Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chess at a BEAUTIFUL Resort


Sections: Primary (K-2), Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), High School/ Adults U1600

March 5-7, 2010 | Carefree Resort | 37220 N Mule Train Rd, Carefree 85377 | Game/45


Friday, March 5
6:30 PM Puzzle Solving Championship
7:00 PM Bughouse Championship (Open to All Scholastic Players) Round 1
7:30 PM Bughouse Championship Round 2
8:00 PM Bughouse Championship Round 3
8:30 PM Bughouse Championship Round 4
9:00 PM Bughouse Championship Round 5

Saturday, March 6
9:15 AM Main Event Round 1
11:30 AM Main Event Round 2
1:30 PM Main Event Round 3
3:30 PM Main Event Round 4
6:00 PM Blitz Championship Round 1
6:30 PM Blitz Championship Round 2
7:00 PM Blitz Championship Round 3
7:30 PM Blitz Championship Round 4
8:00 PM Blitz Championship Round 5

Sunday, March 7
9:00 AM Main Event Round 5
11:00 AM Main Event Round 6
1:00 PM Main Event Round 7
3:30 PM Awards Ceremony
5:30 PM Susan Polgar 64 Board Simultaneous Exhibition


Carefree Resort, 37220 N Mule Train Rd, Carefree AZ 85377 480-488-5300 @ $129


Main Event: (All Scholastic Sections): Laptop Computer to 1st, $200 (in Chess Prizes) to 2nd, $150 to 3rd $100 to 4th, $50 to 5th
All the above are in kind, chess prizes such as chess books/DVDs, etc and not a cash prize. Digital Clock to 7-0 score, Trophies to top 20 Individuals, Trophies to top 3 teams, Medals to 21st-30th Individuals, Medals to 4-6th Teams, Trophies to top 3 Parent/Child/Sibling Teams. Adult

Section: $300-$200-$150-$100 in cash prizes, based on 20 paid entries. Scholarships to Texas Tech University will awarded based in part on the performance in this event. Please visit the tournament website for more details.

Bughouse Championship: Trophies top 10 teams.
Blitz Championship: Primary - trophies to top 10, Elementary – trophies to top 10, Middle School – Trophies to top 10, High School / Adult U1600 – trophies to top 5
Puzzle Solving Championship: Trophies to top 3 individuals.

Entry Fees:

Main Event: $55 by 1/29; $59 by 2/12; $65 by 2/26; $69 after.
On Site registration will receive Rd 1 (1/2 pt) bye. USCF & ASCF Rated (Current Membership for either organization is sufficient)
Puzzle Solving Championship: $15 if by 2/26; $20 after. Registration closes 5:30pm Fri 3/5.
Bughouse Championship: $20 (Team) by 2/26; $25 (Team) after. Registration closes 6:00pm.
Susan Polgar 64 Board Simultaneous Exhibitions: $25 by 2/26; $30 after. Registration ends 15 minutes prior to Start Time. Limit to 1st 64 players.
Blitz Championship: $20 by 2/26; $25 after. Registration closes 5:30pm.

Registration Information

To Register on-line Visa/Mastercard, go to
To Register by phone with credit card call: 602-482-4867
To Register by fax with Visa/Mastercard number: 602-494-6025

To Register by mail, send check or Visa/Mastercard number to:
Chess Emporium, 10801 N. 32nd St. # 6, Phoenix, AZ 85028

All entrants must meet grade and qualification requirements, and have current membership in
the American Scholastic Chess Federation (ASCF) or United States Chess Federation (USCF) to
be in the main event. For more info, call 602-482-4867.

10801 N. 32nd St. #6
Phoenix, AZ 85028
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SPICE Spring Invitational Drawing of Lots

The drawing of lots for the 2010 SPICE Spring Invitational was done this morning at 9:30 am at the Texas Tech Student Union Building.

Michael Gunn, Assistant Director of Student Organizations, drew the 10 names in front of Dr. Hal Karlsson, student advisor to the Texas Tech Knight Raiders, and assistant tournament director.

Here is the order:

1. IM Irina Krush
(USA) 2492 USCF - 2460 FIDE (GM norm - previous participant of the SPICE Cup)
2. IM Gergely Antal (HUN) 2557 USCF - 2511 FIDE (2 GM norms) - Texas Tech Student
3. IM Davorin Kuljasevic (CRO) 2585 USCF - 2552 FIDE (2 GM norms) - Texas Tech Student
4. FM Eric Hansen (CAN) 2426 USCF - 2406 FIDE
5. IM Gabor Papp (HUN) 2578 USCF - 2542 FIDE (GM norm) - Texas Tech Student
6. GM Julio Becerra (USA) 2610 USCF - 2538 FIDE (2-time participant of the SPICE Cup)
7. IM Dean Ippolito (USA) 2534 USCF - 2465 FIDE (Previous participant of the SPICE Cup)
8. GM Jesse Kraai (USA) 2550 USCF - 2508 FIDE
9. FM Darwin Yang (USA) 2398 USCF - 2369 FIDE (Youngest ever participant of a SPICE Invitational)
10. GM Ben Finegold (USA) 2616 USCF - 2533 FIDE (earned GM title at the 2009 SPICE Cup B group)

Average FIDE rating: 2488.5

The 2010 SPICE Spring Invitational will take place in March (13-19) at the beautiful campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chess What Matters

Click here or on the image to view the video.

Chess What Matters
Saturday, February 20, 2010
John-Thomas Kobos

Two of the world's highest ranked chess players checked in to the Central Valley Saturday afternoon to battle brave locals.

Organized competitive chess started in the 16-Century.

Players claim it takes minutes to learn but years to master.

Well, Saturday afternoon in Clovis 100 players had the chance to square off one by one against International Master Sofia Polgar and her older sister Susan Polgar an International Grandmaster.

"I'm sure there's some kind of anxiety but on the otherhand it's an experience to play a former world champion and it's hopefully a lifelong experience for them," said Susan.

Sophia added: "It's a great way to interact and make new friends."

Both sisters, who are world renowned and top of their fields, acknowledged they can be a bit intimidating and so does their competition.

"They're human beings but their skill level is something I aspire to," said teacher P.R. Gaffney.

10-year old Gunho Moon said he was probably going to lose pretty fast because: "I'm not so good at chess." He added, "My dad wanted me to play."

However, 10-year old Gunho Moon said he is excited to participate.

These sisters will alternate moves on each board until the game is over and they cannot discuss strategy. This is the first time they've ever been challenged this way.

Susan said: "It's more of a challenge than if we were to play separately on 50 boards each because our styles are different."

Here is the full article.
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Chess, Education and Culture


My name is Jeff and I am an ex-Toyota employee (Labor relations and shop floor management) and now business consultant for those choosing to learn the Toyota System. I have had the opportunity to play chess with equipment layout, material volumes, and policy decisions for years. I had also played the real game back in my college days at Auburn University, AL. Why chess? Its fun yes, but it reaches kids and adults in many ways that bring out the best in all of us.

The one constant the game provides is relationship building between individuals, cutting across many barriers in society. So, I decided to pick the game up again five years ago in my late 30s. I found that I still played bad but enjoyed it anyway. I even hired a coach. I actually got to the point of understanding GM games-wow. She still tells me to castle, but I never liked doing that so I found openings where one could skip castling sometimes-Sicilian Sveshnikov. To be honest, when I do not castle early I am toast.

I also decided to take up chess sponsorship on a consistent basis to see if it had any positive impact on people. I found several players who were not only highly rated but good communicators / teachers. There is a difference. At Toyota we had both skilled technicians and teachers like any company, but the teachers taught what I would describe as a new culture. This is significant in my mind. Teachers are real good with people, and many times influencing our youth and adults in healthy directions that ought to come from many places it does not for many reasons.

I’ll keep it short. I first noticed this chess culture at a little center in Queens, NY. I took some lessons from coach Sofia Polgar (actually flew her into NYC from Toronto, found her on the ICC website). I noticed how she explained complex things to a beginner at my chess level- just like a good teacher. Between lessons I would walk out into the large area of the little club and see young children solving 6 to 8 move tactical puzzles with club manager Leon. These amazing little kids. Seeing all this without moving the pieces and remaining so calm and enthusiastic. Sofia’s sister Susan ran this club at that time. So, I sponsored some events with both Susan and Sofia to help people experience their inter-personal gift of good character and joy both of them bring to their work.

Here is the full article.
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Judit Polgar - Gregory Kaidanov Match

Judit Polgar - Gregory Kaidanov Match

Sicilian Theme Match (Dragon, Scheveningen, Najdorf or Sveshnikov), GM Judit Polgar vs GM Gregory Kaidanov, 4 Classical 100 min /40 move games, Possible Blitz playoff.

Purpose: Make a fun match for all to enjoy on the Internet. Onsite invitation only, closed to general view. The match will be webcast on the Internet. Click here to read more about the match. Monroi will have pictures up on website during the actual onsite match. Games can be followed live on Sign up for free now.

Host: Jeff Smith, Business Consultant. Jeff supports chess as a hobby and enjoys seeing others benefit from the game.


In 1994 Buenos Aires, there was a Sicilian Thematic Tournament in honor of GM Lev Polugaevsky. This South Carolina match makes the Sicilian play required as opening play. For fun, look at game six between Shirov (white pieces) and Judit Polgar 0-1 (29 moves) of the 1994 match. There will be no draw offers before move 40. The winner of each game earns at least a $1000. There is incentive to win, not draw. The game order is Sveshnikov, Dragon, Najdorf, Scheveningen. GM Kaidanov starts with the White pieces.


The website will carry photos and live games of onsite play. Please refer to the website for the event hosts comments on the match. This is a physical match in South Carolina, USA. Match dates are 2/22 through 2/25. Four classical games with Sicilian theme. Match budget 22K. GM Gregory Kaidanov (Lexington,KY) and GM Judit Polgar (Budapest, Hungary) are the professionals playing. GM Kaidanov starts with the white pieces in game one. More comments will be given at the conclusion of the match. Monroi takes an essential role in this event to make the live games available to the World for free. Sign up for free on their site (its quick) and watch each game from 200pm to conclusion each day: 2/22 Monday through 2/25 Thursday.
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All girls' chess in Santa Rosa

All-girls' chess match held in Santa Rosa
Published: Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 5:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 5:40 p.m.

Cassandra Wright, 6, pulled at her hair, clasped her hands, gripped her head, broke into countless expressions of pain and frustration and, finally, cried.

She did not expect her opponent to be so determined. “She did everything she could to make me lose,” said Cassandra, shortly after her second game during an all-girls’ chess tournament Saturday in Santa Rosa.

Competition can be brutal and some people do not win or play gracefully, harsh but important lessons for a 1st grader, though nothing a parent’s arms couldn’t soothe.

The chess tournament held at Ursuline High School was sponsored by Chess for Kids, a non-profit that organizes after-school chess programs in Sonoma County.

The event, billed as the county’s first all girls’ chess tournament, benefitted the Sutter North Bay Women’s Health Center in Santa Rosa.

Proceeds, primarily the $20 entry fee, were expected to be a little less than $1,000, said Jolie Cook, president of Chess for Kids.

It also was intended to attract more local girls to the game, which Cook said, “makes kids smart, teaches critical thinking, promotes patience and improves concentration.”

Girls are often put off by the mind-bending competition of the game, she said, noting that girls comprise only about 20 percent of the kids who participate in Chess for Kids programs.

Here is the full story.
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Set sight on chess crown

Sixth-grader has sights on chess crown
By Ann Work
Posted February 20, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.

Today’s the day Wichita Falls’ Claudia Munoz Robles has been waiting for.

The City View Elementary sixth-grader competes at the Texas State Scholastic Chess Championship in Dallas.

The seven-round, two-day event is held at the Downtown Sheraton.

Claudia has earned a title — Woman Candidate Master — that was awarded to her by the International Chess Federation in Greece when she was 9 after she won the North American Youth Chess Championship.

Now 12, the Wichita Falls native recently returned to the area after living and competing in Mexico for several years. This way, she’ll be closer to the Dallas competitions.

Today she’ll compete with 102 others in her category, where she’s ranked No. 14. She’s the only female player and the only Hispanic, making her the top Hispanic in the United States in her category.

More than 900 children have registered in all.

“She’s excited,” said her mother, Claudia Munoz. “She’s ready to be there.”

Here is the full article.
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Chess as a means of improving life

Indian girl plans to become a pro
Saturday, February 20, 2010 3:07 AM

Women are hesitant to embrace chess careers.

That could change quickly, as grandmaster Judit Polgar noted recently.

Perhaps she is thinking of Saranya Jayakumar of Chennai, India, the younger-than-14 girls champion of Asia.

Saranya, who trains eight hours a day, sees chess as a means of improving the life of her mother, a street vendor. Saranya works with her at a knickknack stall.

One hopeful sign is the recent sponsorship of Saranya by a state-owned oil company. Indian corporations have been slow to underwrite chess.

Another good sign is the array of chess programs for kids springing up throughout the subcontinent.

Saranya aims to become a grandmaster by age 20, and she already has the right attitude. M.A. Veluyatham, owner of an academy at which she trains, said she "strives for perfection."

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Returning to Fresno

Famed chess player to play in Fresno tournament
Posted at 01:05 PM on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010
By Ron Orozco / The Fresno Bee

The most famous female chess player in the world is returning to Fresno - and this time with her sister.

Susan Polgar, the Hungarian-American Grandmaster, and sister Sofia Polgar will play in an exhibition tournament at 1 p.m. Saturday at Alta Sierra Intermediate School against up to 100 opponents, skilled or novice, at the same time. The event is presented by the Fresno Chess Club and Clovis Unified School District.

Susan Polgar, winner of four women's world championships and five Chess Olympiad competition gold medals, played against 64 opponents in Fresno in October of 2008.

Sofia Polgar, a former international master player who is retired, is coming from Rishon, Israel. The Bee caught up with Susan Polgar, who lives in Lubbock, Texas, to talk chess.

Question: What was the most memorable thing about the first time you played chess?

Answer: I was 4 years old when I discovered chess. At first, it was only the shape of the pieces - how beautiful they were. I loved the queen and the knight. Then came the actual purpose of the game, and the challenge excited me.

Can you have fun and still be a world-class chess player?

Absolutely. You can set all sorts of challenges and try to play beautifully. There are a lot of tricks that make the game beautiful. Obviously, I wouldn't do something just for fun when it was a serious championship match. In practice games, that's a different story.

Who is your favorite chess player - and why?

It's hard to pick just one. Bobby Fischer was probably the most influential person of the 20th century when it comes to chess. Obviously, we know about his shortcomings, too. When it comes to chess, he is a giant and always will be.

Chess is best played in which country?

Chess has the most culture in Russia and Ukraine and the former Soviet Republic. Chess was supported in those countries through the Communist era, as they tried to show political power. Every couple's wedding gift set included a chess set. Chess is huge in those places just like baseball and football would be here. Other countries, like China and India, have had a huge chess boom in the last two decades.

What do you remember most about your last Fresno visit?

I remember the warm sun and the welcome of the Fresno Chess Club. I had an awesome time and decided to come back with my sister. I won 62, and there were two draws.

Are you and Sofia similar or different chess players?

I am more conservative. Sofia has a more romantic style. I put more focus in competition. She has retired from competitive chess. She is quite an artist.

What do you want to accomplish at the Fresno exhibition?

It is a show like you would see at a Los Angeles Lakers game. So I want to inspire people to know chess is a fun activity and something they may want to do as a pastime. It is something that can bring different generations - and genders - together.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The history of women's chess

Here are the list of all the women who achieved or earned the Grandmaster title:
Name Country
Date Age Earned World Champion Peak
Nona Gaprindashvili Georgia
1978 37 WCC 1962–1978 ?? First female grandmaster
Maia Chiburdanidze Georgia
1984 23 WCC 1978–1991 2550
Susan Polgar Hungary
United States

1991 22 norms 1996–1999 2577 First to be awarded the title traditionally
Judit Polgár Hungary
1991 15 norms 2735 Youngest grandmaster ever at the time
Xie Jun China
1991 21 WCC 1991–1996,1999–2001 2574
Pia Cramling Sweden
1992 29 norms 2550
Zhu Chen China

2001 25 norms 2001–2004 2548
Koneru Humpy India
2002 15 norms 2622
Antoaneta Stefanova Bulgaria
2003 25 norms 2004–2006 2560
Alexandra Kosteniuk Russia
2004 20 EWC 2008–current 2540
Peng Zhaoqin China

2004 36 EWC 2472
Hoang Thanh Trang Vietnam

2007 27 norms 2501
Kateryna Lahno Ukraine
2007 17 norms 2509
Xu Yuhua China
2007 30 WCC 2006–2008 2517
Marie Sebag France
2008 21 norms 2533
Zhao Xue China
2008 23 norms 2544
Hou Yifan China
2008 14 norms 2590 Youngest ever female grandmaster
Nana Dzagnidze Georgia
2008 21 norms 2536
Monika Soćko Poland
2008 30 norms 2505
Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant Georgia

2009 40 norms 2506
Tatiana Kosintseva Russia
2009 23 norms 2539
Source: Wiki

2010 SPICE Spring Invitational

The 2010 SPICE Spring Invitational will take place in March (13-19) at the beautiful campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. Robert Hess got his 2nd GM norm last year in this event and he went on to become a GM shortly after that, along with a break through year. Who will get the GM norm(s) or IM norm(s) this year?

Confirmed players so far include:

- IM Davorin Kuljasevic (CRO) 2585 USCF - 2552 FIDE (2 GM norms) - Texas Tech Student
- IM Gabor Papp (HUN) 2578 USCF - 2542 FIDE (GM norm) - Texas Tech Student
- GM Julio Becerra (USA) 2610 USCF - 2538 FIDE (2-time participant of the SPICE Cup)
- GM Ben Finegold (USA) 2616 USCF - 2533 FIDE (earned GM title at 2009 SPICE Cup B group)
- IM Gergely Antal (HUN) 2557 USCF - 2511 FIDE (2 GM norms) - Texas Tech Student
- GM Jesse Kraai (USA) 2550 USCF - 2508 FIDE
- IM Dean Ippolito (USA) 2534 USCF - 2465 FIDE (Previous participant of the SPICE Cup)
- IM Irina Krush (USA) 2492 USCF - 2460 FIDE (GM norm - previous participant of the SPICE Cup)
- FM Eric Hansen (CAN) 2426 USCF - 2406 FIDE
- FM Darwin Yang (USA) 2398 USCF - 2369 FIDE (Youngest ever participant of a SPICE Invitational)

GM norm is expected to be 6 points (out of 9 games) and IM norm is expected to be 4 points (out of 9 games).
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"Super Saturday" SPICE Fun Chess

April 3 – May 1, 2010

Two levels: Novice and Intermediate

Class dates: April 3, 10, 17, 24 and May 1 (5 sessions)

Hours: 11:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays at TTU’s Administration building.

Instruction will be provided by members of the nationally ranked Texas Tech Knight Raider Chess Team, based on my popular and highly effective chess curriculum and direct guidance.

Registration fee: $99 by March 27, after add $20 late fee.

Please send registration form to: Texas Tech University, SPICE, Box 45080, Lubbock, TX 79409.

For information, please go to: or email
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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Best of the best

The school was established in 1923. Today, Texas Tech University has more than 39,000 students and 18,000 faculty / staff from over 100 countries. The main campus in Lubbock, Texas has 30,049 students.

Texas Tech University comprised a vast 1,850 acres, but elegant Spanish Renaissance-style buildings and attractively landscaped grounds give the campus an old-fashion collegial feel. Located in Lubbock, Texas Tech enjoys the area’s High Plains climate and four distinct seasons.

Texas Tech offers students a choice of more than 150 bachelor’s, 100 master’s, and 50 doctoral programs. Faculty members are nationally known for their work in a wide variety of fields. It is the ONLY institution in Texas with a graduate school, a law school, and a medical school in the same location as the main undergraduate campus. Overall, there are 14 colleges at Texas Tech University with 62 academics departments and 198 degree programs.

More than 400 clubs and organizations provide enrichment outside of the classroom.

Texas Tech also many other locations such as San Angelo, El Paso, Spain, and Germany, etc. It is expected to be designated as a tier one university soon.

Gender breakdown:

Undergraduate: Approximately 56% male - 44% female
Graduate & Professional: Approximately 52.5% male - 47.5% female
New Transfer Students: Approximately 57% male - 43% female

Top countries:

1. USA
2. India
3. China
4. Mexico
5. South Korea
6. Canada
7. Taiwan
8. Nigeria
9. Turkey
10. Nepal

SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) was established in 2007. It is the only established university chess institute in the United States and possibly in the world. The goal of SPICE is to work with our friends and colleagues to enhance chess, education, technology, and research, etc.

Why should a student / chess player come to Texas Tech?

Here are just a few of the many benefits:

1. To receive top notch education.
2. To receive world class intense chess training.
3. To have the opportunity to compete in multiple major SPICE chess tournaments (SPICE Cup, SPICE Spring Invitational, Get Smart! Play Chess!, Lubbock Open, and many more) every year.

SPICE is a premier center for chess education, research, technology, and outreach.

The goal of SPICE is to:

- Recruit outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to TTU and TTU-HSC

- Provide a substantial amount of scholarships to chess players

- Be a world leader in promoting women's chess

- Support the nation's most elite chess programs

- Promote chess as vehicle for enriching the education of children

- Serve as a center for chess education and research

- Support and promote competitive chess at the college level