Friday, July 31, 2009

Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls

The 2009 tournament has concluded. I've been following the action on Susan Polgar's chess blog and enjoying the photographs and videos. (Photos and information from SP's chess blog. Top photo: GM Susan Polgar and 2009 SPNI winner Yang Dai with the Winners' Cup) I think this year's coverage at SP's blog was the best yet. The photos and the posts I think really captured the feeling of comradery and fun the young ladies and their families had while at the Texas Tech campus. As you know, the young chess femme invitees receive free room and three meals a day for the entire week they are on campus, and their accompanying family members/guardians are provided accomodations and meals at nominal cost. I believe this allows the young ladies and their families to concentrate on the tournament (and having fun during the off-time events, as the girls play only one tournament game a day) and not worry so much about the expenses of staying away from their hometowns for a full week. The tournament concluded today. Here are the top 19 players, posted at Susan Polgar's blog: 1. Yang Dai 6. 02-3. Rachel Gologorsky, Epiphany Peters 5. 04-7. Linda Diaz, Courtney Jamison (2008 winner), Samyukta Bhat, Joanne Koong 4.5 8-19. Alexandra Botez, Dana Hannibal, Victoria Bian, Julia Jones, Michelle Chen, Margaret Hua, Indira Puri, Rebecca Lelko, Apurva Virkud, Sayaka Foley, Autumn Douthitt 4.0. The young lady I was rooting for - Mira Ensley-Field - from Wisconsin, was off to a hot start, winning 3 of 3 games! (Photo from Susan Polgar's blog, Round 5 action with Mira - facing camera) Final standings for all of the young ladies and games (not sure if all games) will be available later tonight. Congratulations to 2009 winner Yang Dai, and to all of the young ladies who participated in this great event. The photos and videos amply demonstrated that the girls were there to play chess, and also have a great time meeting each other and making new friends while enjoying all the extra-curricular activities this year's Tournament afforded. It looks like the family members, etc. enjoyed themselves too!

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