Chess will be the subject of a University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition next year for elementary and middle school students. The pilot program was proposed by the Texas Tech Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), part of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement.

The competition will be in the format of solving chess puzzles designed by Grandmaster Polgar. Competing students in grades two through eight will have 20 puzzles to solve in 30 minutes.

Elementary school students will choose their answers from mostly multiple choice questions in which white can checkmate black in one move, while older students will have puzzles that are checkmates in one or two moves.

According to Lynn Elms, the regional director for UIL, the pilot chess program is a historic moment for Texas Tech, which has a 75-year association with UIL. This is the first competition that Texas Tech has proposed.

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at

CONTACT: Paul Truong, director of marketing, SPICE, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-7742 or
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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Game of the week

Here is a past game from GM Lahno, the reigning Women’s World Blitz Championship, and one of the participants in this event.

K. Lahno (2479) – K. Nemcova (2344)

Plovdiv, Bulgaria (4),
04.24.2008 [C63]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 The Schliemann/Jaenisch Gambit has regained its popularity in recent years thanks to top GMs Radjabov and Zvjaginsev.

4.Nc3 In the recent game Topalov – Radjabov, Morelia/Linares 2008, White got a small advantage after 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Qd3 d6 8.Qc4 Qe7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Nd4 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 14.a4 a6 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 0-0-0 17.Rf2 Rdf8 18.Raf1 Rxf2 19. Rxf2, but Black should be able to hold this queen and rook endgame.

4...fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 This is the newest fashion. After 5...d5, White is better in the old main line after 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Nxc6 Qg5 8.Qe2 Nf6 9.f4 Qxf4 10.d4.

6.Qe2 d5 7.Nxf6+ Forcing Black to recapture with the g-pawn in order to protect the pawn on e5.

7...gxf6 8.d4 It is important for White to play energetically and to undermine Black’s strong pawn center.

8...Bg7 9.dxe5 0-0 After 9...fxe5 10.Nxe5 0-0, Black did not get enough compensation for the sacrificed pawns after 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nxc6 Qd7 13.Ne7+ Kh8 14.0-0 Bb7 15. Bg5 in Mikhalchishin – Annageldyev, Uzhgorod 1988.

10.Bxc6 In the game J. Polgar – Radjabov, Wijk aan Zee, 2008, Black solved all his opening problems after 10.e6 Ne5 11.0–0 Bxe6 12.Nd4 Bg4 13.f3 Bc8 14. f4 c6 and the game ended in a draw after: 15.fxe5 fxe5 16.Rxf8+ Qxf8 17. Bd3 e4 18.Bxe4 Bxd4+ 19.Be3 Bxe3+ 20.Qxe3 dxe4 21.Qg5+ Qg7 22. Qd8+ Qf8 23.Qg5+ Qg7 –

10...bxc6 11.e6 Upon 11.exf6 Qxf6 12.0–0 Bg4, Black wins the pawn back by pinning White’s knight and will have an excellent position.

11...Re8 Black will win the pawn back, but White hopes for an advantage based on the difference in the pawn structure.

12.0-0 c5 Black wants to make sure that White will not block the advance of the cpawn on c5. In Shirov – Radjabov, Odessa, 2007, after 12...Rxe6 13.Be3 Re8 14.Qd3 Bg4, White had the option to gain the advantage by 15.Bc5.

13.Bf4 White often tries to play aggressively by 13.Qb5, but, after 13...Bf8, it is unclear if the white queen is well positioned on the queenside.

13...Rb8 14.b3 Another reasonable option was 14.c3.

14...Rb6 15.Qd2 With the idea of a double attack on Black’s a7- and c5-pawns by Qd2-a5.

15...Bf8 Defending against the above threat by protecting the c5-pawn. If 15... Rbxe6 16.Qa5.

16.Rad1 Bxe6 Now Black’s rook looks useless on b6.

17.Rfe1 White is playing logical, commonsense chess by centralizing all her pieces.

17...c6 18.Bh6 It is a good idea to try to trade dark squared bishops.

18...Bd6 Black’s only hope for counter play to keep the bishop-pair.

19.c4! Another strong move!

19...Bf7 Removing the potential exchange sacrifice Rxe6. This is where Black lost the thread of the game, although White had a nice advantage in any case.

20.Nh4 Immediately takes advantage of Black’s last move, which weakened the f5-square.

20...Rxe1+ 20...Qd7 would not stop the white knight entering on f5, as after 21.Rxe8+, Black would be forced to recapture with the queen, because the bishop is busy guarding the d5-pawn. Or 20...Be6 21.cxd5 cxd5 22.Rxe6! Rxe6 23.Qxd5 Qe8 24.Nf5 is also very good for White.

21.Rxe1 Qd7 22.Qc3 Black’s position is hopeless now.

22...Qd8 If 22...Be5, White wins by 23.Rxe5! fxe5 24.Qg3+ Bg6 25.Nxg6 hxg6 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Bg5 Qg7 28.Bf6. Other tries such as 22...d4 23.Qf3 or 22... Be7 23.Qg3+ would not help either.

23.Qf3 Threatening Qg4+.

23...Kh8 24.Qg4 24.Bg5 fxg5 25.Qxf7 Rb8 26.Nf5 was also strong.

24...Bf8 24...Qg8 is answered by 25.Qd7.

25.Bxf8 Qxf8 26.Qf4 Bg8 27.Re8! A nice deflection combination!

27...Qf7 The game ends immediately after 27... Qxe8 28.Qxf6#.

28.Qd6 Rb7 29.Nf5 Threatening 30.Rxg8+!.

29...Qg6 30.Qe6 Rf7 31.Rxg8+! Qxg8 32.Nh6 Qg6 33.Qc8+ 1–0

An overview and insight into Women's World Championship 2010

An overview and insight into Women's World Championship 2010
Posted: December 5, 2010 - 12:14am

The question of the week is how I feel about the knockout format for the Women’s World Championship and who I think are some of the favorites to win it all this year.

The Women’s World Championship is taking place right now in Antakya, Turkey. Here are the top 10 seeds in this year’s event:

1. Koneru, Humpy GM India 2600
2. Hou, Yifan GM China 2591
3. Kosintseva, Tatiana GM Russia 2581
4. Dzagnidze, Nana GM Georgia 2551
5. Stefanova, Antoaneta GM Bulgaria 2548
6. Muzychuk, Anna IM Slovenia 2530
7. Cramling, Pia GM Sweden 2526
8. Harika, Dronavalli IM India 2525
9. Ju, Wenjun WGM China 2524
10. Lahno, Kateryna GM Ukraine 2522

Koneru of India, Hou of China and T. Kosintseva of Russia are my top three picks to win it all. Unfortunately, even though they are ranked one and two in this championship, Koneru and Hou will have to face each other in the semifinal if they advance all the way through, just as in 2008.

I have no problem with the knockout format. However, I think it is unfortunate that the first five rounds are two-game matches, and the final is only a four-game match. This is way too short for a World Championship. This is like playing Wimbledon, the NBA championship or World Series with the best of three game format. It is almost like a lottery.

One way to fix that is to reduce the field from 64 players down to perhaps 32 or even 16. Then early match(es) could be best of four games, six for the semifinal, and the final should be at least best of eight games. The bottom line is the matches have to be longer. But to have the current format simply cheapens the prestige of the World Championship title.

Source: Avalanche Journal
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Aquaprofit - Polgár Chess Day 2010 in Budapest

A short summary about Saturday:

The 4th Annual Aquaprofit - PolgárChess Day was held this past Saturday. It was a great success as usual, despite the major snow storm that hit Budapest the night before. Around 500 chess fans weathered the snow storm to celebrate the now traditional “Day of Celebration of Chess and its Queens”.

I am impressed by the tremendous interest for chess and this event year after year. There was a huge amount of mainstream media interest (which is not typical for chess) including most major TV stations, before, during and after the actual event. Of course it was great timing for the publicity of the event that Judit just came back a few days earlier from Mexico City with a spectacular victory over Ivanchuk and Topalov to win the UNAM Invitational.

There was one major change from previous years. The Aquaprofit – Polgár Chess Day got extended to a full day event instead of only an afternoon spectacle. Therefore, numerous new colorful activities were added to the program.

Some of them include the two exhibition games Judit and I played in front of the live audience. In the first one, we played while sharing our thoughts by explaining our though-process during our game with the enthusiastic audience in separate rooms (I won that game). The moves were transmitted by cell phones and then we met up to play face to face in the latter part of the game. The second game was a “Trust-Chess” blitz game, (where all the pieces were silver looking, packaged in foil-paper), in which Judit nicely swindled me at the end and balanced the score 1-1.

Sofia gave an hour-long well-attended lecture for beginners, which served also as an introduction to my sisters’ new book: Chess Playground

The book is aimed to introduce chess to the youngest audience, and is full of chess drawing, rhymes and puzzles. The book, which is already available in Hungarian as well as in English, is being used as the manual in one of the elite Kindergartens in Budapest where chess became part of the curriculum since this Fall. Pre-K students have one hour long chess session weekly, while K, has it twice a week.

The co-authors Sofia and Judit had a book-signing of their first book together. Volume two is already on its way.

The highlight of the event (which also included a press-conference, Q/A, autograph and photo sessions with the fans) was the usual 100 board simul by the three sisters. Among our opponents were numerous celebrities such as Andrea Temesvari, Ivan Fischer, and Marci Eszterhazy, just to mention a few. Also many GMs supported the event with their presence, such as the currently top-ranked Hungarian Zoltan Almasi, chess-legend Pal Benko (82) or the nation’s newest GM and Texas Tech Knight Raider Gergely Antal, etc.

I also went on a chess show, hosted by GM Gabor Kallai, on a major Hungarian Sports TV station (similar to ESPN) in the United States. We discussed the Aquaprofit – Polgár Chess Day, Judit’s spectacular success in Mexico, including her final game victory over Topalov, as well as Texas Tech Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, the Knight Raiders, and the unprecedented success of the program, etc.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors and organizers of this wonderful day of “Chess Celebration”, and specifically the main sponsor Aquaprofit and its director Mr. Tamas Nadasi. And of course the initiative of my sister Judit whose brainchild project became a wonderful tradition.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chess tips for new / novice players

Chess tips for new / novice players

I have done hundreds of lectures to parents, coaches and young players around the world and across the United States over the years. The questions I am most often asked are about advice and tips for young players and chess parents. I have talked about it in the past in my column, but since I received many requests for a refresher, here they are again. Below are some of the most important basic things that you should know about playing in a chess tournament:

• Once the game has started, you may not interrupt, interfere, or talk to your opponent.

• You may never directly assist any player during a game. If a player raises a hand for assistance, you should immediately summon a tournament director.

• If you witness an illegal move or position, say nothing. It is the responsibility of the players to bring any complaint to the attention of a tournament director.

• You are not permitted to say anything if a player oversteps the time limit on his clock. Only the players themselves can claim a win on time.

• When a player loses a game, you must refrain from getting upset or angry or showing negative emotions. Young players need support and encouragement more than ever after a loss. They do not need scolding. Help your player stay calm and relaxed for the rest of the tournament.

• You may help your player find her correct table and board before each round.

• You should supervise your player between rounds. It is not the responsibility of the tournament director or organizer to mind your children between rounds.

• You should keep your player from distracting other players during and between rounds.

• Players should try to conserve their energy between rounds so they can be fresh for the next game.

• You should always encourage young players to practice good sportsmanship at all times, especially after losing a game.

• Official tournaments are smoke-free.

• You should view your players’ game only from behind them or in the aisle to avoid eye contact with them.

• Keep a distance between yourself and your player. In some large tournaments, you may not even be allowed in the playing room during a game.

• If you see a player or a team playing the wrong opponent, you should notify the tournament director right away.

• Only tournament officials can record information on the wall charts. Parents, coaches and players should never write on them. However, players may record their results on the pairing charts.

• You should make sure that your players’ results are reported in a timely manner.

• If you detect that a prize has been erroneously awarded after the end of a tournament, bring this to the attention of a tournament director.

The following are generally accepted rules of etiquette that should be observed by all chess players:

• It is considered rude and inappropriate for a player to eat or have a meal at the playing table.

• Basic refreshment such as water is OK.

• If you chew gum, chew quietly.

• Smoking at the playing table is prohibited.

• Refrain from singing while playing.

• There should be no communication with your opponent until after the game, except to resign, offer a draw or announce J’adoube (adjusting your pieces).

• Don’t make a draw offer to your opponent after every move once it is refused or rejected.

• Don’t listen to music / MP3 player during the game.

Although the following are not rules, it is recommended to do the following:

• Try to show up to your game in a timely manner.

• Don’t adjust the chess pieces with each move. It is quite annoying for your opponent.

• It may sound too basic to even mention, but don’t cough or sneeze at your opponent.

• Shake hands before and after the game. It is customary.

• Have you ever seen the sign: “No shirt, no shoes, no service”? The same rule holds true in chess. Proper attire should be worn while playing.

• Don’t whistle while you are playing.

• No trash talking before, during or after the game.

• Don’t do anything to annoy your opponent or other players who may be sitting next to you.

Here are some very important chess principles that will help you become a better player:

• Control the center: The center of the board includes the squares e4, d4, e5, and d5. When you start a game, place your pawns in the center to occupy and control as many of these squares as you can. Location, location, location!

• Develop your pieces as soon as possible: Get your knights and bishops out right away. This should be done during the first six or seven moves, before you try to checkmate your opponent.

• Castle as soon as possible: Castle early to keep your king safe. Remember, you can’t win if you get checkmated first. So, don’t forget to castle! After you castle, connect your rooks by developing your queen.

• Keep your pieces protected: Don’t leave your pieces en prise (unprotected). Each and every piece is very valuable, so don’t forget to protect them. Protecting a piece means that if your opponent can take your piece, then you can capture back.

• Have fun: The most important thing in chess should be to have fun, whether you win or lose. My motto in chess is “Win with grace, lose with dignity.” When you win, be a good sport. When you lose, be an even better sport. Shake hands and congratulate your opponent. This will go a long way in making good friends.

Besides the five valuable principles above, there are others that you should try to remember. Chess is a game with logic, strategy, planning and tactics. Keep the following principles in mind as you play.

• Every move should have a purpose.

• Try to discern the idea behind your opponent’s move.

• Always think before you move.

• There is no take back in chess. So make your decision carefully.

• Planning is one of the most important elements of the game.

• Analyze your games and learn from your mistakes: Every player, from beginner to world champion, makes mistakes. It is very important to review your games to find your mistakes and learn from them.

• Pace yourself wisely: There are many different time controls in chess. Use your allotted time wisely. Whatever the time control, use your time to find the best plans and moves. Don’t rush just because your opponents play fast.

These and many more tips can be found in my best-selling chess instructional book “A World Champion’s Guide to Chess” and “Learn Chess in 30 Minutes” DVD, which can be found at You can also improve with

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Aquaprofit Polgár Chess Day


Mind a három Polgár-lány kétszeres olimpiai bajnok. Mádl Ildikóval csapatot alkotva 1988-ban Szalonikiben és 1990-ben Újvidéken is megtörték a szovjet sakkozó nõk hegemóniáját. Mind a három Polgár-lány kétgyermekes anya. Érdekes megjegyezni, hogy a 6 gyermekükbõl az elsõ 5 fiú, és csak Judit második gyermeke leány. A világ minden táján tartanak bemutatókat és adnak interjúkat, ahol büszkén vallanak magyarságukról, budapesti gyermekéveikrõl. Igaznak tûnik a mondás: „A Polgár-lányok felérnek három külügyminiszterrel!"

Polgár Zsuzsa

A magyar sakkozás egyetlen felnõtt világbajnoka. Négyszer játszott sakkolimpián, ahol (egyéni érmein kívül) csapatainak két aranyérmet és egy ezüstérmet szerzett Magyarországnak, majd 2004-ben, Calviában a sakktörténelemben elõször dobogós amerikai csapatot segítette ezüstéremhez! A Texas Tech Egyetem

díszdoktora, az egyetem sakk tanszékének vezetõje. Több mint 10 éve New Yorkban él. Az amerikai sakkozás mára talán legismertebb és legelismertebb alakja, emellett a magyar sakkozás és Magyarország hûséges képviselõje.

Polgár Zsófia

Igazi mûvészlélek! Gyönyörû támadójátszmái és taktikai megoldásai legszebb gyõzelmeit halhatatlanná teszik. 1989-ben Rómában minden idõk egyik legértékesebb teljesítményét nyújtva 2928-as performanszot ért el. Ezen a versenyen 9-bõl 8,5 pontot szerzett, a torna egy szakaszában, zsinórban három szovjet nagymestert gyõzött le. A közelmúltig családjával Izraelben élt, ahol korábban a Kaszparov Sakkakadémiát vezette. Mintegy egy éve a férje munkája miatt Kanadába költöztek. Manapság ritkábban játszik, „civil" végzettsége belsõépítész.

Polgár Judit

Minden idõk legerõsebb nõi sakkozója. Abszolút világrekord, hogy immár huszonnyolcadszor vezeti a nõi világranglistát! (Kaszparov a saját kategóriájában csak 23-ig jutott). A világ legjelentõsebb férfi versenyeinek legkedveltebb résztvevõje, melyet nem csak azzal érdemelt ki, hogy a férfi világranglista elsõ 10 játékosa közé

küzdötte magát, hanem bátor, megalkuvás nélküli sakkstílusával is rengeteg barátot szerzett. Fiatal kora ellenére élõ sakklegenda! Tavaly hozzá hasonló sakklegendákkal, Kaszparovval és Karpovval együtt ünnepelhette Korcsnoj és a Swiss Bank születésnapját. Judit egymaga a világ sportjának külön kategóriája, szerte a világban a legismertebb magyar hölgy. Példa arra, hogy a nõk az élet minden területén felvehetik a versenyt a férfiakkal. A férfiak döntõ többségének azonban jobb, ha a sakktáblán nem versenyez Judittal! Budapesten él, a 2002-es sakkolimpiai ezüstérmes férficsapatunk „hõse", az Aquaprofit sakkcsapatának tagja!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Tech-proposed UIL chess puzzle-solving competition to be statewide pilot program

A Tech-proposed UIL chess puzzle-solving competition to be statewide pilot program
Posted: November 13, 2010 - 12:11am
By Joe Gulick

Chess, one of the most competitive games in the world, will be the subject of a University Interscholastic League competition next year for elementary and middle school students in a pilot program proposed by Texas Tech and designed by Susan Polgar, Tech’s chess grandmaster.

The competition will not involve actual games of chess but solving chess puzzles designed by Polgar, who is the founder of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Tech.

Students in grades 2 through 8 will have 20 puzzles to solve in a 30-minute period, Polgar said.

“Every single move in chess is problem-solving,” she said. “Each move is a new problem to solve.”

Polgar and Lynn Elms, the UIL regional director, noted the pilot program is a historic moment for Texas Tech, which has been associated with UIL for at least 75 years.

“This is the first competition that Texas Tech has ever proposed. We are pleased Susan and something as exciting as chess is involved,” Elms said.

The Chess Puzzle Solving competition will be presented in diagrams similar to the ones that appear in Polgar’s weekly Avalanche-Journal column, but the puzzles will be ones designed for younger players, Polgar said.

The elementary students will choose from multiple choice answers in which white can checkmate black in one move. Older students will have some puzzles that are checkmates in one move and others that are checkmates in two moves.

“I believe chess can help children improve their thinking skills in general. It can help their discipline and improve their self-confidence. Chess is a wonderful tool in building relationships,” Polgar said.

Last January, Polgar presented the proposal to the UIL State Legislative Council in Austin. That resulted in a mini-pilot program this year in Lubbock, Laredo and Corpus Christi.

The UIL Legislative Council in October determined Chess Puzzle Solving would next be a statewide pilot program, which means all schools will have the opportunity to compete, said Elms. All of the Houston schools have committed to the competition, and they are expecting good participation from other schools in the state, she said.

If it is successful, the pilot program could become an annual UIL event by September 2012, Elms said, and they are also hopeful Chess Puzzle Solving competitions for high school students would be added later.

College scholarships for skilled chess players are available, Elms said.

“It can be a way for kids to get more dollars to come to school — to compete in college. But that’s way down the road. We have to take care of second through eighth grades first,” Elms said.

Chess is a natural subject for competition among students because it is a great educational tool and an equalizer, Polgar said.

“In chess, children are forced to think before they act,” she said.

The game is also an inexpensive activity, Polgar said. Rather than activities that require expensive equipment or musical instruments, chess can be played on a very modestly priced set.

Source: Avalanche Journal
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chessdom SPICE Cup wrap up

SPICE Cup 2010

GM Alexander Onischuk takes the trophy in the main A-group

The 2010 SPICE Cup was held from October 28th to November 7th at the beautiful campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. This was the highest rated international invitational tournament in U.S. history to date.

The format of the A group was a six-player double round robin (category 16) event. The average FIDE rating of the A group was 2631, which is equal with the 2009 SPICE Cup A. The B group was a 10-player (category 10) round robin event, and SPICE Cup FIDE Rated Open was played over 6-round Swiss on 5-7th November.

To make the tournament a lot more exciting, the SPICE Cup committee has unanimously voted to adapt the following new rules for the A group:- No draw offer allowed prior to move 30- A win = 3 points, a draw = 1 point, and loss = 0 point.

The main event saw an interesting chase between the former US Champion Alexander Onischuk and German talent Georg Meier. Meier enjoyed a one point advantage prior to the final act, but he couldn't make more than a draw in the last round, while a crucial victory against the future star Ray Robson propelled Onischuk to the clear first place in the 2010 SPICE Cup GMA.

Final standings:

1. Alexander Onischuk - 18 points
2. Georg Meier - 17
3-4. Wesley So and Zoltan Almasi - 14
5-6. Ray Robson and Eugene Perelshtein - 7

GM Anatoly Bykhovsky and IM Gergely Antal shared the first place in SPICE Cup GMB with 6.0 points each. This tournament was a 10-player round robin.

GM Georgi Kacheishvili (Georgia) won the 2010 SPICE Cup FIDE Open with the score of 5.5 / 6.

More information on the official website. Over 1.100 photos from the SPICE Cup 2010 are available from this list.

Susan Polgar kindly provided the event summary for Chessdom

I am very happy with the fighting spirit at this year's SPICE Cup. With the 3 point for a win scoring system and no draw offer allowed before move 30 in the A group, the intensity on all three boards was very high as anything could still happen in the final round. The outcome was only decided in the final game of the tournament. I am proud to be able to provide excellent playing opportunities for many players. The SPICE Cup will get stronger and better each year. The A group next year will be at least category 17.

Texas Tech University and the Susan Polgar Foundation are proud to support this important annual event. I believe that it is essential to build a solid chess culture in America. Since November 2007, the SPICE Cup has established itself as one of the most important and prestigious round robin annual events in U.S. history. I am confident that this will inspire more top level round robin events in the U.S. in the future.

The Texas Tech Knight Raiders also have the biggest success to date in the SPICE Cup, with GM Anatoly Bykhovsky (1st year student at Texas Tech) and GM-elect Gergely Antal (just graduated from Texas Tech) winning the B group. I am a strong advocate for chess and education. I realize that it is not easy for everyone to establish strong security as professional players. It is also not easy to receive proper chess training to maximize one’s chess ability and potential.

This is why I jumped at the opportunity of establishing SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) at a major university like Texas Tech in 2007. Because of SPICE, we are able to offer players a fantastic college education while getting the chance to improve their chess with serious coaching. Last year, members of the Texas Tech University Knight Raiders chess team gained on an average 90 rating points per player while maintaining a 3.28 / 4 grade point average.

Last but not least, I would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters for making the SPICE Cup a success.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top Chess Players Travel to Lubbock for SPICE Cup 2010

October 27, 2010
Top Chess Players Travel to Lubbock for SPICE Cup 2010
Players include youngest American ever to earn Grandmaster title, at age 14.
Written by Karin Slyker

Ray Robson, who celebrated his 16th birthday this week, is among the top Chess competitors scheduled to compete in the SPICE Cup International Invitational Tournament. The event, now in its fourth year, will be held at Texas Tech University.

The 2010 SPICE Cup Festival will take place from Oct. 28-Nov. 7 in the Matador Room of the Student Union Building.

Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin will join SPICE director Susan Polgar for the kickoff to the event. He will also declare Oct. 28 as “Susan Polgar Day” in Lubbock. Round-robin game play will begin immediately after the reception.

Players will be broken into two groups. The six-player A Group will meet in a category 16 event – the highest rated international invitational Chess tournament in U.S. history.

  • Grandmaster Zoltan Almasi, Hungary, 2707
    No. 1 ranked Hungarian on the live rating list, 2010 Olympiad Silver Medalist
  • Grandmaster Alexander Onischuk, United States, 2688
    Former U.S. Champion and No. 1 ranked American, Olympiad Medalist
  • Grandmaster Wesley So, Philippines, 2668
    No. 1 ranked Filipino, member of the 2008-2010 Filipino Olympiad team
  • Grandmaster Georg Meier, Germany, 2659
    No. 2 ranked German, member of the 2008 German Olympiad team
  • Grandmaster Ray Robson, United States, 2539
    Former U.S. Junior Champion, youngest ever American Grandmaster
  • Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn, United States, 2528
    2007 SPICE Cup Champion, 2009 SPICE Cup B Group Co-Champion, winner of multiple National Collegiate Team Championships

Ten players form the B Group tournament, a Category 10 event comprised of mostly grandmasters or international masters:

  • Grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic, Croatia, 2555
    Texas Tech business major graduate student, 2-time winner of the National Collegiate Team Championship, member of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders, first Texas Tech Grandmaster
  • Grandmaster Ben Finegold, United States, 2534
    2-time U.S. Open Champion, 2-time National Open Champion, 2009 SPICE Cup B co-champion, former winner of the prestigious Samford fellowship
  • Grandmaster Gergely Antal, Hungary, 2526
    Texas Tech Economics Major Graduate, 2009 National Collegiate Chess Champion, member of the Knight Raiders, second Texas Tech Grandmaster
  • Grandmaster Andre Diamant, Brazil, 2498
    Top rated Brazilian Junior, former Brazilian National Champion, member of the 2008 & 2010 Brazilian Chess Olympiad team, member of the Knight Raiders
  • Grandmaster Anatoly Bykhovsky, Israel, 2497
    One of the top young players in Israel, member of the Knight Raiders
  • International Master Irina Krush, United States, 2490
    Reigning and multiple time U.S. Women’s Champion, multiple time Olympiad medalist
  • International Master Bryan Smith, United States, 2478
    Highest rated player ever from Alaska, winner of multiple National Collegiate Team Championships
  • International Master Dean Ippolito, United States, 2469
    Prominent chess coach, former winner of the prestigious Samford fellowship, 11-time All-American
  • International Master Danny Rensch, United States, 2404
    Prominent chess coach, former National Elementary, Junior High, and High School Champion, 6-time All-American
  • FIDE Master Darwin Yang, United States, 2402
    Currently one of the top rated American juniors, earned first IM norm at the 2010 SPICE Spring Invitational

The Festival will also include a World Chess Federation (FIDE) Rated Open, a Scholastic event and an Open competition. Spectators are welcome, daily admission is free.

Live updates will be available at
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SPICE Cup round 1

SPICE Cup Pairings

B Group

Thursday, October 28 2pm Round 1
Krush (US women's champion) - Smith
Diamant - Finegold
Kuljasevic - Bykhovsky
Yang - Antal
Rensch - Ippolito

A Group

Thursday, October 28 2pm- Round 1
Robson - Meier
Almasi - Perelshteyn
So - Onischuk

Meier, Almasi, Antal and So are already in Lubbock. The rest of the players will arrive later on today while Finegold will arrive early tomorrow since he has an event in St. Louis today.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

TX Governor Rick Perry welcomes SPICE players


As Governor of Texas, I welcome everyone to the 4th Annual Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) Cup. We are privileged to have world-class chess champion Susan Polgar and this prestigious event here at Texas Tech University.

Chess requires discipline, strong analytical ability and strategy. These three skills are applicable to many areas of life and show strong intellectual capabilities useful in many disciplines. It is also an international game that allows people from all over the world to come together in a spirit of friendly competition.

First Lady Anita Perry joins me in wishing you a rigorous, competitive and fun tournament.

Rick Perry
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Magnificent chess artwork

Fantastic artwork by the incredibly talented artist Serkan Ergün. Click on image to see the full size artwork.

Serkan Ergün, born in Izmir in 1980, has adopted realism. He has rendered “individuals in society” in an attitude of expression in his works. Besides having the talent for visualization of each individual’s character, Ergün tries to provide a unique confrontation for grasping the subject, to the beholder, in all his portraits.

Please feel free to check out his website at
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