Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Are men smarter than women?

Q Are there any women chess masters?—David Zwerling, Portland, Ore.

A While men dominated the game for centuries, the same social advances that brought the world a great influx of female athletes in the ’70s also gave us a spate of fresh female faces on the chess scene, such as the amazing Polgar sisters of Hungary—grandmasters Susan, 40, and Judit, 33, and international master Sofia, 34—all of whom have notched significant tournament victories over men.

Source: http://www.parade.com/celebrity/2009/09/personality-parade-80s-teen-stars.html

Here is an older article on Parade Magazine back in July 2005.


Top 50 Smartest People

1 Albert Einstein
2 Bill Gates
3 Marie Curie
4 Stephen Hawking
5 Condoleezza Rice
6 Bill Clinton
7 Sandra Day O'Connor
8 Oprah Winfrey
9 Warren Buffett
10 Jane Goodall
11 Steven Spielberg
12 Dalai Lama
13 Sally Ride
14 George S. Patton Jr.
15 Jon Stewart
16 J.K. Rowling
17 Dr. Phil (McGraw)
18 Ben Carson
19 Susan Polgar
20 Pablo Picasso
21 Rosalyn Yalow
22 Linda Buck
23 Yo-Yo Ma
24 Johnny Carson
25 Georgia O'Keeffe
26 Katharine Graham
27 Mary Matalin
28 James Carville
29 Meryl Streep
30 Sergey Brin
31 Toni Morrison
32 Dr. Ruth (Westheimer)
33 Jackie Chan
34 Quincy Jones
35 Hayao Miyazaki
36 Maya Lin
37 Meg Whitman
38 Edward Albee
39 Pat Summitt
40 Wynton Marsalis
41 Mikhail Baryshnikov
42 Martha Graham
43 Ralph Lauren
44 Bette Davis
45 Antonia Novello
46 Allison Fisher
47 Frank Gehry
48 Mike Nichols
49 Annie Duke
50 Annika Sorenstam

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vote for Dana

Dana (an excellent chess player) has been nominated by the Salem Statesman-Journal newspaper for high school athlete of the week for softball.

Last week, in a tournament at Medford, she went three for four with a double, single, walk and a 2-run home run against Nyree White, a member of USA Softball’s Junior Women’s National Team. White, a senior, has signed to play softball for Stanford.

Please follow this link to vote for Dana; it takes just a few moments: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110328/PREPSSPORTS/110328012

Thank you for your support!
Eric Hannibal

Friday, March 25, 2011

8th Annual Susan Polgar Girl's Invitational

Rules and Conditions for the 8th Annual Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational (SPGI)
July 24 – 29, 2011 at Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, Texas

Over $120,000 in chess scholarships, chess prizes, netbook computers, etc.

The annual Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States, will be held at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The opening ceremony will be at 1:00 PM on July 24. The format this year is similar to 2010.

• There will be a three (3) day intense world class training sessions with Susan Polgar and her team, followed by a 6 round (g/60) championship tournament.
• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.
• There will be many chess prizes awarded, including scholarship(s) to Texas Tech University.

Each state is allowed one representative. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than June 15. (Susan Polgar and/or the new Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the new Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com) may allow exceptions to the June 1 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state.

Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are under the age of 19 on July 29th of the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended college on a full time basis prior to June 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, are eligible to represent the state in which they reside.

Exception: If a player graduates from high school early and is already attending college, she may still represent her state if nominated. This is the decision of each state affiliate.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The participants of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational DO NOT have to be high school students. Any qualifier under the age of 19 (by July 29th of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

Players are required to furnish the organizer an emergency phone number and the e-mail address of a parent/guardian. There is no fee to participate in the 2011 SPGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel, room and meal expenses. If players choose to stay and/or dine on TTU’s campus, inexpensive accommodations are available. Please note that all reservations and registrations MUST be made (and accommodation expenses prepaid) no later than June 25, 2010.

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, and the SPGI Championship. Co-champions are recognized in the case of a tie, with each champion receiving a Champion’s Plaque or Trophy. The Champion (or Co-Champions) will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement).

Champion: TTU scholarship (equivalent to nearly $40,000 for an out of state student) + netbook computer + Champion's Plaque / Trophy

2nd place: TTU scholarship (equivalent to nearly $40,000 for an out of state student) + additional prizes

3rd place: TTU scholarship (equivalent to nearly $40,000 for an out of state student) + additional prizes

Top under 13: netbook computer
Top under 10: netbook computer

The scholarship must be exercised no later than the Fall of 2013.

The New Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California and two for Texas) and the District of Columbia represented. We strongly encourage each state and the District of Columbia affiliate to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine each state’s champion and representative. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state who has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Polgar Committee as soon as possible (PolgarCommitte@gmail.com).

Special invitation for this year only: All past participants of the SPNI and SPGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational 2004-2010) are invited to participate in the 2011 SPGI. The idea is to have the past participants learn my method of training so they can go back home and share their knowledge with the younger players. However, registration MUST be made ASAP since space is limited. There will be separate prizes for participants over the age of 19.

Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommitte@gmail.com) and its members may elect to award wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational.

Special qualifying events: The Polgar Committee will award automatic qualifying spots to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar National Open for Girls (Arizona).

Contact info: The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-742-7742 or through SusanPolgar@aol.com.

The new SPGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com).

For information and rates to stay and/or dine on TTU’s campus, please send an email to SusanPolgar@aol.com or Peggy.Flores@ttu.edu.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

2011 SP World Open for Girls and Boys

The 2011 SP World Open for Boys and Girls has moved from Las Vegas (in June 2011) to Chicago (in October 2011) per the request of many parents and coaches. I expect this event will be bigger and better than ever! I would like to thank the organizer of the LV Chess Festival for hosting this event in previous years. The North American Chess Association will be the new host this year.

Susan Polgar World Open for Boys and Girls 2011
October 7 – 10, 2011
Doubletree Hotel – Oakbrook, IL

Over $100,000 in Chess Prizes and Scholarships

Register Online Now

7R Swiss System; 8 sections: (K-3), (4-5), (6-8), (9-12)

Time Controls: (K-3) G/30 + 5/sec delay
(4-5) G/45 + 5/sec delay
(6-8) G/45 + 5/sec delay
(9-12) G/60 + 5/sec delay

Round Times: (K-3) Sat/Sun 11am, 1pm, 3pm; Mon 10am
(4-5) Sat/Sun 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm; Mon 10am
(6-8) Sat/Sun 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm; Mon 10am
(9-12) Sat/Sun 11am, 2pm, 5pm; Mon 10am

Side Events: Bughouse – Friday 7:30pm
Puzzle Solving – Saturday 7:30pm
Blitz – Sunday 7:30pm

Ongoing Side Event: Walk-in simul presented by the Chicago Blaze US Chess League team. Done with your game or waiting for your child to finish? Take on a member of the Chicago Blaze between the hours of 12pm and 6pm!

Additional side events to be listed closer to event date. Please check the tournament website for more details.

All equipment will be provided (boards, sets, clocks). Organizer provided equipment must be used. Equipment will be on discounted sale upon tournament completion for school clubs and parents to purchase.

Cajun Chess will be equipment vendor onsite.

All 4th – 12th grade participants who are not a current member of the US Chess Federation will receive a 1-year free membership (no magazine option) included with their tournament entry fee.

All (K-12) participants will receive a free 1-year membership to ChessKid.com (a $49.95 value!)

(Boys and Girls – All sections)

All 4th – 12th grade participants who are not a current member of the US Chess Federation will receive a 1-year free membership (no magazine option) included with their tournament entry fee.

All (K-12) participants will receive a free 1-year membership to ChessKid.com (a $49.95 value!)

1st place: Netbook Computer
2nd place:
$250 in Chess Prizes
3rd place:
$175 in Chess Prizes
4th place:
$100 in Chess Prizes

1st place in 9-12 to receive scholarship to Texas Tech University!

Trophies to top 15 individuals
Trophies to top 4 school teams*
Trophies to top 4 club teams*

Certificate of Participation for all players

Tournament Fees

$45 post-marked by 8/27/2011
$50 post-marked by 9/10/2011
$55 post-marked by 9/24/2011
$60 thereafter and onsite

Side events are each $15 mailed in with entry or $20 on-site

Register Online Now

Payments to be mailed to (payable):

North American Chess Association
4957 Oakton Street Suite 113
Skokie, IL 60077

Questions: sevan@nachess.org
or call 847.423.8626
Mention Polgar Tournament in your message

* Top 4 player scores count toward school team prizes; school team trophies awarded in each section; Top 4 player scores count towards club team prizes; club team trophies awarded overall (not based on sections).

Doubletree Hotel – 1909 Spring Road – Oakbrook, IL 60523 – 630.472.6000
$79 room rate; must call hotel directly and ask for North American Chess rate.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Chess revolution from the slums

Ugandan girl tees up chess revolution from the slums
Written by Xan Rice
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:21

In a church in a Ugandan slum, a girl’s hand thrusts forward and a black bishop falls.

The girl shows no emotion, though she knows the end is near. Striking quickly, the black queen is toppled, and then the king. Only then does she smile.

“You attacked too much,” she tells the boy sitting opposite her, a homemade board between them.

Phiona Mutesi is 15. She has just finished primary school and is still learning to read. Her family is so poor they have been evicted from tiny, rented shacks more times than she can remember.

She is about as far as you could get from the typical chess player in Uganda - doctors, bankers, and their children who attend elite schools.

Yet Mutesi already has a strong claim to be the best female player in the country. Last September she competed in the World Chess Olympiad in Siberia as Uganda’s No 2, the only girl in a team of university students and working women.

On her return she triumphed in the richest and most prestigious local tournament, defeating the country’s top-ranked player along the way.

So unlikely and swift has been her rise - she has had little formal training - that some of Uganda’s chess officials are now whispering that Mutesi may not be being unrealistic when she says in a soft voice: “I want to be grandmaster.”

That is still a long way off. But it may not be as improbable as the achievements that she and the other children of Katwe slum in Kampala have already achieved.

“They’ve caused a chess revolution here,” says Godfrey Gali, general secretary of the Uganda Chess Federation.

Born in 1995 in Katwe, Mutesi was three when her father died. Mutesi’s mother worked hard, rising at 3am to go to the market to buy avocados, eggplants and pumpkins to resell. After one year of primary school, Mutesi was forced to drop out, along with her brothers, and sell boiled maize in the vast slum.

They were just a few of many children in Katwe compelled to work rather than learn - children that Robert Katende, a 28-year-old Ugandan employed by the US charity Sports Outreach Institute, was trying to help.

Realising his football project was not for everyone, Katende decided to teach chess to a few children. Mutesi’s brother was among them. One day she followed him to Agape church, where the games took place.

She was nine at the time.”I had never heard of chess. But I liked how the pieces looked,” she says.

Mutesi was a quick learner. Every night she practiced against her brothers. Within a year, she could beat “Coach Robert”. He was impressed - “I could see how she planned many moves ahead” - but not surprised.

Full article here.
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