Monday, May 12, 2008

Young Polgar captures national title for Lubbock

Written by Paul Truong

Tommy Polgar, a third grader at Ramirez Charter School, the eldest son of TTU SPICE Director and Knight Raiders Head Coach Susan Polgar, has just captured his third national chess title at the National Elementary Chess Championship in Pittsburgh, PA.

2,200 young chess hopefuls from across the United States competed for the coveted national titles. The event took place from May 9 to 11 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Tommy scored 6.5 points in 7 games (6 wins, 1 draw, and no loss) to share the first place title in the K-3 section with Danny Angermeier of Massachusetts.

This victory almost did not happen at all. After the first day of competition, Tommy got sick. He woke up on Saturday morning not feeling well. He almost had to withdraw from the tournament.

At the last minute he decided to give it his best shot and gutted it out. After drawing round 4 which cost him ½ point in the point standing, he had to win his remaining 3 games against very tough opponents to even have a shot at the title.

Feeling a little better on Sunday, Tommy had to make a big come back and pulled off an almost impossible feat. He scored two huge upsets against two of the top five seeds in back to back games to earn a share of the national title. He dedicated his championship to his mother as a Mother’s Day present.

He thanked the Texas Tech / SPICE Chess Club and the members of Texas Tech Knight Raiders Chess Team for practicing with him and taking him under their wings. He also thanked everyone at the Ramirez Charter School for supporting him.

Two weeks ago, he represented the Ramirez Charter School and captured 1st place in the first ever Lubbock Open (3rd – 5th grade section) with a perfect 4-0 score. He also helped his school team captured the 3rd – 5th grade 1st place team trophy. His younger brother Leeam was a member of the 1st place K – 2nd grade team in the same event and he finished tied for 2nd in the individual competition.
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