Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Women's Grand Prix game analysis

Click on image to enlarge the article.
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Knight Raiders thrive on and off the board

Knight Raiders thrive on and off the board

The accumulative grade of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders chess teams (A team, B team, and women's team) last year was 3.28, with 3 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, the 13 active members of the A team, B team, and women's team gained nearly 1,100 rating points in just this short time! That is an average improvement of nearly 90 rating points per player!

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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Monday, August 30, 2010

A SPGI article by Bethany Carson

2010 Susan Polgar Girls Invitational
By Bethany G. Carson

Hello everyone! I had a wonderful time at the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational at Texas Tech. We had four and a half days of training from Susan Polgar and Paul Truong, and one and a half days of tournament play. What impressed me most about Susan Polgar was the sincere care, love, and gentle strictness which she displayed toward her class.

We had a great educational trip (or was it a tour of the mid-west?). We left for Texas on July 20th. We took a jog north to visit the Ice Cream Capital of the World in Le Mars, Iowa. Then, since neither Daniel, nor Charity, nor I had ever been to South Dakota, we crossed the border into that state. After about 20 miles we reached Nebraska. We spent that night at a Lewis and Clark campground on the banks of the Missouri.

The next day, we headed west! Our itinerary stated that we should visit the Nebraska capitol building in Lincoln. It was very impressive, and we looked over the city of Lincoln from the 14th floor. It was quite an interesting structure to visit.

We continued south, and finally crossed into Kansas. We visited an original Pony Express Station, now a museum, before heading to Glen Elder State Park. After a refreshing time swimming and wading in Waconda Lake, we ate dinner, and slept. We left early the next morning and saw the largest ball of sisal twine (in Cawker City). Then we visited an oil well drilling company in Hays. Our entertainment director (Charity) did a great job. Pretty soon we were at the World's Largest Hand Dug Well, in Greenfield, KS.

Next, we stopped at Clark State Fishing Lake, ate dinner, took a walk, and then decided to explore! Papa started the pickup and we headed around the lake. We saw beautiful cliffs, drove up and down steep hills in the truck's lowest gear, saw a rattlesnake, and finally arrived at the other side of the lake. Clark Lake is very beautiful, and it was a wonderful place to spend my birthday. I am so thankful to Jesus Christ for his grace which has seen me through these years (and miles).

The next morning we visited St. Jacob's well, and saw the buffalo which roam around it. We reached Oklahoma and ate lunch at a cafe in Gate, Oklahoma. There we enjoyed 3 hamburgers, a grilled cheese sandwich, 3 soda pops, and glass of water for about $27! (These were the most expensive hamburgers we have ever eaten!) I was surprised at how quickly the panhandle of Oklahoma can be driven through. We soon saw the Texas state line.

We arrived in Lubbock the next morning, and after some wandering, found the English building (where the opening ceremony was to be held), the impressive Texas Tech library (where we spent much of our free time), and the dining hall (where we enjoyed excellent service and a very good selection of foods on the lunch buffet the whole time we were at the SPGI). We spent the night at a very pleasant campground in Littlefield, Texas.

On the morning of July 25th, we left Littlefield, and spent time at the Texas Tech library. I am almost tempted to say that the library has more computers than it does books, but that is because I only visited the 1st floor. Many students study there, but we were mainly interested in chatting with my youngest sister and Mama, who were at home. We also played chess online, scheduled and played team league games, emailed friends, and watched movies.

We arrived at the opening ceremony early, but soon the other 41 girls and Susan Polgar entered the room. All of us girls were called to the first four rows, while parents, siblings, and coaches were permitted to watch from the other rows. My family and I are very thankful that Charity, my sister, was permitted to join the class as a special guest. We enjoyed the lesson about 10 Critical Rules of Chess, taught by Susan Polgar and Paul Truong.

Monday, we were divided into two classes according to rating. Classes were from 9:00-12:00 and from 1:30-4:30. My sister and I were in Paul Truong's class. He is a very good teacher, and I took a lot of notes and enjoyed the class. We participated in the puzzle solving championships. Charity and I each got 6 out of 10 correct. At 6:00 we played bughouse. My sister and I chose to be partners, and our team was the Carson Sisters. There were 5 rounds, and we scored 3 points. We played more bughouse with friends. Soon I had to hurry back to the Texas Tech library for my team league game which was scheduled for 8:00 p.m. I tried to use the information I had learned, and I didn't lose. However, probably due to my insufficient endgame knowledge, I drew. The game lasted just short of 3 hours, and we finally reached our campground at about midnight.

The next morning we had classes with Susan Polgar from 9:00-12:00 and from 1:30-4:30. I enjoyed Susan Polgar's class (and yes, I took a lot of notes). IM Gergely Antal stopped by to say hello to everyone, as he just finished his last exam at Texas Tech.

Wednesday we had a very good class with Susan Polgar from 10:00-12:00, and then a class with Paul Truong from 1:30-4:30. Some of the girls in our class were determined that somehow they could beat NM Paul Truong. So, Mr. Truong gave each girl who wished to play him 5 minutes on her clock, and gave himself 1 minute. He beat each one. While I waited, I exchanged math problems with Tori Whatley of South Carolina, and Charity and Rebecca Deland of New Mexico studied a game they had just finished. I was delighted when the time came to return to studying. That evening, the blitz championships were held. It was fun and a great warm-up for the G-30 tourney; Charity and I both finished 3.5 out of a possible 6.

Thursday we had a question and answer class before going outside to have pictures taken with Susan Polgar and the Masked Rider of Texas Tech. After lunch and a short opening ceremony, round 1 of the tournament started. Just as in the blitz tournament, I found myself facing Rebecca Lelko on board 2. We had an interesting game which ended in a draw. I played Mandy Lu in round 2. Although I reached the endgame in a drawn position, insufficient endgame knowledge again became my nemesis and resulted in a loss. I won my round 3 match against Mina Wang. After each round, Paul Truong or Susan Polgar gave me advice, showing Rebecca Lelko and I the critical position in our game, and telling Papa and me that I must study endgames. (I'm now reading Silman's Complete Endgame Course which they recommended--the most interesting chess book I've ever read.)

Friday was the final day of the tournament. I won my first two games and lost my third. Charity, however, who had gained only one point the day before, scored several upsets, and won every game. She finished the tournament a half point ahead of me and gained nearly 300 rating points. After the tournament there was an hour of spare time before the closing ceremony. Upon encouragement from classmates and permission from Paul Truong, Charity and I tuned our guitars and her violin and played a few songs for our classmates, Susan Polgar, and Paul Truong. The closing ceremony came all too soon after this wonderful week. Congratulations to Anu Bayar who won the event (puzzle solving, blitz, and G-30), and to Rebecca Lelko who won the G-30 tournament. Charity finished in 13th place, and I finished in 16th place. We bade farewell to our new friends and left for Iowa, arriving home after a safe trip during the early hours of August 1st. "Amazing grace...shall lead me home."

Thank you very much to Susan Polgar and Paul Truong for holding this event. I hope this tradition will continue for many years to come.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Polgar appears on international radio show

Polgar appears on international radio show
Jon Arnold
Managing Editor
Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010 02:08

Susan Polgar, the executive director of Texas Tech’s Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, was featured as an expert Thursday on the BBC’s international debate program “World Have Your Say.”

Thursday’s discussion centered on the book “Bounce” by British author Matthew Syed, who also was on the program. The book argues that too much importance is placed on natural ability when it comes to determining who will end up being successful. Polgar’s story is mentioned in the book to back up this claim.

“My father had written a book even before I was born exactly on the same topic,” Polgar said. “He was a firm believer that success is ninety-nine percent sweat and one percent talent.”

Polgar’s father’s work came to fruition in the form of Susan and her sisters. Her father trained the girls in chess from a very young age, and Susan became the first female Grandmaster to earn the title in regular play. One of her sisters became the second female to accomplish the feat. She has another sister who is an International Master.

Ros Atkins, the presenter of the show, said this made Polgar the ideal guest to discuss the topic at hand.

“Well, she’s the real deal, isn’t she?” Atkins said when reached at the show’s London studio via phone. “She’s the living proof of the theory which Matthew Syed espouses. So if you believe in what he says, Susan Polgar and her sisters, there is no better example.”

Atkins went on to say that Polgar’s presence brought the discussion from theory to real life.

“You can talk about things hypothetically, but if you want to bring a discussion alive, clearly people who have lived something rather than just believing it brings something special to any conversation.

“There’s an authority which comes from someone who has reached the top, which the rest of us who haven’t reached the top just can’t have,” he said.

In addition to Syed and Polgar, former NBA player John Amaechi joined the discussion, as well as callers from around the world.

Polgar said the experience of listening to and debating with such well-accomplished people was fascinating. She said the worldwide exposure her experience provided for Tech and SPICE will help increase awareness about Tech’s academic profile.

“It’s bringing visibility and credibility to this fine university that is well known for its athletic department and I think should be more known for its academic field that we’re so good at,” she said. “I’m hoping that through my celebrity status, at least in the world of chess, I can contribute something to the university that others can’t.”

Atkins said “World Have Your Say” contacted Polgar after he found out Syed would be coming on the program. Since Polgar’s story stuck out to Atkins after reading “Bounce” he did some research and e-mailed Polgar.

Polgar joined the program from the studios of KOHM-FM in Lubbock, and Atkins had high praise for the station employees, as he set up Polgar’s appearance at the last minute.

“The guys at KOHM were unbelievably helpful on very short notice,” he said. “One of the most accommodating sound engineers we’ve ever dealt with in the States. They really were a pleasure.”

The program is available in a podcast form on the show’s website and www.worldhaveyoursay.com. It airs every weekday at noon on KTXT-FM 88.1.

Source: http://www.dailytoreador.com

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

LIVE on BBC Radio

I am on BBC Radio LIVE right now with British Table Tennis great Matthew Syed, former NBA player John Amaechi, and other star guests.

The topic is whether 'talent' is a useful and valid concept, or whether all excellence can be learned.

I am on BBC radio via Texas Tech KOHM studio. You can listen to it here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/whys_20100826-1900a.mp3
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thousands of students showed up for the Raider welcome night

Thousands of students showed up for the Raider welcome night

Raider Welcome - Night at the Student Union Building

Hospitality Services provided fantastic free food samples from all the great dining choices across campus while Student Union & Activities presents a student organization fair, live music, comedy show, a free movie, free t-shirts, and much more! Many members of the Knight Raiders Chess Team were at the chess booth to welcome the chess enthusiasts. Thousands of students showed up for this massive but fun event.

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 450 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.

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.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Game of the week

Antoaneta Stefanova –
Nana Dzagnidze
Jermuk Women’s Grand Prix, 2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 After a Queen’s Gambit start the game has settled into a Meran defense.

6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6 This move became mainstream in the past decade along with the old 8...a6 and 8...Bb7 lines. Black’s main idea is to respond to e3-e4 (now or later) with e6-e5.

9.Ng5!? This unusual looking move became quite popular in the last couple of years. The main idea is to allow a quick Qf3 connected to various tactical ideas. For example, if 9...0–0 10.Qf3 Bb7? White wins at least a Pawn by 11.Qh3! h6 12.Nxe6! fxe6 13.Qxe6+

9...Bb7 After 9...h6 White would regroup with 10.Nge4. This maneuver is useful in the positional sense. Black has a weakness in the backward Pawn on c6 and it is crucial to try to control the c5 square to prevent c6-c5.

10.Qf3 Now White threatens to use the pin by capturing the b5 Pawn. The more solid 10.0–0 and 10.Bd2 has also been tried in a number of games.

10...a6 10...0–0? would be a mistake again as after 11.Qh3 White comes out ahead as we have seen above. On the other hand, Black had a good game after 10...h6 in several games. 11.Nge4 (11.Qh3 Qe7 12.Bd2 0–0 13.Nge4 b4 was fine for Black) 11...Nxe4 12.Nxe4 Be7 13.0–0 0–0 14.Qg3 Qb6 15.Rd1 c5.

11.a4 In another game White tried successfully 11.0–0 Qc7 12.Qh3 and now after 12...e5? White achieved significant advantage after the brilliant 13.Bg6! However, better was 12...h6.

11...h6 Black still could not castle due to Qh3 (11...0–0 12.Qh3).

12.Qh3 At this point it was better to transpose to more positional roads with 12.Nge4 Be7 13.0–0 0–0 14.Bd2.

12...b4?! A good alternative was instead 12...c5!, and if 13.axb5 cxd4 14.exd4 0–0 15.Nge4 (15.Nxe6 Re8) 15...Nxe4 16.Nxe4 axb5 17.Rxa8 Qxa8 with Black’s clear advantage.

13.Nce4 Be7 14.Bc4?! White missed a tempting opportunity: 14.Nxe6! fxe6 15.Qxe6 threatening with checkmate in two after 16.Nd6+. Black’s best defense is: 15...Nf8 but White seems to get at least sufficient compensation after 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 17.Qh3 Qd5 (preventing the check on h5) 18.Bf5 h5 19.0–0.

14...0–0 Finally Black succeeded to castle!

15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15...Nxf6 was also too.

16.Nxe6 White did not have much of a choice, as after the retreat with 16.Ne4 Black gets very active play after 16...c5 17.Nxf6+ Qxf6 18.dxc5 Rfc8 19.0–0 Rxc5 20.Be2 Rd8.

16...fxe6 17.Bxe6+ Rf7 18.0–0 White is in no rush to capture Black’s Rook as it cannot run away since it is pinned.

18...Qe7 19.a5 More logical was to develop with 19.Bd2.

19...c5! Finally Black has activated the light squared Bishop. Black is better due to their pieces are positioned more actively than White’s.

20.Bd2 After 20.d5 Black could quickly create a dangerous passed Pawn after 20...c4.

20...Re8 Black could not win a Pawn by 20...cxd4 21.exd4 Bxd4 as White would have a cute little combination: 22.Bxb4! Qxb4? 23.Bxf7+ Kxf7 24.Qxd7+ Kg8 25.Ra4.

21.Bb3 After 21.Bxf7+ Qxf7 It is true that White is up on the material scale. However, it is Black who would have the initiative and the advantage due to superior positioning of their pieces.

21...Kh8 22.dxc5 This was the last opportunity the capture Black’s Rook on f7. However, White chose a different option: to grab a couple more Pawns instead...

22...Rff8 23.Bxb4 Ne5 Stepping into a pin with 23...Nxc5 is clearly inferior to Black’s choice 24.Rac1. White now needs to be careful not to let her Queen get trapped.

24.Ba3 With this move the Bishop moved to a protected square and White threatens with c5-c6 discovery.

24...Bc8 25.Qg3 White’s Queen got trapped, but the game is not over... 25.Qh5? would lose right away to 25...Bg4.

25...Bh4 26.c6! Bxg3 Black could not play 26...Qd8 as then the table would turn around after 27.c7! Qf6 28.Qf4 with White’s advantage.

27.Bxe7 Bxf2+! 28.Rxf2 Rxf2 29.Kxf2 Rxe7 As the complications had cleared out Black has an extra Knight for three Pawns. However, White is likely to lose one of those Pawns real soon.

30.Bd5 Rc7 30...Ng4+ was an option too. Black rather chose to go after to further advanced passed c6 Pawn.

31.Kg3 White could not protect the c6 Pawn by 31.Rc1? due to the fork by 31...Nd3+.

31...Nxc6 32.Rc1 Bb7 It is true that the Black Knight is pinned but will be able to get out by Rc7-c8.

33.b4 Rc8 34.e4 This loses another Pawn.

34...Nxb4 35.Rb1 Bxd5 36.Rxb4 Bc4 The rest is easy technique...

37.Rb7 Rc5 38.Kf4 Rxa5 39.e5 Ra2 40.Rc7 Bb5 and White resigned. 0–1

Source: http://lubbockonline.com
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A fond farewell to the graduating Texas Tech Knight Raiders

A fond farewell to the graduating Texas Tech Knight Raiders
August 21, 2010 - 11:03pm

On behalf of Texas Tech and SPICE, I would like to congratulate International Master Gergely Antal (economics undergrad — A team), International Master Gabor Papp (finance undergrad — A team), Stephanie Ballom (psychology graduate — women’s team and former president of the Knight Raiders Chess Club), and Konstantin Parkhomenko (law — B team and former president of the Knight Raiders Chess Club) for completing their studies at Texas Tech.

They are all excellent students and they have contributed greatly to the development of chess at Texas Tech and the Lubbock community. I wish all of them the best in their future endeavors.

Texas Tech will once again have one of the top chess teams in the country this year with 17 students. In just our second full recruiting season, the Knight Raiders will have three grandmasters and one international master to anchor the A team, as well as many other excellent players. Most importantly, they are good students who will make tremendous positive impact for Tech and Lubbock.

I expect the Knight Raiders to make the Final Four for the second consecutive year. I believe we will have a fair chance to challenge other chess programs from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, UT Dallas, UT Brownsville, UT Austin, NY University, Stanford, Miami Dade, Princeton, Yale, University of Toronto, etc., for the national title in the upcoming season.

Here is the full article.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

2010 SPICE Cup FIDE Rated Open

SPICE Cup FIDE Rated Open
November 5-7

Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX
806-742-7742 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 806-742-7742 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

6SS, G/90 with 30 second increment.
One Section $2,000 based on 40 paid entries: $1000-$500-250-150-100
Open to all FIDE rated players and USCF 1600 and higher

Limit to the first 50 registrants!

Reg: 9-10:30am 11/5.
Rounds: 11/5 11am and 4pm
11/6 10 am and 3 pm
11/7 9 am and 2 pm
No byes in the final 2 rounds.

Entry Fees: US players with FIDE rating $50 / without FIDE rating $75 if rec'd by November 2. $25 more on site.
Titled players and foreign FIDE rated players free, $50 deducted from prize.

Check payable to:
Texas Tech SPICE
6923 Indiana Avenue (Suite 154)
Lubbock, TX 79413

Players in the SPICE Cup FIDE Rated Open will have a chance to play alongside with the players in the SPICE Cup Invitational A and B Group in the final 3 days!


SPICE Cup Invitational A & B Group

The 2010 SPICE Cup will take place on Thursday, October 28 - Sunday, November 7 at the beautiful campus of Texas Tech University. This prestigious event is growing bigger every year. It is expected to be the highest rated international invitational tournament in U.S. history to date.

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

Confirmed players:

GM Zoltan Almasi (HUN) 2717 (#2 in Hungary)
GM Alexander Onischuk (USA) 2701 (#3 in the U.S., former U.S. Champion)
GM Wesley So (Philippines) 2674 (#1 in the Philippines)
GM Georg Meier (Germany) 2648 (#2 in Germany)
GM Ray Robson (USA) 2562 (Youngest American GM in history)
GM Eugene Perelshteyn (USA) 2523 (winner of 2007 SPICE Cup)

The format of the A group will once again be a 6-player DRR (category 16) event. The average FIDE rating of the A group is 2637.5.

More than 30 GMs inquired about an invitation for the final spot in the A group. I wish I have enough space to invite everyone. Unfortunately, it is not possible. But I am working on getting more sponsors to expand the event in future years.

The B group will be a 10-player (category 10-11) RR event. The players confirmed for B group so far is GM Kuljasevic (2551), GM Finegold (2530), U.S. Women's Champion IM Krush (2476), IM Ippolito (2458), IM Rensch (2404), FM Yang (2396), and 4 more have been tentatively confirmed.
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The International Appeal of Chess

Sometimes I am amazed to be reminded of how global the game of chess is. Below is a sample list of cities and countries which chess fans visited my site (www.ChessDailyNews.com) in the past 10 minutes or so. Chess fans from over 125 countries are frequent visitors there every week. Absolutely amazing!

City Region Country Name

Boston Massachusetts United States
Jaroslaw Podkarpackie Poland
Cebu Cebu City Philippines
Loganville Georgia United States
Clinton Township Michigan United States
Orange California United States
Providence Rhode Island United States
Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
Budapest Budapest Hungary
Stavanger Rogaland Norway
Oslo Oslo Norway
Edmonton Alberta Canada
Manchester Manchester United Kingdom
Löddeköpinge Skane Lan Sweden
Taipei T'ai-pei Taiwan
Paris Ile-de-france France
Andover Massachusetts United States
Rehovot Hamerkaz Israel
Glen Allen Virginia United States
Torreón Coahuila De Zaragoza Mexico
Albuquerque New Mexico United States
Concord California United States
Haldwani Uttarakhand India
Berlin Berlin Germany
Sandnessjøen Nordland Norway
Fairfield Texas United States
Råde Ostfold Norway
Newburgh Indiana United States
High Wycombe Buckinghamshire United Kingdom
Kelowna British Columbia Canada
Saint Louis Missouri United States
Tehran Esfahan Iran, Islamic Republic Of
Ruda Slaska Slaskie Poland
Odense Fyn Denmark
Nice Provence-alpes-cote D'azur France
Portland Oregon United States
Dearborn Michigan United States
Muurame Western Finland Finland
Dallas Texas United States
New Delhi Delhi India
Ashburn Virginia United States
Melville New York United States
Iligan Iligan Philippines
Nuremberg Bayern Germany
Guelph Ontario Canada
Burke Virginia United States
Helsinki Southern Finland Finland
Daux Midi-pyrenees France
Sandvika Akershus Norway
Copenhagen Staden Kobenhavn Denmark
Fort Washington Maryland United States
Cleveland Ohio United States
London London United Kingdom
Frankfurt Am Main Hessen Germany
ålesund More Og Romsdal Norway
Haifa Hefa Israel
Pittston Pennsylvania United States
Reseda California United States
Macclesfield Cheshire United Kingdom
Cardiff Cardiff United Kingdom
San Francisco California United States
Los Angeles California United States
Philadelphia Pennsylvania United States
Hamburg Hamburg Germany
Montreal Quebec Canada
Baltimore Maryland United States
Bagneux Ile-de-france France
Lubbock Texas United States
Amsterdam Noord-holland Netherlands
Vineyard Haven Massachusetts United States
Dubai Dubai United Arab Emirates
Jacksonville Florida United States
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Grandmaster Experiment

The Grandmaster Experiment
The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. Yet in the ultra-elite ranks of chess, a woman who can hold her own is the rarest of creatures. How, then, did one family produce three of the most successful female chess champions ever?
By Carlin Flora, last reviewed on September 23, 2008

The world's first female grandmaster was ready to deliver her regular Thursday-night lecture. Susan Polgar was perfumed, coiffed, made-up and dressed in a sleek black pantsuit, an elegant contrast to the boys and young men hunched over their boards in her Queens, New York, chess club. "I have a special treat," Susan, 36, announced in her gentle Hungarian accent. "Tonight, everyone will get to play me." Blitz chess it was—each opponent received five minutes on his clock to Susan's one. She first sat across from a young Serbian man. The two began slamming pieces and punching down their side of the clock, creating a percussive sound track to their lightning-fast moves. Susan beat him with a good 30 seconds to spare. He shook his head and avoided her eyes. A retired bartender and a 14-year-old boy succumbed almost as quickly. A reluctant 9-year-old suffering from an allergy attack was then coaxed to step up to the challenge. "Don't worry about your eyes—everybody loses to her anyway," his mom said helpfully. The boy's minutes slipped away to inevitable loss. "Once you have a winning position," Susan said, "play with your hands, not your head. Trust your intuition."

When Susan was the age of many of her students, she dominated the New York Open chess competition. At 16 she crushed several adult opponents and landed on the front page of The New York Times. The tournament was abuzz not just with the spectacle of one pretty young powerhouse: Susan's raven-haired sister Sophia, 11, swept most of the games in her section, too. But the pudgy baby of the family, 9-year-old Judit, drew the most gawkers of all. To onlookers' delight, Judit took on five players simultaneously and beat them. She played blindfolded.

In 1991, when Susan was 21, she became the first woman ever to earn the designation Grandmaster, the World Chess Federation's title for top-ranked players. Judit picked up the honor the same year, at age 15. She was a few months younger than Bobby Fischer was when he won the title.

Judit, who is now the top-ranked woman and eighth overall player in the world, would go on to win a match in 2002 against reigning champion Garry Kasparov, who has said that "women by nature are not exceptional chess players." But the Polgar sisters may be the exceptions that prove Kasparov's point: Only 11 out of the world's about 950 grandmasters, including Susan and Judit, are female. The sisters' saga may cast light on the knotty question of why so few women are elite performers in math and the hard sciences. But in the Polgars' case, a unique upbringing and the idiosyncrasies of chess itself further complicate the picture.

Judit, Susan and Sophia grew up in a veritable chess cocoon spun by their father, Laszlo, the intellectual equivalent of Serena and Venus Williams' autocratic tennis dad, Richard. Some people consider Laszlo's role in shaping his daughters' careers to be absolute; others call it a happy coincidence. Raw talent and a childhood with all the advantages account for success in many fields, and chess is no exception. But the paths Susan, Judit and Sophia took as adults illuminate many intangibles in the achievement equation. An aggressive streak, birth order, a chance encounter that leads to a marriage on the other side of the world—these factors and changes of fortune are just as critical in determining whether a person rises to the top of his or her game.

Forty years ago, Laszlo Polgar, a Hungarian psychologist, conducted an epistolary courtship with a Ukrainian foreign language teacher named Klara. His letters to her weren't filled with reflections on her cherubic beauty or vows of eternal love. Instead, they detailed a pedagogical experiment he was bent on carrying out with his future progeny. After studying the biographies of hundreds of great intellectuals, he had identified a common theme—early and intensive specialization in a particular subject. Laszlo thought the public school system could be relied upon to produce mediocre minds. In contrast, he believed he could turn any healthy child into a prodigy. He had already published a book on the subject, Bring Up Genius!, and he needed a wife willing to jump on board.

Laszlo's grandiose plan impressed Klara, and the two were soon married. In 1973, when she was barely 4 years old, Susan, their rather hyperactive firstborn, found a chess set while rummaging through a cabinet. Klara, who didn't know a single rule of the ancient game, was delighted to find Susan quietly absorbed in the strange figurines and promised that Laszlo would teach her the game that evening.

Chess, the Polgars decided, was the perfect activity for their protogenius: It was an art, a science, and like competitive athletics, yielded objective results that could be measured over time. Never mind that less than 1 percent of top chess players were women. If innate talent was irrelevant to Laszlo's theory, so, then, was a child's gender. "My father is a visionary," Susan says. "He always thinks big, and he thinks people can do a lot more than they actually do."

Six months later, Susan toddled into Budapest's smoke-filled chess club. Aged men sat in pairs, sliding bishops, slapping down pawns and yelling out bets on their matches. "I don't know who was more surprised, me or them," she recalls. One of the regulars laughed when he was asked to give the little girl a game. Susan soon extended her tiny hand across the board for a sportsmanlike victory shake. It was an ego-crushing gesture. Soon thereafter, she dominated the city's girls-under-age-11 tournament with a perfect score.

In 1974 Susan was in the middle of a chess lesson when Laszlo received the call that Klara had given birth to another daughter, Sophia. Just 21 months later, Judit was born. As soon as they were old enough to feel the pain of parental exclusion, the younger girls peeked through a small window into the room where their father taught Susan chess for hours each day. Laszlo seized upon their curiosity. They could come in and watch, he told them, but only if they also learned the game. With that, Laszlo gained two additional subjects.

Laszlo battled Hungarian authorities for permission to homeschool his children, and he and Klara then taught them German, English and high-level math. (All three are multilingual; Susan speaks seven languages, including Esperanto, fluently.) They swam occasionally and played Ping-Pong, and a 20-minute breather just for joke telling was penciled in each day. But their world was largely mapped onto the 64 squares of the chessboard. "My dad believed in optimizing early childhood instead of wasting time playing outside or watching TV," Susan says.

Laszlo believed that the girls' achievement in chess would bring them not only success. More importantly, it would make them happy. Klara took care of the pragmatic aspects of her family's intense home-life, and in later years, coordinated their travels to tournaments in 40 countries. "They complemented each other perfectly," says Susan. Laszlo initiated the great plans, but, as Klara said, "I am always part of the realization. The thread follows the needle. I am the thread."

The brain has three tasks to carry out when contemplating a chessboard. It must comprehend the rules, as each piece moves according to its own powers and restraints. Then it must analyze potential moves, which involves envisioning different configurations on the board. Lastly, it must decide which move is most advantageous. Here the game requires critical thinking in the visual-spatial realm. Visual-spatial processing is the single biggest ability gap between men and women—the glimmer of truth behind the stereotype of men-as-road-trip-aces who deftly follow maps and fit the luggage into the car. The visual-spatial processing center is located in the right side of the brain; among elite chess players (Kasparov included), there is a much higher proportion of left-handers, who have dominant right brains, than chance would predict.

Testosterone accelerates development of the right brain and may slow development of the left side. But the effects aren't binary: Regardless of its sex, each brain falls on a continuum between "male" and "female" extremes in an array of traits. Furthermore, the neural pathways that allow for chess's cognitive pyrotechnics develop in response to environmental influences and are most malleable in young children. Estrogen, in fact, enables neural plasticity—women tend to recover better from strokes than men, for example—and the hormone primes women for neural growth and change, points out neuropsychiatrist Mona Lisa Schulz, author of The New Feminine Brain. By teaching his daughters chess at a young age, Laszlo essentially molded their brains, enriching their visual-spatial centers and closing any gap that gender may have broached.

Gender differences do emerge, however, in the way kids look at chess. "Girls can learn how to play just as well as boys," Susan says. "But they often approach the game differently. Girls would rather solve chess puzzles than play against one of their friends," she says. Boys will always choose to compete.

These orientations can long influence a player's style, says Paul Truong, captain of the U.S. Women's Olympiad chess team and coauthor of Susan's forthcoming book, Breaking Through: How the Polgar Sisters Changed the Game of Chess. "When I play Susan," he says, "I look for the quickest, most brute force way to win—even if it's a very typical checkmate. She looks for a more elegant, unusual way." As a teacher, Susan indulges girls' preference for conflict-free mental challenges and supports sex-segregated events for beginners. There are so few girls in attendance at national coed tournaments, she says, that their self-consciousness often squashes their enthusiasm for the game.

Susan's feminine touch is apparent at her club, where tea and cakes are served to the mostly male members. "It's rare to have someone of Susan's stature interacting with amateurs like us. You wouldn't see Kasparov sitting here, talking to a normal person," notes Ruth Arluck, a retired teacher. Truong agrees. "Susan even insisted on wooden instead of plastic chess pieces. It takes a woman to notice these things," he says.

Here is the full article.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 10 women players in the world

Active list:

1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2682 0 1976
2 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2600 11 1987
3 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2577 36 1994
4 Kosintseva, Tatiana g RUS 2562 11 1986
5 Stefanova, Antoaneta g BUL 2560 0 1979 (Former women's world champion)
6 Kosintseva, Nadezhda m RUS 2551 10 1985
7 Lahno, Kateryna g UKR 2535 4 1989
8 Muzychuk, Anna m SLO 2527 21 1990
9 Cmilyte, Viktorija m LTU 2527 7 1983
10 Sebag, Marie g FRA 2519 7 1986

Complete list

3. Polgar, Susan USA/HUN 2577 1969 (Former women's world champion and Olympiad Champion)
5. Xie, Jun CHI 2574 1970
(Former women's world champion and Olympiad Champion)
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Monday, August 16, 2010

A look back: Clash of the Titans

Click on the play button above to listen to the NPR interview

September 10, 2004 The small Kansas town of Lindsborg (pop. 3,200) is home to the World Champion Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess. Next weekend, two world champions of chess, Karpov and Susan Polgar, will meet in the town to play in a tournament billed as the "Clash of the Titans." NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Mikhail Korenman, director of the chess school, about the town's connection to world-caliber chess champions.


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Sunday, August 15, 2010

SPICE/Knight Raiders chess teams see many accomplishments

SPICE/Knight Raiders chess teams see many accomplishments
Posted: August 15, 2010 - 12:13am

• August 2010
Knight Raiders A team member Gergely Antal (senior economics major) finished second at the College Tournament of Champions, the most prestigious national collegiate individual chess championship in the U.S. He won the same event in 2009.

•July 2010
Knight Raiders women’s team member Rebecca Lelko (freshman math major) won the seventh annual Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational Rapid Championship, the most prestigious all-girls national event.

•July 2010
SPICE and Texas Tech hosted the annual Susan Polgar Girls Invitational for the third straight year. This is the most prestigious all-girls national chess event.

•July 2010
Susan Polgar was named the Ambassador for Norway’s bid for the 41st Chess Olympiad to be held in 2014.

•June 2010
Knight Raiders A team member Davorin Kuljasevic (graduate finance student) became the first Knight Raider in school history to earn the Grandmaster title, the highest title in chess. There are only about 1,000 Grandmasters worldwide.

•June 2010
Knight Raiders A team member Gabor Papp (senior finance major) earned his second Grandmaster norm. He needs one more norm to earn the Grandmaster title, the highest title in chess.

•May 2010
Knight Raiders A team member Davorin Kuljasevic (graduate finance student) won the Croatia Cup as part of the Mladost Zagreb team. This is the most prestigious team championship in Croatia.

•April 2010
The 13 active members of the A team, B team and women’s team gained nearly 1,100 rating points in just this short time! That is an average improvement of nearly 90 rating points per player. This success is a direct result of the world-class chess training program of SPICE at Texas Tech.

•April 2010
The Knight Raiders A team qualified for the Final Four in its first year. In spite of being the lowest seed by quite a big margin, the team finished third in the country. No school has ever made the Final Four in its first attempt before. Susan Polgar became the first-ever female head coach in collegiate chess to lead a men’s team to the Final Four.

•March 2010
SPICE and Texas Tech hosted the second annual SPICE Spring Invitational, the second-highest rated International Invitational Chess Tournament in the U.S., in 2010, only behind the SPICE Cup. Knight Raider Gergely Antal finished in a tie for second. Thirteen-year-old Darwin Yang from Plano earned his first International Master norm in this event. This event was covered by many local TV stations and newspapers, and the news reached out to more than 160 countries worldwide.

•March 2010
Members of the Knight Raiders chess teams captured the top five places at the annual Lubbock Open Championship, the most important annual local chess tournament in Lubbock. Gergely Antal finished first, Chase Watters and Rebecca Lelko tied for second and third, while Joshua Osbourn and Brian Cassidy tied for fourth.

•February 2010
SPICE was featured as a part of the Texas Tech 2010–20 Strategic Plan.

•January 2010
Knight Raider Brian Cassidy tied for first at the fourth “Get Smart! Play Chess!” Winter Chess Championship in Lubbock.

•December 2009
The Knight Raiders A team tied for second place in Division I competition at the 2009 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship held Dec. 27-30 on South Padre Island, and therefore qualified for the College Final Four. This is the most prestigious national collegiate team chess event in the U.S. It is the first time that Texas Tech has sent an A team.

Davorin Kuljasevic and Gergely Antal won the national individual honors as top performers on board 1 and 3, respectively. Gabor Papp finished second for top performers on board 2.

The Knight Raiders B team won first place in Division IV competition at the same Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.

•November 2009
The Knight Raiders A Team (Gergely Antal, Davorin Kuljasevic, Gabor Papp and Chase Watters) captured the Texas State Collegiate Chess Championship team title in Houston. This is the first time Texas Tech has sent an A team to the state championship.

The Knight Raiders A Team members Gergely Antal and Davorin Kuljasevic captured first and second place, respectively, at the Texas Tech State Collegiate Chess Championship individual competition in Houston.

The Knight Raiders B Team (Zach Haskin, Josh Osbourn, Rebecca Lelko, Brett James, and Ananya Roy) captured third place at the same Texas State Collegiate Chess Championship.

•October 2009
SPICE and Texas Tech hosted the prestigious 3rd annual SPICE Cup, the highest-rated international invitational tournament in U.S. history. The event was held at the Student Union Building. The news of the event reached more than 160 countries worldwide.

The Knight Raiders and SPICE broke a world record for an officially rated chess tournament at the lowest point on earth, at the bottom of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Knight Raiders A Team members Gergely Antal and Gabor Papp tied for first and second place.

•September 2009
Knight Raiders A Team member Gergely Antal captured the prestigious 75th Annual Southwest Open title in Fort Worth with 245 players. Teammate Davorin Kuljasevic finished second in the same event.

•August 2009
Knight Raiders A Team member Gergely Antal captured the 2009 College Tournament of Champions in Indianapolis, the most prestigious national collegiate individual chess championship in the U.S.

Source: http://lubbockonline.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An amazing performance by a 10 year old

Strategic behavior across gender: Men play more aggressively against women

Artwork by Mike Magnan

Strategic behavior across gender: A comparison of female and male expert chess players
By Patrik Gränsmark

With the tremendous development of the database software in the last decade, chess has become one of the most documented games or sports in the world. To have access to such a rich database is a dream for any scientist whose research relies on statistics. Scientists are not only interested in the data per se but also in the fact that expert chess players constitute a very interesting group of people, not least because chess is associated with intelligence and expertise. One field of research analyzing chess data is economics where concepts as risk behavior and strategic aggressiveness are studied.

When we compete in sports, games or the working life, we try to increase our winning probabilities by adopting suitable strategies. In tennis, football, poker and chess, to mention but a few, certain situations require certain degree of aggressiveness. This also applies to a wage bargaining situation where we must find an optimal level of aggressiveness. If we demand too low a wage we signal that our skills are not particularly high. On the other hand, if we ask for a wage far above the market wage, we signal that we are not very realistic. In tennis, for instance, we can choose to adopt a more aggressive style which will lead to more forced wins but also to more unforced errors. Whether it is better to adopt a cautious strategy with few unforced errors or a more aggressive but also riskier strategy depends on the situation and particularly, on the characteristics of the opponent. It is clear that people differ in their preference for risk as some people like to “gamble” while others prefer to play “safe”. The concept of risk preferences has become a hot issue in economics, not least because our risk behavior directly affects how we choose to invest our savings. Should we choose a safe bank account with a low interest rate or invest in the stock market with higher expected payoff but to a higher risk of losing?

One of the most debated topics within the study of risk behavior is if there are gender differences in risk preferences. More specifically, the question is whether men take more risks than women. If there are differences in risk preferences between men and women, this would affect, for example, savings for retirement which would lead to different future pensions for men and women. The current consensus within economics is that men do prefer more risk than women. However, whether these differences are cultural or genetic remains to be shown.

In a recent study, carried out at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University, chess data is being used to address the question of whether there are gender differences in risk behavior and strategic aggressiveness.

Here is the full article on ChessBase.
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Monday, August 09, 2010

Tori Whatley bests previous Polgar finish

Tori Whatley bests previous Polgar finish
posted August 4, 2010

LUBBOCK, Texas – Having been placed among the best scholastic chess players the nation has to offer, Edgefield County standout Tori Whatley proved she had the right moves for the competition. Due to a stronger rating this time around, Tori started higher in the order at the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational Chess Tournament, held on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

And from the outset she was in the middle of the fray, fighting stronger opponents than she did in her previous appearance at this event two years ago. Playing conservatively, she managed to advance South Carolina, and herself, to a 33rd place finish, surpassing her old benchmark by 5 positions.

“Tori and I had a wonderful time (in Texas) and we really appreciate all the community has done for us,” David said of the local support they had received.

Three rounds were played on Thursday, July 29th.

Round 1 found Tori paired against the strongest player she would face at the event, Rachel Ulrich, from Illinois. In a very tactical game, Rachel edged out the S.C. champ just prior to being checkmated herself. In Round 2, Louisiana’s Amelia Wyzywany came out aggressively and defeated Tori soundly, never really allowing her into the game. Emily Hasch from Kansas would find herself matched with the determined South Carolinian in Round 3. Both players were unwilling to give in and the match would end in a draw.

The following day, the final three rounds were played.

Round 4 had Tori playing a stronger Selena Wong from California. This match was close all the way through; however, strong end game tactics put the game in Tori’s win column. Minna Wang from Utah put up a fight in Round 5, but in the end, Tori would deny the more experienced player the win, and they would split the point in a draw. The final round found Tori facing Arizona’s champ, Aiya Cancio. Tori battled this very strong player fiercely, but Aiya was ultimately able to promote a pawn and win the game.

On the first day of camp, the guests were given a preview of what would be covered over the next three days of instruction. International Grandmaster Susan Polgar and her husband, National Master Paul Truong, who coached the 2004 Women’s Olympic Chess Team, covered their plan of action, specifically designed to enhance the playing ability and enjoyment of chess for girls. The following days would find the girls in intense classes that would open their eyes to new ways to see and sense activity on the board. They would learn to trust their instincts, the dynamic and static advantages and disadvantages that occur in every game. They would practice their visualization skills, closing their eyes and playing several moves ahead in their minds, responding to moves by their instructor.

In all, memory, perception, and fundamental tactical skills were sharpened and honed.

There were other chess related activities such as the bughouse tournament in which Tori was teamed up with Katie Abderhalden of Idaho. Nicknaming their team the “Typos” (both girls have problems with people misspelling their names), the pair managed a couple of points finishing 17th. Tori also participated in the Blitz tournament were each player is allowed only 5 minutes on their clock. She finished 30th in this event. The puzzle-solving championship found Tori with a solid 20th place performance as she solved 7 out of 10 difficult puzzles in 30 minutes flat.

But while the chess was hard-fought, there was also time for seeing the sights.

Other activities included swimming at the campus’s new lazy river and mini water park, group dancing with a professional dance instructor provided by Susan and Paul.

Maureen Grimaud, the wife of S.C. Chess Association president, David Grimaud traveled to the event to support Tori and Susan. At the closing ceremony she applauded Susan’s commitment to the girls and Texas Tech’s commitment to the event and presented Susan with a congratulatory cake that was shared with all.

Maureen invited Susan, Paul, Tournament Director Bob Jones, Counselor Julie Jones, SPICE coordinator Peggy Flores, Paul Truong Jr., Tori and David Whatley to a post tournament dinner where discussions turned toward next years event.

Tori and David offered their thoughts on the new format and recommendations for future events. The ideas were well-received and will most probably be implemented next year.

Letter from Senator DeMint – Tori and David arrived home to find a letter from Senator Jim DeMint commending her for her hard work and dedication to school and the game of chess.

Signed board – Tori took a silver Sharpie and a chess board for all of the girls to sign. This is a very cool memento.

Tori finds Susan inspirational. Tori finds Susan’s fight to the top, breaking the gender barrier in high-level chess, and her steadfast dedication to girls chess very inspirational.

Masked Rider – The Texas Tech mascot “Masked Rider” was on hand for pictures with the girls.

Buddy Holly - Before leaving town, Tori and her dad visited the gravesite of legendary rocker, Buddy Holly. In keeping with local tradition they placed a guitar pick on the headstone. The Citizen News was there too!

Tori’s Best Friend - Tori requested and received permission to room with her friend Crystal Qain from Arkansas. These two were inseparable two years ago. Crystal had won Miss Congeniality in 2008, and is a fun-loving girl!

Local Support – Team Whatley was sponsored locally by Windsor Jewelers, Monterrey's Mexican Restaurant, The Citizen News, Field's Insurance, Petal Pushers, C&M Repair, Cash Ready ATM, Whatley Construction and Cohn's Concessions.

The Citizen News contributed to this report.

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Sunday, August 01, 2010

New SPGI Committee Chairwoman

Martha is in the white shirt on the right side of the picture

The annual SPGI (formerly known as SPNI) had a brand new format this year. In addition to the puzzle solving, blitz, bughouse and the main event, all participants received more than 4 days of intense chess training, based on a system designed by me specifically for girls. As I mentioned many times in the past, girls approach chess very differently than boys and this new training method will no doubt revolutionize girl's chess in America for years to come.

This new format is overwhelmingly favored by the participants and their parents / coaches according to the survey given at the end of this year's SPGI. The 2011 SPGI will have a similar format. The only major change is the training will be reduced to 3 days and the 3 day main event will have much longer time control.

I am also happy to announce that the SPGI Committee has a brand new chairwoman. Her name is Martha Underwood from Arizona. She teaches at Arizona State University and she is also a devoted Chess Mom. The previous chair was Mr. Dewain Barber, who co-founded the event with me back in 2003. Mr. Barber has retired after dedicating decades of his life to scholastic chess.

I feel that it is important to have a new Chairwoman who understands and possesses a strong passion for scholastic / girl's chess, and has no personal / political agenda (just as Mr. Barber). Martha always puts the best interest of the kids first. She is a devoted Chess Mom who has attended numerous scholastic chess events of all sizes. Her first hand knowledge in many aspects of scholastic / girl's chess will help the SPGI grow to a whole new level.

Thank you Dewain for your wisdom and service to help our young players. Thank you Martha for volunteering to make scholastic / girl's chess stronger and better.
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SPGI 2010 Championship Game Video

Champions crowned at the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational

Champions crowned at the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational
Posted: July 31, 2010 - 11:30pm

Three of the competitions at the seventh annual Susan Polgar Girls Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls chess championship in the United States, have concluded. The last one will finish shortly and I will report about it next week. This prominent national championship brought nearly 45 of the most talented young female chess players to Lubbock this year.

Each state can nominate one talented young female chess player, the top 18-year-old or younger from the state. Thousands of girls compete annually in local, state, regional, national and world events to earn the esteemed invitations to Texas Tech.

There are a total of three individual championships:

• The SP Girls Invitational Puzzle Solving Championship
• The SP Girls Invitational Blitz Championship
• The SP Girls Invitational Rapid Championship

The player with the highest combined score in the Puzzle Solving, Blitz and Rapid will be crowned the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational Grand Champion. Co-champions are recognized in the case of a tie. The Grand Champion (or Co-Champions) will automatically be invited to defend her/their title if she/they meet the age requirement.

Daily updates of this event are available at www.ChessDailyNews.com and www.TexasTechChess.blogspot.com.

Here are the results:

2010 SP Girls Invitational Puzzle Solving Championship

July 26

Final standings:

1. Anu Bayar 10 / 10 in 12 minutes (Anu Bayar just applied to come to Texas Tech. She plans to major in math.)

2. Taylor McCreary 10 /10 in 16 minutes

3. Brianna Conley 10 /10 in 29 minutes

4. Rebecca Deland 10 /10 in 30 minutes

5. Agata Bykovtsev 9 - 10

6. Shayna Provine 9 - 15

7. Alexandra Wiener 9 - 22

8. Devina Devagharan 8.5 - 26

9. Kristen Sarna 8 - 18

10. Emily Nguyen 8 - 19

11. Sayaka Foley 8 - 19.5

12. Katie Abderhalden 8 - 30

13. Minna Wang 8 - 30

14. Annastasia Wyzywany 8 - 30

15. Rachel Ulrich 8 - 30

16. Rebekah Liu 7.5 - 28

17. Chrystal Qian 7 - 12

18. Victoria Bian 7 - 16

19. Maggie Feng 7 - 19

20. Tori Whatley 7 - 30

21. Selena Wong 7 - 30.1

22. Emily Hasch 7 - 30.2

23. Alexandra Timofte 7 - 30.2

24. Mandy Lu 6 - 15.5

25. Helen Lou 6 - 30.05

26. Bethany Carson 6 - 30.07

27. Estella Wong 6 - 30.13

28. Susanna Ulrich 6 - 30.15

29. Charity Carson 6 - 30.17

30. Clarissa Abella 5.5 - 29

31. Aiya Cancio 5 - 30.06

32. Sydney Morris 5 - 30.08

33. Amelia Wyzywany 5 - 30.09

34. Isabel James 5 - 30.11

35. Sadia Qureshi 5 - 30.12

36. Hannah Cheng 5 - 30.14

37. Bernadette Perez 4 - 30

38. Anna Lee 2 – 30.01

39. Jacinda Lee 1 - 30

2010 SP Girls Invitational Blitz Championship

July 29

Final standings:

1. Anu Bayar 2099 6.0 points in 6 games

2-3. Taylor McCreary 1697 5.0

2-3. Victoria Bian 1577 5.0

4-6. Julia Jones 1749 4.5

4-6. Rebekah Liu 1724 4.5

4-6. Maggie Feng 1579 4.5

7-11. Agata Bykovtsev 1790 4.0

7-11. Sayaka Foley 1731 4.0

7-11. Alexandra Wiener 1629 4.0

7-11. Mandy Lu 1595 4.0

7-11. Devina Devagharan 1561 4.0

12-17. Rebecca Lelko 1855 3.5

12-17. Katie Abderhalden 1729 3.5

12-17. Brianna Conley 1583 3.5

12-17. Shayna Provine 1502 3.5

12-17. Bethany Carson 1316 3.5

12-17. Charity Carson 918 3.5

18-25. Rachel Ulrich 1513 3.0

18-25. Emily Nguyen 1515 3.0

18-25. Annastasia Wyzywany 1474 3.0

18-25. Clarisa Abella 1458 3.0

18-25. Kristen Sarna 1421 3.0

18-25. Alexandra Timofte 1151 3.0

18-25. Susie Ulrich 899 3.0

18-25. Emily Hasch 785 3.0

26-30. Sadia Qureshi 1346 2.5

26-30. Rebecca Deland 1254 2.5

26-30. Helen Lou 1176 2.5

26-30. Crystal Qian 1016 2.5

26-30. Tori Whatley 1004 2.5

31-38. Amelia Wyzywany 1283 2.0

31-38. Sydney Morris 1155 2.0

31-38. Aiya Cancio 1120 2.0

31-38. Minna Wang 1108 2.0

31-38. Isabel James 1079 2.0

31-38. Selena Wong 890 2.0

31-38. Estella Wong 720 2.0

31-38. Jacinda Lee 485 2.0

39-41. Bernadette Perez 1024 1.0

39-41. Anna Lee 468 1.0

39-41. Hannah Cheng 234 1.0

2010 SP Girls Invitational (Parents, Coaches, and Sibling) Blitz Championship

July 29

Final standings:

1-3. Vlad Timofte 4 / 5

1-3. Tony Wong 4 / 5

1-3. Lawrence Wong 4 / 5

4-7. Zach Cancio 3 / 5

4-7. Paul Michel Truong 3 / 5

4-7. Angelito Abella 3 / 5

4-7. Danie Carson 3 / 5

8-10. Angie Abderhalden 2

8-10. Tim Carson 2

8-10. Kumari Nallakumar 2

11. Martha Underwood 1

12. David Whatley 0

2010 SP Girls Invitational Team Bughouse Championship

July 26

Final standings:

1. Purple People 4.0

2. The Chess Players 4.0

3. Emu 4.0

4. 2000 4.0

5. The Wreckers 3.0

6. Smiley Penguiney 3.0

7. The Chess Girls 3.0

8. The Perfect Squares 3.0

9. Carson Sisters 3.0

10. The Bishops 3.0

11. The Yellow Jackets 2.0

12. Purple Eye Liner 2.0

13. Sunny 2.0

14. Pillowy 2.0

15. Chessmare 2.0

16. Knightmare 2.0

17. Typos 1400 2.0

18. The Twins 1.0

19. Cornerstone 1.0

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