By Laura Lee
This year I was lucky enough to experience one of the greatest chess opportunities I have ever had. During the second week of August, I participated in the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. Not only did I get to play exceptional chess, I also was able to meet new and old friends in the beautiful state of Arizona.
First, I must explain how lucky I was to be able to play in this tournament. Every state that participated had at least one and sometimes two representatives. This meant that I was playing the best girls in the country. I am truly amazed to be given this honor.
However, chess was not the only great part of this event. I felt welcomed from the moment I came into the tournament hall. I became friends with a whole group of girls from the Polgar Invitational. One moment I was at a pizza party, another day we went swimming, and two other times my roommate and I went to two museums. Clearly, I never felt lonely during my stay in Arizona.
Finally not only did I meet new friends, but I also got to spend some time with my grandmother and the two other representatives from my state. Since my grandmother lives in Idaho and I live in North Carolina, it can be very difficult to see each other. This tournament was one of the only chances I have and will have to see her. Due to this fact, the Polgar Invitational gave me new memories of my grandmother and me. Also two of my friends also were in Arizona with me. One was playing in the Polgar Invitational and another was playing in the Denker tournament. Being with them in Phoenix lead to good memories as well.
To get to the point, the week I had in Arizona was a dream that I didn’t think I could make come true. Due to financial and family problems, I was not going to be able to go to this wonderful event. But this experience shows that little miracles can come true.
A quote from Richard Bach states “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” With help from a lot of people my dream did come true and thanks to those people I was able to participate in one of the greatest chess events of my life.