Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas and Polgar

Female chess juggernauts compete and befriend

In Out & About
By Johnny Buse, special to the Beacon
1:27 pm on Mon, 07.30.12

As Michelle Chen’s time grew close to expiration last Friday afternoon, her opponent was a few yards away — Alice Dong’s back was turned to the board as she watched a chess game several tables over, one of the few other games still continuing in the final round of the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational chess tournament.

A draw would secure the championship for Chen. Dong needed a win.

Halfway through their game, when the Webster University auditorium was still filled with 48 girls spread out over 24 tables, a draw seemed almost inevitable. In the lobby of the theater, a handful of parents had been casually watching a live stream of the game among chit-chat and small talk.

But a series of suffocating attacks by Dong and a questionable retreat by Chen had upset the balance. With less than 10 minutes left on Chen’s clock, Dong had control over the board — and a likely shot at the first-place finish. The lobby television was surrounded by parents, siblings and three of Webster University’s top-ranked collegiate chess players.

For the past 20 minutes, all of the talk had centered around the championship game.

“She had a chance,” and “She took a C5?” and “Should’ve been a draw! But no — now white wins,” were tossed around the conversation, accompanied by numbers and letters and wry chess humor. One father drew imaginary lines on the screen as others looked on, arms crossed and heads cocked back. Three members of the Webster team — all top-ranked Grandmasters — fielded casual questions from the crowd.

The ninth annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational was the first chess tournament held at Webster University since Polgar moved her powerhouse collegiate team and chess advocacy organization — the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) — from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, to Webster University in suburban St. Louis.

Forty-eight girls, ranging from 6 to 19, competed over six rounds of play for the top-two spots and a $13,000-a-year scholarship award for attendance at Webster University.

“This event has two purposes: One is to give opportunities to the top girls overall, and to motivate them,” Polgar said.

“But for the majority of the girls, you know which half a dozen girls have a realistic chance to win, it’s an opportunity to meet girls from all across the country who … maybe feel singled out as the only girl in the chess club.”

The educational benefits of chess initially drew 14-year-old Annastasia Wyzywany, and her mother, Jill Wyzywany, to the game. When Jill Wyzywany first heard about chess scholarships, her interest in chess grew.

“I’d never heard of anybody getting a scholarship for chess,” she said. “When I saw the amounts, I thought ‘I must be reading this wrong.’”

Scholarships are a relatively new phenomenon in collegiate chess. They first gained traction in the 1990s at a handful of schools. Today, the number of schools offering scholarships is still small, yet two in the St. Louis area — Webster and Lindenwood universities — will roll out scholarship-backed teams this fall.

Polgar hopes that, four years from now, Dong, Chen and Wyzywany will follow through on their scholarship offers at Webster University.

As with any sport, the joy of competition lies at the core of tournaments. With Polgar’s tournament, tradition also plays a role, adding an almost summer camp element to the tournament. For Annastasia and her sister, 13-year-old Amelia Wyzywany, there were two highlights to every year — “Christmas and Polgar,” Wyzywany said.

“Once Christmas rolls around, they start counting down the days and the months to Polgar,” their mother said.

Annastasia and Amelia are still often the only girls at tournaments in the Shreveport, La., area. When they began to learn chess, they were part of a chess club at a local bookstore where they were the only girls and the youngest players in attendance.

For these chess players, the tournament is a time to connect with other players who may lack a network of similar players in their hometowns.

“They’re obsessed with the travel and meeting people they know from all over the country, and sometimes international players as well,” Dr. Martha Underwood said, referring to her daughter.

Even at the tournament, a sense of communality sometimes trumped competition. Many of the competitiors had attended the Polgar tournament together for many years, forging friendships that went beyond the lines of victory and defeat, sometimes sidestepping them all together.

“I just wanted to get done with the game,”Aiya Underwood said, discussing her final game draw with friend Rebecca Deland.

Back in the theater, Ballwin-native Margaret Hua, who entered with the second highest seed in the tournament, was standing behind Chen, turned away from her own board, surveying the topsy-turvy championship game.

Finally, with little time remaining, Chen resigned. She extended her hand over the chess board for a customary handshake with Dong, now the 1st place finisher of the tournament — Chen would finish second.

After resetting the board, the girls stood up and hugged. Hua, still in the midst of her game, turned to the table, hugging and high fiving Dong, hugging and offering a conciliatory shrug to Chen. Small whispers, and then giggles, broke the silence of the theater.

The girls talked quietly together, before Hua returned to her board — she would win the game and finish sixth overall — and Chen and Dong packed their notebooks to leave.

“Those girls are all best friends,” Paul Truong, Polgar’s husband, said. Out in the lobby, the buzzing crowd began to trickle out for lunch prior to the closing ceremonies.

At the closing ceremony, the chess players and their parents presented Polgar with a gift card to Neiman Marcus (Polgar’s professional style and love for high heels has inspired more than one of the girls) and a plant pot signed by each of the girls, that reads “In your tender care girls grow.”

"Every time my son and my daughter would meet a relative, it's 'How's the chess going, Zach?'" Underwood said. "Aiya may have won the tournament in the same section as Zach. ... For some reason we're programmed to think that the boys are the chess players. We're working on that."


Monday, July 23, 2012

Photos from 2012 SPF Girls' Invitational at Webster University

Over 640+ pictures from the 2012 SPF Girls' Invitational have been uploaded at high resolution. Here is the link to all the pictures so far.

SPGI Blitz Championship Results:

SPGI Puzzle Solving Championship Results:

SPGI Parents and Friends Results:

Main Event Final Standings

1 Alice Dong W26 W12 D8 W9 W6 W2 5.5
2-4 Michelle Chen W27 W20 W11 W7 W3 L1 5.0
2-4 Annastasia Wyzywany W31 W15 W4 W5 L2 W12 5.0
2-4 Katherine Davis (top u/13)
W19 W17 L3 W22 W20 W11 5.0
5 Zoe Lemon W37 W42 W23 L3 W7 D9 4.5
6 Margaret Hua W18 W14 D9 D8 L1 W16 4.0
7 Rachel Ulrich W28 W22 W10 L2 L5 W20 4.0
8 Anupama Rajendra W36 W24 D1 D6 L11 W22 4.0
9 Taylor McCreary W29 W16 D6 L1 W14 D5 4.0
10 Carissa Yip (top u/10)
W32 W35 L7 W15 L12 W27 4.0
11 Miranda Liu W33 W25 L2 W24 W8 L4 4.0
12 Vanita Young W38 L1 W26 W35 W10 L3 4.0
13 Maraani Kamphorst H--- H--- H--- H--- H--- W44 3.5
14 Shayna Provine W41 L6 W27 W25 L9 D19 3.5
15 Rebecca DeLand W30 L3 W29 L10 W25 D21 3.5
16 Carmen Pemsler W39 L9 D32 W41 W18 L6 3.5
17 Cassie Parent W48 L4 W40 L20 D21 W32 3.5
18 Michaela Abernathy L6 D41 W34 W23 L16 W33 3.5
19 Haley DeLuca Lowell L4 W39 L25 W40 W35 D14 3.5
20 Joy Chen W34 L2 W31 W17 L4 L7 3.0
21 Aiya Cancio L42 L23 W46 W32 D17 D15 3.0
22 Amelia Wyzywany W45 L7 W36 L4 W26 L8 3.0
23 Soumya Kulkarni D46 W21 L5 L18 W38 D28 3.0
24 Lucy Cai W43 L8 W37 L11 L27 W36 3.0
25 Mina Takahashi W40 L11 W19 L14 L15 W38 3.0
26 Bria Castro L1 W46 L12 W37 L22 W40 3.0
27 Hannah Farell L2 W38 L14 W45 W24 L10 3.0
28 Varenya Chilukuri L7 D34 L41 W46 W42 D23 3.0
29 Anjana Murali L9 W45 L15 L38 W43 W35 3.0
30 Skylar Hsu L15 L31 W48 L36 W45 W42 3.0
31 Diamond Abdus-Shakoor L3 W30 L20 D42 L33 W43 2.5
32 Anna Sun L10 W47 D16 L21 W41 L17 2.5
33 Collette Wright L11 L40 D43 W34 W31 L18 2.5
34 Anne Ulrich L20 D28 L18 L33 W39 W41 2.5
35 Abbey Gillett W47 L10 W42 L12 L19 L29 2.0
36 Helen Lou L8 W43 L22 W30 U--- L24 2.0
37 Tori Whatley L5 W48 L24 L26 L40 W45 2.0
38 Iris Zhou L12 L27 W39 W29 L23 L25 2.0
39 Tatiana Hoppens L16 L19 L38 W47 L34 W46 2.0
40 Yvonne Ward L25 W33 L17 L19 W37 L26 2.0
41 Jenny Gu L14 D18 W28 L16 L32 L34 1.5
42 Amy Sun W21 L5 L35 D31 L28 L30 1.5
43 Ananya Murali L24 L36 D33 W48 L29 L31 1.5
44 Susanna Ulrich U--- U--- U--- U--- W46 L13 1.0
45 Gisele Delgado L22 L29 W47 L27 L30 L37 1.0
46 Austen Janna Borg D23 L26 L21 L28 L44 L39 0.5
47 Mallory Fee L35 L32 L45 L39 D48 U--- 0.5
48 Kendra Fee L17 L37 L30 L43 D47 U--- 0.5

Interview on FOX TV St Louis

(KTVI)-Forty-eight girls from around the country have come to St. Louis this week to compete in prestigious chess tournament. The annual Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational will be held at Webster University. The opening ceremony will be Sunday at 1:00pm on July 22.

There will be two days of intense training with Susan Polgar, a chess Grandmaster and coach, and her team, followed by a 6 round championship tournament. The public is invited to watch the tournament action at the Loretto-Hilton Center on Webster’s campus.

Webster University is home to SPICE, the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012 SPF Girls' Invitational at Webster University

Carissa Yip, the top 8 year old in the United States, and Michelle Chen, one of the top seeds of the 2012 SPF Girls' Invitational, arrived at West Hall at Webster University to check in. More than half of the players already checked in and the rest will arrive this morning.

A total of 48 qualified and invited young ladies will compete for over $100,000 in scholarships and chess prizes. The 9th SPF Girls' Invitational is hosted and sponsored by Webster University, in collaboration with the Susan Polgar Foundation.

Qualified and Invited Participants

Diamond Abdus-Shakoor (OH)
Michaela Abernathy (ID)
Austen Janna Borg (VT)
Jiaying (Lucy) Cai (MA)
Aiya Cancio (AZ)
Bria Castro (AZ)
Marissa Cazalas (AL)
Evelyn Chen (GA)
Joy Chen (MI)
Michelle Chen (MA)
Varenya Chilukuri (AZ)
Katherine Davis (NY)
Rebecca Deland (NM)
Gisele Delgado (TX)
Haley DeLuca Lowell (ME)
Alice Dong (NJ)
Hannah Farell (OK)
Kendra Fee (MO)
Mallory Fee (MO)
Abigail Gillett (OH)
Jenny Gu (VA)
Tatiana Hoppens (LA)
Skylar Hsu (MD)
Margaret Hua (MO)
Soumya Kulkarni (MI)
Zoë Lemon (MO)
Miranda Liu (IL)
Helen Lou (IN)
Taylor McCreary (CA)
Ananya Murali (WI)
Anjana Murali (WI)
Cassie Parent (IL)
Carmen Pemsler (ID)
Shayna Provine (IL)
Anupama Rajendra (WI)
Amy Sun (MI)
Anna Sun (MI)
Mina Takahashi (IA)
Anne Ulrich (WI)
Rachel Ulrich (WI)
Yvonne Ward (UT)
Hannah “Tori” Whatley (SC)
Collette Wright (KS)
Ameila Wyzywany (LA)
Annastasia Wyzywany (LA)
Carissa Yip (MA)
Vanita Young (PA)
Iris Zhou (MO)

Past Champions

2004 Roza Eynullayeva (MA)
2005 Anya Corke (CA), 
Alisa Melekhina (PA), 
Abby Marshall (OH)
2006 Abby Marshall (VA)
2007 Julia Kerr (NY), 
Eunice Rodriquez (FL)
2008 Courtney Jamison (TX)
2009 Yang Dai (VA)
2010 Anu Bayar (IL)
2011 Apurva Virkud (MI)


Sunday, July 22

7:30 – 9:30 am: Breakfast
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Lunch
12:30 pm: Welcome Ceremony 
Loretto Hilton
1:30 – 4 pm: Start of training 
West Hall
4:30 pm: Blitz Championship 
Loretto Hilton stage
6 – 6:45 pm: Dinner
7 pm: Puzzle Solving 
 West Hall
7:45 pm: Bughouse Championship
 West Hall

Monday, July 23
7:30 – 9 am: Breakfast
9 – 11:30 am: Training
West Hall
11:30 am – 12 pm: Lunch 
(pick up at Marletto’s)
12:15 – 3 pm: Visit the City Museum
4 – 7 pm: Training
West Hall
7 – 8 pm: Dinner

Tuesday, July 24

7:30 – 9:30 am: Breakfast
9:30 am: Campus Tour and Activity
12 – 1 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm: Opening Ceremony
 Loretto Hilton
2:30 pm: Tournament Round 1
 Loretto Hilton stage
6 – 8 pm: Dinner

Wednesday, July 25

7:30 – 9:30 am: Breakfast
9:30 am: Tournament Round 2
 Loretto Hilton stage
12:30 – 2 pm: Lunch
3 pm: Tournament Round 3
 Loretto Hilton stage
6:30 – 8:30pm: Dinner

Thursday, July 26
7:30 – 9:30 am: Breakfast
9:30 am: Tournament Round 4
 Loretto Hilton stage
12:30 – 2 pm: Lunch
3 pm: Tournament Round 5
 Loretto Hilton stage
6:30 – 8:30pm: Dinner

Friday, July 27
7:30 – 9:30 am: Breakfast
9:30 am: Tournament Round 6 
Loretto Hilton stage
12:30 – 2pm: Lunch
2:30 pm: Closing Ceremony 
Loretto Hilton

Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, Bughouse, 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).

Main event prizes:

Champion: Webster University scholarship (approximately $13,000 per year x 4 years) + netbook computer + Champion's Cup
2nd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $13,000 per year x 4 years)
Top under 13: netbook computer + trophy
Top under 10: netbook computer
+ trophy

In addition to FREE room and board to ALL the participants right on campus, as well as over $100,000 in scholarships, and other chess prizes, Webster University also provides all participants a bag of goodies (over $50 value for each bag)!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

6 year old Gisele Delgado heading to Webster U for 9th SPGI South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend
Six-Year Old Chess Master in Studio
Posted: Jul 17, 2012 12:03 PM CDT Updated: Jul 17, 2012 12:03 PM CDT

CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - The last time Gisele Delgado visited First Edition, she was headed to a chess championship in Dallas in February.

At the end of July, she plans to travel to St. Louis, Missouri, to take on Susan Polgar, the first woman to break the gender barrier in chess.

KIII - TV Top Story

Monday, July 16, 2012

Webster University will host the Ninth Annual Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational

Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational Chess Competition to be Held at Webster University July 22-27
ST. LOUIS, July 16, 2012

ST. LOUIS, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Webster University will host the Ninth Annual Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls chess event in the United States, July 22 through July 27. The tournament, which is a partnership between the Susan Polgar Foundation and Webster University, will showcase some of the top young (under age 19) female chess talent from across the United States.

The Girls' Invitational begins with two days of intensive, world-class training sessions with Susan Polgar and her team, followed by a six-round championship tournament. More than $100,000 in chess prizes and scholarships will be awarded. The first- and second-place winners will each receive a four-year, $13,000-per-year scholarship to Webster University.

The formal opening ceremony for the Girls' Invitational will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24 at the Loretto Hilton Center on the Webster University campus, 130 Edgar Rd. in Webster Groves. Round 1 of the tournament will begin immediately following on the Loretto Hilton stage, at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony and all tournament rounds are free and open to the public.

Rounds 2 and 3 will take place on Wednesday, July 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., respectively. Rounds 4 and 5 will be held on Thursday, July 26, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The tournament wraps up on Friday, July 27, with Round 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., immediately followed by the closing ceremony.

St. Louis native Margaret Hua, 13, is the tournament's top seed.

Chess is increasingly valued for its instructional impact. Globally, educators recognize chess as a tool to cultivate interest and success in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.

About Susan Polgar

Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar, World and Olympiad Champion, and her Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) relocated to Webster University in June from Texas Tech University. In addition, all members of the reigning national collegiate champion Texas Tech "A" chess team are transferring to Webster to be enrolled at the University this fall.

At Webster University, SPICE and Susan Polgar are leaders in promoting chess as a vehicle for global diversity and academic excellence, enriching the education of children and for promoting women's chess. The mission of PSICE is to be the nation's premier center for chess education and outreach.

Susan Polgar is one of the strongest female chess players in history. She is the winner of four world championships and the only world champion in history – male or female – to win the Triple Crown (Rapid, Blitz and Classical Chess world championships). Polgar also is the first woman to break the gender barrier to qualify for the Men's World Championship Cycle, earn the Men's Grandmaster title, and to receive the Grandmaster of the Year Award. In 2011, Polgar became the first female head coach to lead a men's Division 1 team (Texas Tech University) to the national title. Polgar led her team to a second national title in 2012.

Polgar is considered a trailblazer who has made an enormous impact in the chess world. She is recognized as the one who laid the foundation for female chess players everywhere. She also believes in the ability of chess to help children of all ages to do better in school as well as develop important like skills.

About Webster University

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University ( is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

MRW celebró su II Torneo Infantil de Ajedrez con la participación de la GM Internacional Susan Polgar

MRW celebró su II Torneo Infantil de Ajedrez con la participación de la GM Internacional Susan Polgar
Escrito por Lcda. Eugenia Morales
Martes, 03 Julio 2012 00:10

Tal como estaba programado, desde tempranas horas de la mañana de este domingo, los 600 pequeños ajedrecistas inscritos en el II Torneo Infantil MRW se congregaron en la sede de la empresa para formalizar su inscripción y tomar su lugar frente al tablero; mientras las 320 mesas dispuestas por categoría y género aguardan perfectamente organizadas para recibir a los competidores que darían un colorido especial al lugar. En menos de una hora, cada jugador, ya ataviado con franela y carnet esperaba la jugada inicial para comenzar la travesía.

Durante todo el día los relojes no descansaron y bajo un tiempo máximo de 20 minutos se detenían para marcar el inicio de una nueva partida, poco a poco los pareos fueron disminuyendo, siempre con el control del personal técnico responsable de supervisar el desarrollo del torneo regido por la Leyes de la Federación Internacional de Ajedrez.

Los grupos organizados en las categorías Sub 10, Sub 12 y Sub 14, géneros femenino y masculino estuvieron cargados de emoción durante toda la jornada, pues aun cuando fueron mermando, sus competidores se mantenían atentos al resto de las actividades previstas para complementar la actividad, Una firma de autógrafos con la GM Internacional Susan Polgar, entrega de obsequios y compartir con Panchito Mandefuá, imagen representativa de la Responsabilidad Social de MRW, fue parte de lo ofrecido mientras culminaba la jornada.

Arquímides Beliz, Presidente de MRW Venezuela, manifestó su total complacencia con el encuentro que, igual al año anterior, rompió con todas las expectativas. “Es impresionante ver la cantidad de niños venezolanos de todos los rincones del país y pertenecientes a los estratos sociales más diversos interesados en este deporte. Este año llevamos los cupos a 600 y superamos la barrera de los 610 inscritos en tiempo récord, hubo gran cantidad de llamadas y correos solicitando información, realmente nos sentimos honrados de la receptividad que ha tenido la iniciativa, a pesar de ser la segunda vez que se realiza”.

Nuestro compromiso –precisó- es que esta actividad perdure en el tiempo y de oportunidad a todos esos niños que siente gran inquietud por el ajedrez. Este Torneo Infantil ha pasado a formar parte de nuestros programas permanentes de Responsabilidad Social y por ello el interés de contribuir no sólo a través de un buen evento, sino con becas de formación y encuentros con destacadas personalidades del mundo ajedrecístico.

“Nuestro aporte está orientado al beneficio del país y apuesta ala formación en valores de estos niños, que ellos se lleven un aprendizaje aplicable a todos los ámbitos de su vida.

En cuanto a la invitada especial, Beliz agradeció a la GM Internacional Susan Polgar, quien es reconocida no sólo por sus múltiples títulos sino por su labor académica a través del Universidad Webster y la Fundación Susan Polgar. “Es un honor para nosotros que ella haya aceptado estar presente en el torneo y que pudiera compartir con estos miniajedrecistas que aspiran alcanzar su nivel en este deporte. Es una persona con gran calidad humana y precursora del rescate de los valores y la importancia de las familias, sin duda alguna, un gran ejemplo para nuestros niños.

A prepararse

Los jugadores que alcanzaron el primer lugar de cada categoría fueron premiados con una beca de un año, a fin de que puedan profundizar su formación profesional en el ajedrez. Además, como cierre de la actividad, la empresa reconoció con medallas y trofeos a los ganadores de las diferentes categorías.

Responsabilidad Social en la calle

María Roa, Gerente de Responsabilidad Social de MRW, agradeció a los pequeños participantes y a sus representantes el interés por la actividad. “Este evento sin cada uno de los que hoy está aquí no sería nada, ellos son nuestros motor”.

Roa explicó que con la materialización del torneo que vienen preparando desde hace varios meses, culmina el primer semestre de las actividades de Responsabilidad Social de la empresa y arranca una importante etapa de actividades de calle como la participación en fiestas de día del niño, las jornadas de limpieza el día mundial de las playas y la campaña Dona un Juguete a Panchito Mandefua.

Hablando de Ajedrez

El pasado sábado 30, la empresa ofreció un conversatorio con Susan Polgar donde niños y adultos tuvieron oportunidad de aclarar dudas y compartir sus vivencias. Entre las preguntas hechas a la GM Internacional proveniente de Humgría destacaron su tiempo de dedicación a este deporte, su rol como mujer en un mundo donde predominan los hombres y sus emociones con respecto a premios y títulos.

Por su parte, Polgar destacó la importancia de la constancia, que no sólo vale para el mundo ajedrecístico sino para cualquier meta que una persona se trace en la vida. En tal sentido, rescató que hay que dedicarle el tiempo justo a este deporte, pero sin descuidar los otros espacios de la vida cotidiana, señaló que es importante un equilibrio y confiar en si mismo, sólo de esa manera se pueden conquistar los espacios.

Polgar también destacó que la práctica del ajedrez la ha ayudado en su rol de madre, pues todo parte de las reglas y la disciplina que incluso hoy enseña a sus 2 hijos adolescentes a través del juego. La GM Internacional señala que el tablero es como la vida, pues cualquier decisión que se tome tiene consecuencias que son irreversibles; en cuanto a sus sentimientos, Susan Polgar se presentó como una mujer sencilla de gran apego a su familia, refiriendo la relación con sus hermanas, reconocidas ajedrecistas igual que ella, como una valiosa oportunidad que le dio la vida para ser cada día mejor.

Ajedrez venezolano de alto nivel

Durante la simultánea encabezada por la GM Internacional, el talento venezolano se hizo sentir en un juego que se prolongó por más de 5 horas y arrojó resultados inesperados, pues niños y personas con discapacidad se destacaron logrando empates técnicos con la campeona mundial.

En tal sentido, Polgar destacó estar gratamente sorprendida del nivel demostrado por los jugadores, tras aseverar que el desempeño demostrado durante toda la jornada demuestra su preparación y el carácter profesional con el que es tomado este deporte.

Prensa Especial


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Webster University teammates and roomates to face off

Chess: 18-year-old So to face 17-year-old US Grandmaster in time trial
July 3, 2012 2:08pm

Two young Grandmasters, one of whom being Filipino Wesley So, will face-off in a non-stop, three-hour chess showdown starting at 6:00 a.m., on July 30, in a match that could consist of as many as 50 games, to be streamed online at

The 18-year-old So will face-off against 17-year-old Ray Robson of Florida, in an online match that will test their classical chess skills, their ability to think quickly, and their endurance.

The match’s unique format gives the two prodigies three hours to complete as many games as possible, with time-controls for each game getting progressively shorter, from five minutes per side at the bout’s onset, down to just one minute during the final phase, all for a grand prize of $1000.

Born and raised in Bacoor, So achieved the title of Grandmaster at age 14 and is the highest-rated Filipino player of all time. In 2008 he became the youngest person to ever achieve a chess rating of 2600 or better, breaking a record formerly held by the world's #1-rated player, Magnus Carlsen. The following year, he won first place in his group at the
prestigious Corus Chess Tournament in the Netherlands.

His opponent, Robson, became the youngest American Grandmaster in history in 2009, also at the age of 14. He has won many national scholastic titles and competed in multiple US Championships, and other events around the world. He won the US Junior Chess Championship in 2009, becoming one of the youngest players ever to do so.

The event will be commentated by International Masters David Pruess and Daniel Rensch, and will feature interviews with So and Robson before and after the competition.

This match is part of an ongoing series hosted by, and will be viewable by anyone at - AMD, GMA News


Both players will begin their study at Webster University under the SPICE institute next month and they will also be roomates.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

A Game-Changing Move

A Game-Changing Move
June 29, 2012

One of the best chess players in the world -- male or female -- has landed at Webster University. And she's bringing plenty of backup.

Grandmaster Susan Polgar, who has done for chess what Billie Jean King has done for tennis, is transferring the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) from Texas Tech University to Webster.

Additionally, all members of the Polgar-coached Texas Tech "A" team, which won the Division I college chess national championship each of the past two years, will transfer to Webster and be enrolled at the school for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Polgar officially joined Webster on June 1, while most members of her team will arrive in August. Polgar signed the contract to come to Webster in early January when it became clear Texas Tech couldn't fund her rapidly-growing program.

"We were hoping Texas Tech would be able to grow with the sudden success of the program, but unfortunately it didn't seem to be the case that they were able to commit to the resources we needed, especially scholarships," Polgar said. "After we won our first national title last year, we were hoping that would bring the breakthrough and the support we were looking for. Unfortunately, it didn't."

Polgar began looking for alternatives last summer. She said she met with about six universities during the summer, and Webster emerged as the clear-cut choice. Polgar said the university "committed a good number of scholarships to make sure our students can graduate. They have an all-around package that's attractive and allows the program to grow."

"When we met with Webster Provost Julian Schuster and President Elizabeth Stroble, we were just blown away by their vision, enthusiasm and support to bring the SPICE program to Webster," Polgar said. "We were sold after we met with them."

Schuster, who has played chess his whole life, said he learned of Polgar's interest in changing universities from a mutual friend. Schuster and Stroble felt adding a chess program that includes players from Germany, Brazil, Israel and the Philippines perfectly fit Webster's global philosophy.

"It's a part of the Webster mission to prepare students for individual excellence and the global citizenship. This initiative perfectly fits in accomplishing both," Schuster said. "Global citizenship because by bringing such a diverse group of individuals, we do underscore our commitment to the global citizenship.

"Individual excellence because chess is a game of space and time, but there is a component in which you need to think fast, be logical and strategic. All of those are necessary ingredients for achieving individual excellence. So, we are just reinforcing what we have committed to do by using chess as a game, a sport and a tool to bring people together."

Stroble said Webster's addition of Polgar and her chess squad has attracted a massive amount of attention from both the media and the St. Louis community.

"There's huge interest in 'Wow, I want to meet Susan Polgar. I want to watch those players play. I want to play one of those players. I want to brush up my game myself,'" Stroble said. "There's an impact on young students in public/private schools in St. Louis, saying, 'Could your chess team help our chess club or chess team?'"

With the addition of Polgar and her elite squad, St. Louis has solidified itself as one of the top chess cities in the U.S. St. Louis is home to the World Chess Hall of Fame and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, a 6,000-square-foot chess education facility in the Central West End.

Polgar, 43, was born in Hungary and brings a wealth of chess knowledge and experience to both Webster and the St. Louis community. She was the world's top female player by the time she turned 15 and broke the gender barrier when she qualified for the "Men's" World Championship in 1986. In 1991, Polgar became the first woman to earn the title of chess grandmaster.

Polgar started SPICE from scratch at Texas Tech five years ago and quickly built the program into a national powerhouse. She hopes to continue the program's success at Webster and would like nothing more than to capture a third straight national championship.

"We expect to be the No. 1-ranked team in the country when the students arrive in August," Polgar said. "...We hope to do many important national and international events that will put Webster on the map in the entire chess community around the world, which is about a billion people."

Schuster said Webster's new chess team will have an impact on more than just the university and the St. Louis area.

"This is not St. Louis Chess Club -- it is more than that. It is the endeavor. It is a process in which we sincerely hope to touch lives and businesses of as many people as we can," Schuster said. "We are going to be purposeful and intentional to use the talents of Susan, her colleagues and team members to reach out to those communities and to open doors to those kids which were not opened before."