2005 Polgar: I Never Played So Many Girls!
By Amelia Wheeless
In August, I went to the GM Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls in Phoenix – a tournament for girls from practically every state. I knew the tournament was going to be different right away. It was a tournament just for girls!
The tournament was great. The competition was awesome. I never knew there were so many great girl chess players. I’d like to think my rating is respectable, but it seemed like every day I was playing someone who was 200 points higher than I was! I felt great going 4.0/6.0 and placing 10th out of 48 players.
The tournament started with a reception on Sunday morning for the Polgar and Denker players. Nelson Lopez was playing in the Denker and Laura Lee was playing in the Polgar with me. We were the only players from North Carolina participating. Luckily, I knew a few other girls from having attended the Emory Chess Camp in Atlanta earlier this summer.
Not only was the tournament fun, but it was also cool to hang out with other girls, go swimming (the hotel had eight pools, if you can believe that!) and do other crazy stuff. One night a few girls invited some of us over for a pizza party. Another day, my friend gave me a pink feather boa. Everyone was going to wear one, along with a bathrobe, on the last day of the Polgar tournament!
On the last day of the tournament, we took plenty of photos with our boas and with Susan Polgar. Afterwards, we had a great blitz tournament (also, really tough) and a puzzle-solving contest. Susan was very supportive of all of the players. It seemed like every day we were getting a free book, poster or another gift for playing.
I’d like to thank the N.C. Chess Association, the Asheboro Chess Club, the Charlotte Chess Club and Keith Holmes, along with all the members of the Charlotte Homeschool Chess Association, for supporting my effort to attend the Polgar. Anyone who has a chance to play in the Denker or Polgar would be crazy not to go. I’m going to have to work hard this year if I want to go next summer.