Monday, March 02, 2015

Rules & Conditions for the 12th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational

Rules & Conditions for the 12th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational
(Over $200K in prizes and scholarships)
July 26 – 30, 2015 at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri)

Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus for all qualifiers!

The annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational, in its 12th year, is the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States. It will once again be held at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri).

• There will be an intense training session with Susan Polgar and members of the SPICE team, 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, as well as scholarships to Webster University.

Each state is allowed one representative to be nominated by June 8, 2015. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than July 6, 2015. (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 8 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 19 or under on the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended traditional college on a full time basis prior to July 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 who is 19 or under (on the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

Special invitation for this year: All past participants of the SPNI and SPFGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2014) are invited to participate in the 2015 SPFGI. 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 20.

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 2015 SPFGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel. For all state representatives, and qualifiers from the SPFNO or SPFWO, 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 15, 2015.

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, Bughouse and the SPFGI 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) of the main event will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement).

Champion: Webster University scholarship* (full tuition and fees approximately $24,000 + per year x 4 years) Champion's Cup. (In case of a tie, a playoff will used to determine the level of scholarships)

2nd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $14,000 + per year x 4 years)

3rd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $12,000 + per year x 4 years)

Additional prizes this year!

Top under 16: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 14: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 12: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 10: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

* The scholarships to Webster University must be exercised no later than Fall of 2018, and are not transferable. In addition, these scholarships cannot be combined with other academic scholarships, or stacked. If players won scholarships in past events, they can choose to exercise the highest one.

** After flight ticket has been purchased, a $1,000 reimbursement check will be sent to the winners.

The 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 a limited number of 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 Foundation NO for Girls and the Susan Polgar World Foundation Open for Girls.

The SPFGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (

Contact info: Polgar Committee (

The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through

4-way tie for the lead in Jerusalem after 6 rounds

Full standings:

Interview with FIDE VP Israel Gelfer

FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer arrived to Tbilisi to attend the FIDE Grand Prix and discuss with Georgian Chess Federation the preparation for the World Cup and Chess Olympiad.

Q: Mr.Gelfer, you are here in Tbilisi for the closing ceremony of the FIDE Grand Prix. What can you say about the tournament?

A: I was following the games online, but now that I am here I can say that the venue, the ceremony, everything is excellent, and fits perfectly the tradition of Georgian hospitality and chess organization.

Israel Gelfer speaking at the closing ceremony of Tbilisi Grand Prix

Q: You will also combine this visit to meet the Georgian Chess Federation and discuss the preparation for the World Cup and Chess Olympiad in Batumi. What are the steps in this process?

A: Well, we only started now to discuss the necessary conditions for the World Cup and Chess Olympiad. We might go to Batumi to inspect several hotels and venues. We will discuss some procedural points, contract etc. I hope that we will have great events here in Georgia.

Q: You’re coming from Israel, where the European Individual Championship is currently in progress in Jerusalem. How is this event going?

A: I was in Jerusalem for the opening ceremony. The event is very well organized, we prepared this for a long time. As I heard the participants are happy, I hope the tournament will continue on this note. ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili will come for the closing ceremony and we will congratulate the happy 23 winners who will qualify for the World Cup.

Israel Gelfer interviewed by Georgian TV

Q: Israel’s Foreign Minister recently proposed to make chess mandatory subject in schools. What do you think about this move?

A: You know that already for many years FIDE and FIDE President are investing lots of effort to introduce chess to schools. There was a 4-year project in Israel, a joint initiative by FIDE President and our Minister of Education, where chess was taught in after-school hours.

Chess is still not a part of the regular curriculum in Israel, I hope one day it will be. I didn’t hear about Lieberman’s proposal, but I welcome the idea, I hope it succeeds. If this happens, I will support him to be Education Minister in the next government (laughing).

In general, I think that the Minister of Sport and Minister of Education have a very good approach to chess for now.

EICC round 6 results

Full results:

Azmaiparashvili: ECU today is a transparent Organization

ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Chessdom editor Goran Urosevic have met in Tbilisi for a long interview on several important subjects – development of chess, events organization, sponsorship, European Chess Union and Batumi Chess Olympiad.

The first part of the interview was published on Saturday. The second part is concluding the conversation with Mr.Azmaiparashvili.

Q: Let’s move to a different topic. You have been elected ECU President in August 2014 in Tromso. What were your first activities and first results?

A: You know, I have to start with this, as my friends just informed me about the jokes posted on Danailov’s special website.

I am ready to hear the criticism, but it is difficult to accept it coming from Silvio Danailov. I’m just laughing at the numbers he is randomly throwing left and right.

Today I am proud to say that ECU has received in its bank account the first installments of the corporate sponsorship form the Bank of Georgia. A kind of sponsorship that ECU never had in its history. In the ECU General Assembly in Batumi we announced a realistic program for our for years (2015-2018).

We have a first plan of 200.000 euros of corporate sponsorship only. But I believe that the total addition in the ECU budget will be more than 400.000 euros.

I have already allocated 144.000 euros for the 4 years from my stipend. The last stipend (3000 euros) I decided to offer to Mr. Silvio Danailov for month August even if the elections were held on 11th. He accepted with pleasure.

From September the stipend for President is cancelled.

And we are working to bring other funding to ECU and till now in 2 months an additional, 10.000 euros development amount reached the ECU Bank account. This was not even calculated for the 2015 budget.

We have many connections and we have to use them. What should I do as ECU President, how can I attract sponsorship? You now, sponsors are not just giving money because they like chess, or they are crazy about chess, or whatever. They also expect to get something from this relationship and from our contacts.

Q: What about the administration expenses?

A: We have reduced them significantly comparing with Danailov and friends expenses. The closing of 2014 will be an important evidence. We have 7 months of previous administration and 5 months of ours.

In the next ECU General Assembly the delegates will see exact amounts recorded one by one. Unfortunately the numbers tell the truth and the truth is unpleasant for them.

Lets hope that Danailov and friends will come for the next GA. 40 delegates were waiting for them in Batumi to give explanations face to face, but they didn’t come. They disappeared.

It will be very interesting when our bookkeeper gives all financial data in front of them. And the bookkeeper is from Switzerland and the same person for the past 8 years.

The travel expenses cannot disappear into thin air, we have to present tickets, invoices, receipts. And now for the first two months of the year we spent only few euros for the President.

We are making transparent organization. Nobody can say that we hide something.

At the same time, ECU and national federations are still trying to solve the big problems left from previous administration.

My recent trips are connected with that. I went to Montenegro, we had meetings on the top, we work hard to bring back what belongs to the Montenegro Chess Federation. This federation suffered from the mismanagement of Danailov & friends.

Q: You mean fees from European Youth in Budva?

A: I believe that finally they will manage to approach the right accounts. Because you know there is one simple question. And we discussed this in the General Assembly. Still Silvio Danailov, Vladimir Sakotic, everyone, including Sava Stoisavljevic, are keeping silence.

The question was what was the purpose of the European Chess Union LLC, based in Delaware(!!) account in Slovenia?? Maybe Silvio refers to this organization when he says that ECU is not existing anymore?

Today we are also receiving lots of letters from Bulgaria. There was, let me remember, the so called European Cup in classical chess for men and women. This was not an official tournament in ECU calendar or regulations.Because there is information in press that the Bulgarian government gave money for these events believing they were official ECU events.

On next subject, Silvio said that now all tournaments will be in Georgia. Thanks God if we would be able to organize the tournaments! Because I have to repeat, considering the current situation in the world, it is very difficult to find the organizers.

We have to pray that an organizer will come forward and apply to hold ECU event.

This reminds me, we have to analyze why we always face a problem when we have to organize European Individual Championships.

Q: They are expensive?

A: They are expensive and they don’t bring many attractive points. The organizers from Jerusalem, Israel, were very much afraid. I went to Israel, helped in advertising the event, and now they are happy, they have more than 250 players and many top rated too.

Yes I advertised, this is my job. I have to go out, to help the organizers. And I believe, that with this active approach, I should be able to find the organizers.

By the way, based on my talks in Podgorica, I know that Montenegro will also come with some proposals.

I know that Russia has big financial problems, but we are working also with Russia, and we believe that we will have some events there.

We are of course open to all western European countries, they are welcome to apply for the events. Please, any tournament. I am ready to help with lobbying and promotion of any kind of tournament. Because I want to have western countries more involved in ECU. This would bring new geography, hopefully more sponsors for chess in general.

When you organize something with the government’s support – it is good, but in some aspects it is also bad. This is not a real sponsorship.

So now I will go to Israel, where we have ECU Board, and then to Reykjavik. I promised to visit the Reykjavik Openand I will fulfill my promises. We will talk also about the European Team Championships which will take place there in November.

I have to travel, this is my duty. When ECU President visits a national federation, they always arrange a meeting with higher authorities. And this is good, because in this way we can get more national support for chess and for federations.

I believe in April I will go to Guernsey, for the Small Nations event. Then we have FIDE Presidential Board in Chengdu.

Q: What is happening with the 2018 Chess Olympiad?

A: At the same time I have another obligation with the Olympiad. I am almost ready to quit my post at the Ministry of Sport. But I cannot quit until we get a clear picture, how the Organizing Committee will operate.

We passed a four-year state program for chess, but still we have to establish a clear structure. We will know more in one month. After that I believe I can focus only on chess.

Chessdom: Thank you very much for the interview

Champions are crowned at 2015 SPF National Open for Boys and Girls

Here are a few quick pieces of information.

The winner of each section will receive an invitation to represent SPICE at the 2015 World Youth. If there are two players tied for 1st, both will be declared co-champions. However, the winner of a 5 minute blitz game will get the World Youth spot and/or Webster U scholarship. On the other hand, the 1st place trophy will be determined by tiebreaks.

If there are more than 2 players tied for 1st, tiebreaks will be used to the determine the World Youth spot or Webster U scholarship. This was clearly announced by the Chief TD.

The champions or co-champions of each of the girls' section will also receive invitations to the 2015 SPF National Invitational for Girls, the most prestigious all-girls event in the US (…/rules-conditions-for-12th…).

Under 18/16 Boys

1 Colin Chow 2265 5.0 C0-Champion
2 Aaron Grabinsky 2318 5.0 Co- Champion - Won Blitz Playoff for World Youth Qualifier and Webster U Scholarship

3 Udit Iyengar 2177 4.0
4 Alexander Kassil 1893 4.0

5 Cameron Wheeler 2383 3.5
6 Sam Land Capocyan 2135 3.5
7 Alexander Feghhi 1906 3.5
8 Pranav Nagarajan 2202 3.5

9 Josiah P Stearman 2195 3.0
10 Ishan Dutta 1621 3.0

Under 18/16 Girls

1 Ana Lopez Sanchez 1659 (MEX) 5.0 - SPF Girl's Invitational Qualifier
2 Sofia Stanescu-Bellu 1543 4.0 - World Youth Qualifier and Webster U Scholarship

Under 14 Boys

1 Gabriel Sam 2093 5.5 World Youth Qualifier
2 Seth Talyansky 1974 5.0

Under 14 Girls

1 Andrea Botez 1714 5.5 - World Youth Qualifier and SPF Girl's Invitational Qualifier

Under 12 Boys

1 Joshua Grabinsky 1644 5.5 Co-Champion
2 Ivan Ke 1905 Co-Champion - Won Blitz Playoff for World Youth Qualifier

Under 12 Girls

1 Chenyi Zhao 1741 5.0 Co-Champion - Won Blitz Playoff for World Youth Qualifier - SPF Girl's Invitational Qualifier
2 Shivangi Gupta 1378 5.0 Co-Champion - SPF Girl's Invitational Qualifier

Under 10 Boys

1 Chinguun Bayaraa 2062 5.5 Co-Champion - Won Blitz Playoff for World Youth Qualifier
2 Rishith Susarla 1878 5.5 Co-Champion

Under 10 Girls

1 Annapoorni Meiyappan  1547 5.5 - World Youth Qualifier - SPF Girl's Invitational Qualifier

Under 8 Boys

1 Aghilan Nachiappan 1526 6.0 - World Youth Qualifier

Under 8 Girls

1 Rui Yang Yan 1350 6.0 - World Youth Qualifier - SPF Girl's Invitational Qualifier

European Individual Chess Championship 2015

Jerusalem is hosting the 2015 European Individual Championship. The highly prestigious tournament, open to all members of European Federations, is staged at hotel Ramada on February 23rd – March 8th 2015 by the municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli Chess Federation under the auspices of the ECU.

The prize fund was generously increased to 120,000 € and 115 Grandmasters have already joined the field.

Top seeds, members of “Club 2700+”, are GM David Navara, GM Nikita Vitiugov, GM Pavel Eljanov, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, GM Etienne Bacrot and GM Fransisco Vallejo Pons, etc.

Official website/ EICC with special prize fund for seniors/ Full Regulations on ECU website/ Interview with ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili / Participants

3rd FIDE World Senior Team Chess Championship LIVE!

31st Cappelle-la-Grande Chess Open 2015 LIVE!

India vs China LIVE!

More Puzzles from SPFNO Puzzle Solving Championship

White to move. Find the absolute best continuation. Can you solve both in 1 minute or less?

Korobov leads EICC after 5

Full standings:

Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation Pawn Structure ... and more

Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation Pawn Structure

Posted on February 27,2015 By FM Dalton Perrine in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. The Ruy Lopez is known as one of the longest-living openings in the history of chess. Players from all generations have played the Ruy Lopez and it is known to be incredibly solid and very difficult to defeat. One line that can arise from this opening is the "exchange variation". This variation is sometimes used by lower-rated players who want to create doubled pawns for their opponent as quickly as possible. The variation starts with the moves 1[...]

FREE US$50 Smirnov Product and 50% off sale!

Posted on February 26,2015 By GM Damian Lemos in Non-Chess related, All Articles w/ Videos, General Chess Articles. Great news! Earlier today I had a call with GM Igor Smirnov and he was nice enough to give us $53.30 in premium lectures completely free to our readers. At the end of this post I'll tell you how to get these 2 webinars completely free, but first I wanted to give you guys another exciting announcement, for the next 7 days we are giving you 50% off all Smirnov products. This is an exciting opportunity to get those Smirnov products you wanted, at an[...]

Easy Way to Beat The Pirc Modern Defense - GM Roman Dzindzichashvili

Posted on February 26,2015 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos. A set-up to crush the Pirc Modern Defense! In the video "Easy Way to Beat The Pirc Modern Defense" by GM Roman Dzindzichashvili, we see a way to set-up our pieces when Black plays the Pirc Modern Defense. With this set-up, we achieve a strong position that has many ways to cause Black problems. Even if Black plays solidly and doesn't make any mistakes, White is able to get a small but clear advantage with the piece set-up that we are shown. The s[...]

The Importance of Development - Part 2

Posted on February 24,2015 By FM Dalton Perrine in Strategy & Game Review, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. A lead in development can be incredibly beneficial in the opening if we know how to use it well. Just because we have more pieces developed than our opponent, and are castled before they are, does not mean that an attack will fall out of the sky. We need to understand when and how to use this lead in development in order to build a quick attack against the unsuspecting opponent. The main reason that a lead in opening development can lead to a qui[...] is a producer of thousands of free chess articles and free chess videos by FIDE chess masters. They recently released the renowned Empire Chess series that has been taking the chess world by storm. Please consider checking out their chess blog and chess shop with tons of free updated previews.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Huge hit for the 10th annual SPF National Open for Boys and Girls in San Mateo

Some of the special moments from the 10th annual SPF National Open for Boys and Girls in San Mateo, California. This is the strongest SPFNO ever, with more than 400 registered players, 12 qualifying spots for the 2015 World Youth Championships, and over $100,000 in chess scholarships, prizes, and trophies.

BIG BIG thanks to all the parents, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, supporters for making this a fantastic event! We will be back at the same venue on the same weekend next year! Contracts have been signed and more sponsors will be lined up to support our bright young stars.

All pictures will be posted right here by Wednesday.

6 perfect scores at 2015 SPF National Open Puzzle Solving Championships

Name - # of correct answers - Time solved

Aaron Grabinsky 20 8:09 Overall winner
Cameron Wheeler 20 9:58
Christopher Woojin Yoo 20 26:50
Justin Friedlander 20 30
Nastassja Matus 20 30 Top Girl
Vikram Ramasamy 20 30

Josiah Stearman 19 9:38
Andrew Hong 19 18:12
Ganesh Murugappan 19 23:50
Hersh Singh 19 30 Top U-1600
Josiah Perkins 19 30

Raymond Muller 18.5 22:53
Andrea Botez 18 27:11
Noah Estiva 18 28
Gloria Friedman 18 30
Shafieen Ibrahim 18 30

Satnvik Singireddy 17.5 30

Steven Y. Hwang 17 29
Andrew Huang 17 30
Benjamin Friedlander 17 30
Enkhjin Gomboluudev 17 30
Joshua Grabinsky 17 30
Oscar Petrov 17 30
Reagan Pearl 17 30
Sanjay Selvam 17 30

Alex Kolay 16.5 30

Brian Huang 16 30
Daniel Cheng 16 30
Samik Pattanayak 16 30

Adrian Kandakov 15 30
Anthony Faulks 15 30
Jonathan Martinez 15 30
Kaitlyn Chu 15 30

Phoenix Changkachith 14.5 30

Minda Chen 14 30 Top U-1000
Rohan Das 14 30
Ruthvik Singireddy 14 30

David Roshu 13 30
Masanaga Seno 13 30
Pranav Sairam 13 30
Reka Sztaray 13 30

Anchul Schmidt 12 30
Owen Xuan 12 30

Albert Nguyen 11.5 30

Hailey Riley 11 30

Aradh Kaur 10 30
Eleanor Karis-Scongers 10 30
Meghana Kancharla 10 30
Micah Stearman 10 30
Sanjana Das 10 30

Benjamin Bankhead 9 30
Naveen Nath 9 30

Anav Mehta 8 30
Cassandra Maria Roshu 8 30

Aditya Ram 7 30

Anika Rajaram 6.5 30

Nitish Nath 5 30

Riya Hariyaplar 3 30

Daniyal Irfan Virk 2 30
Smaran Sairam 2 30