Around 12-13 years ago, the Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) visited me at my Chess Center in Queens, NY, to ask me to help the federation in various important areas. Two of the things I was asked to help were:
– To create a serious US Women’s Olympiad chess program as no women’s team from the US has ever won any medal before that.
– To help boost girls’ chess popularity in the US as they were being ignored at that time.
I said yes and immediately began to work to improve a number of different aspects. The first official business was to create the Susan Polgar Foundation (SPF).
Then, the Women’s Olympiad training program was created in late 2002 / early 2003. The program included IM Irina Krush, IM Anna Zatonskih (at that time was a WGM), IM Rusa Goletiani (at that time was a WGM), and WGM Jennifer Shahade (at that time was a WIM). I even came out of retirement after nearly 9 years of hiatus to participate and lead this team.
In 2004, the US Women’s team captured 4 medals (2 gold and 2 silver) at the Calvia Chess Olympiad. Since 2003, every single US Women’s Champion has come from this Women’s Olympiad training program which I created.
Also in 2003, I created the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (it is now called the SPF Girls’ Invitational), the most prestigious all-girls national championship in the US. This was the first all-girls national championship created in the United States and it was unanimously approved by the Executive Director and the USCF Executive Board.
A few months later, I persuaded the USCF to approve the All-Girls National Championship (sponsored by KCF). I also created two additional events: the Susan Polgar National Open for Girls and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (both sponsored by the SPF).
Since then, nearly $2 million in scholarships (through SPF and our partners) have been awarded to girls in events which my foundation organized and sponsored. This is the 10th year of the SPF Girls’ Invitational, and it will be the largest one ever, with 58 young ladies qualified. To celebrate the tremendous success of this event, I decided to expand it by inviting some additional young female players from North, Central, and South America.
The total budget / prizes / scholarships for this championship is almost $250,000! It is unprecedented for girls’ chess anywhere. All state representatives and qualifiers will receive free rooms and meals for the entire duration of the event. Over the years, thousands of girls have competed all across the United States to earn spots in the invitationals.
I am very proud to lead the charge to get more girls involved in chess, and to revolutionize girls’ chess in America. To celebrate the special 1oth anniversary, I have just decided to personally sponsor $5,000 cash scholarship to the top 3 finishers ($3,000 to 1st, $1,500 to 2nd, and $500 to 3rd).
This is a surprise as it was not announced before. The winners can use the cash prizes toward school / tournament expenses, or additional coaching, however they wish. I also hope to attract additional sponsors next year to make this event even better.
Rules and Conditions for the 10th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational (SPGI)
July 20 – 25, 2013 at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri)
THIS WILL BE THE BIGGEST SPGI EVER!
– Over $200,000 in chess scholarships, chess prizes, and iPad mini, etc. (Full tuition and fees scholarship to the top finisher! *)
– Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus for qualifiers!
The annual Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States, will be held at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri).
• There will be an intense training session with Susan Polgar, followed by a 6 round (g/90+30) FIDE rated championship tournament.
• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.
• There will be many chess prizes awarded, including iPad mini, and scholarships to Webster University.
Each state is allowed one representative to be nominated by June 1, 2013. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than June 15. (Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions to the June 1 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state.
Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are under the age of 19 on July 25th of the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended college on a full time basis prior to June 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, are eligible to represent the state in which they reside.
Exception: If a player graduates from high school early and is already attending college, she may still represent her state if nominated. This is the decision of each state affiliate.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The participants of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational DO NOT have to be high school students. Any qualifier under the age of 19 (by July 25th of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!
Special invitation for this year only: All past participants of the SPNI and SPGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2012) are invited to participate in the 2013 SPGI. The idea is to have the past participants learn my method of training so they can go back home and share their knowledge with the younger players. However, registration MUST be made ASAP since space is limited. There will be mutual training sessions for all, however separate section & prizes for alumni participants over the age of 19.
Players are required to furnish the organizer an emergency phone number and the e-mail address of a parent/guardian.
There is no entry fee to participate in the 2013 SPGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel. For all state representatives, and qualifiers from the SPNO or SPWO, Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus.
For alumni participants, wild card/special invites, coaches, parents, or other family members, inexpensive accommodations are available for housing and dining on Webster’s campus. Please note that all reservations and registrations MUST be made (and accommodation expenses prepaid) no later than June 25, 2013.
Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, 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).
Champion: Webster University scholarship (approximately $23,000+ per year x 4 years *) + iPad mini + Champion’s Plaque / Trophy
2nd and 3rd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $13,000+ per year x 4 years)
Top under 13: iPad mini
Top under 10: iPad mini
* The scholarship must be exercised no later than the Fall of 2016.
The New Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California, two for Texas, and two for Missouri) and the District of Columbia represented. We strongly encourage each state and the District of Columbia affiliate to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine each state’s champion and representative. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state who has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Polgar Committee as soon as possible.
Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee and its members may elect to award wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational.
Special qualifying events: The Polgar Committee will award automatic qualifying spots to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar NO for Girls (New Orleans) and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (Chicago).
The new SPGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).
NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com).
Contact info: Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com)
The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through info@PolgarFoundation.org.
Webster University is located at 470 E. Lockwood Avenue Webster Groves, MO 63119
BIG THANKS to President Dr. Beth Stroble and Webster University for hosting and sponsoring this very prestigious event for girls!
* Webster scholarships may be upgraded but may not be stacked. For previous winners of partial scholarships, a maximum of $1,000 per year may be added to the previous scholarship.