Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Everyone can benefit from chess
Chess grandmaster makes all the right moves with fans
Susan Polgar is queen in the game of kings, but her tour de force is the difference she’s made as a role model to girls and boys alike.
William Lin, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2007
...In Ottawa to preside over the Canadian Youth Chess Championship, Ms. Polgar spent Tuesday afternoon holding lectures for young chess players and their parents.
The top female chess player in the U.S., Ms. Polgar strongly advocates using chess to help children develop social, scholastic and life skills. One of the ways she does that is through the Susan Polgar Foundation, which provides training and opportunities to girls.
She knows how it affected her own life.
...Ms. Polgar's successes have made her a celebrity in the chess world. Those qualifications carry the kind of celebrity that had young chess players scrambling to pick her brains.
At the first session, 11-year-old Joey Qin asked: "What are the keys to success?" He quickly followed up with a second question: "If you were stranded on a desert island, what two chess books would you bring?"
Later, Joey explained that, to him, Ms. Polgar is a star.
"It was exciting. I really couldn't believe she was here," he said.
He's not the only one who considers her a role model.
Jim Green says his daughter, Leah, used to be shy. Now, the 10-year-old Winnipeg native is coming out of her shell.
"As she's gotten better in chess, you can see her believe in herself," Mr. Green said.
He explained that when it comes to chess, some children can be "quite chauvinistic. It's not uncommon to hear you're a girl I'm going to beat you.'
"To show her that sex really doesn't matter when it comes to brains, Mr. Green told his daughter about Ms. Polgar, a five-time Olympic champion.
...Texas Tech University has tapped her to head the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, which hopes to become "the world's premier centre for chess research, education, development and outreach."
Here is the full article in the Ottawa Newspaper.