The 11th Annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational chess tournament, held July 10-15 at Webster University, wrapped up on Tuesday, July 15, in an unprecedented three-way tie.
The co-champions include top-seeded Kimberly Ding of New Jersey, Natasha Morales Santos of Puerto Rico and Neeshmy Nunez Gonzales of Costa Rica.
Ultimately, rules of FIDE, the International Chess Federation, determined the SPGI winning order. Therefore Ding took first place, wining a four-year all-tuition-and-fees scholarship to Webster, worth $100,000.
Morales Santos, who has played chess for only three years and also is legally blind, won second place, earning a four-year, $14,000 per year scholarship to Webster. Nunez Gonzales came in third, winning a four-year, $12,000 per year Webster scholarship.
Morales Santos will represent her home country of Puerto Rico at the 41st World Chess Olympiad, to be held Aug. 1 through 15 in Tromso, Norway.
Webster chess coach Susan Polgar (left) and President Beth Stroble (right) congratulate the co-champions of the 11th Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational: Kimberly Ding of New Jersey, Natasha Morales Santos of Puerto Rico and Neeshmy Nunez Gonzales of Costa Rica.
Organized by Webster chess coach Susan Polgar, the tournament drew 56 girls from states across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico and Canada.The six-day event is considered the most prestigious all-girls chess event in the U.S.
A partnership between Webster University and the Susan Polgar Foundation, the six-round championship tournament awards more than $200,000 in chess scholarships and prizes.
Another story, “Webster University Nurtures the Future of Women’s Chess”, is online at FIDE.com, the site of the World Chess Federation.