Saturday, March 29, 2008
US Chess Federation PRESS RELEASE – April 2, 2008
The United States Chess Federation (USCF) announces the 2008 U S Senior Championship to be held at the Marriott Hotel, Boca Raton, Florida from April 28 to May 3.
Concurrent with the Championship will be the Chess Collectors International (CCI) annual meeting. More than 150 world-famous chess sets will be on display. Also on display will be several sets from the world acclaimed “Dean Collection.” Dr. George Dean will be giving a talk on his collection, the evolution and historical significance of the chess pieces and some anecdotal tales about how he acquired some of the sets such as the world’s only two Farbage chess sets.,
Among scheduled events during this chess week, will be an auction of chess sets at the Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach. The auction will include worldwide participation over the Internet and eBAY. Information on the auction will be on the Galleries website www.agopb.com.
The closing banquet and awards presentations will be on Saturday, May 3rd. World Women’s Chess Champion Susan Polgar will be the featured speaker. Three new inductees to the US Chess Hall of Fame will be honored at the dinner.
CCI will be holding a "Chess Fair" with chess sets, chess books and chess ephemera for sale , OPEN and FREE TO THE PUBLIC, at the Marriott Hotel in Boca Raton on Friday, May 2d, from 1 to 3 PM
Boca Marriott Hotel – Sat., May 3 @ 7:00pm,
Opening - Floyd Sarisohn, Don Schultz
Pledge of Allegiance - Joel Channing
New Hall of Famers - Al Lawrence
Special Awards USCF - Don Schultz
Senior Open Champion Presentation - Susan Polgar.
Special Awards CCI - Floyd Sarisohn
Closing Remarks - Susan Polgar
Music - Arun Bhagwat
For more information/reservations, please contact Donald Schultz at (561) 243 2932 or email him at email@example.com
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Tech chess champ honored for Women's History Month
World chess champion and Texas Tech employee Susan Polgar was honored during a Women's History Month celebration hosted by New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.
Polgar, director of Texas Tech's Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence and coach of the Knight Raiders chess team, was one of six distinguished honorees at the event, also hosted by the Women's City Club of New York and the New York League of Women's Voters.
Source: Avalanche Journal
Friday, March 14, 2008
Tech's Knight Raiders Chess Team flies high at competition
By Ashley Simpson AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
Friday, March 14, 2008
Story last updated at 3/14/2008 - 2:18 am
The Knight Raiders Chess Team took second place at the 2008 Southwest Collegiate Championship in Houston last weekend - the best ever showing in team history.
Nearly 1,500 players statewide attended the competition. Texas Tech's team placed ahead of the University of Texas in Austin and behind the University of Texas in Dallas.
"We were playing against the No. 1 team in the nation, so I'm really stoked about (our win)," said Chase Watters, president of Tech's chess team. "We're hoping to get some international masters and grandmasters next year."
Team members Stephanie Ballom, Walter Albeldano and Bryan Pernes, along with Watters, brought home the second-place award.
Susan Polgar, head coach and director of Tech's Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, said the award is a significant accomplishment for the community.
"It was a wonderful achievement for our students," said Polgar. "I'm very proud of them."
Polgar, winner of four Women's World Chess Championships, 10 Olympic medals and Women's World Chess Cup, said she hopes her team will continue to make Lubbock proud.
Ballom said Polgar is always there for the team to provide help and encouragement.
"Susan is an amazing coach," she said.
The team prepared for the event with relentless practice and weekly tournaments, said Albeldano.
"We've been working hard," he said. "I'm excited to be part of it."
Source: Avalanche Journal
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
L to R: Dr. Hal Karlsson, Chase Watters, Dr. Jim Brink, Walter Albeldano, me, Bryan Pernes and Stephanie Ballom
The Texas Tech University Knight Raiders chess team recorded its best finish in team history at the prestigious Southwest Collegiate Championship held last weekend (March 8 – 9) in Houston.
Team members Chase Watters, Bryan Pernes, Stephanie Ballom and Walter Albedano earned second-place honors over teams including the University of Texas at Austin and the Lone Star College. (Cory Chandler)
The globe behind us has a very rich history. This is Texas Tech University 1688 Coronelli Terrestrial Globe, one of only three in North America. It was designed and constructed in the Venetian workshop of the Franciscan Father Vincenzo Coronelli.
In 1920, it was purchased by American newspaper magnate and tireless art collector William Randolph Hearst from a Paris antiques dealer. The globe was left crated until 1941, when Hearst auctioned it off. Texas Tech University purchased the globe in 1968 from Dallas oilman Robert B. Moody as the library's one millionth acquisition.
Due to its deteriorating condition, the 300 year old globe was removed from public display in the mid 1980's. Realizing the globe's historic and aesthetic significance, then Texas Tech Regent James E. Sowell provided funding for an extensive conservation treatment. This restoration, which was dedicated to First Lady Laura Bush in May 1997, has made it possible for the Coronelli Globe to be on permanent exhibit in the Southwest Collection / Special Collections Library.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Susan Polgar Honored in New York City
Chess giant recognized during Women’s History Month event.
Written by Cory Chandler
International magnate and Texas Tech University chess ambassador Susan Polgar was a featured honoree during a Women’s History Month celebration hosted by New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.
Polgar, director of Texas Tech’s Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) and coach of the Knight Raiders, was one of five city leaders honored at the event, co-sponsored by the Women’s City Club of New York and The League of Women Voters of the City of New York.
“Ms. Polgar captured her first world title by winning the World Chess Championships for girls under 16 at the age of 12 in 1982,” Thompson said.
“In 1986, Ms. Polgar broke the gender barrier in becoming the first woman in history to qualify for the Men’s World Chess Championship at the age of 16. Though she qualified, her gender kept her from participating, and in response the World Chess Federation eventually was forced to change its rules and admit women players. She earned a men’s Grandmaster title five years later.”
Here is the full article.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
The Knight Raiders Chess Team finished 2nd at Southwest Collegiate Championship!
The 2008 Texas Scholastic Championship and Southwest Collegiate Championship were held in Houston at the Hilton Americas on March 8-9. The event drew 1,437 players statewide from primary to college.
The Knight Raiders Chess Team from Texas Tech University had the best ever showing in team history. The team finished in 2nd place behind the University of Texas in Dallas and ahead of the University of Texas in Austin!
Congratulations to the Knight Raiders for the fine showing and UTD for winning another championship!
Texas State Chess Association website: http://www.texaschess.org/
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Special essay by Grandmaster Imre Hera of Hungary
This is from my column in ChessCafe this month
People often ask me about what it takes to become a grandmaster and how they differ from a typical chess player. Here is an enlightening essay by Hungarian grandmaster Imre Hera. He is the first GM to receive a scholarship to Texas Tech University, and he hopes to attend in the fall of 2008.
How was a grandmaster born?
Everyone who wants to do something in a professional way knows well that success does not come easy. One has to work hard to achieve his goals and has to give up some of the comforts he is used to. When I was a child, the situation was quite the same and I learned this lesson at an early age.
I started playing chess at the age of 4. First, I learned the basics: the name of the squares, the pieces, the openings and the endings from my father. I was only 6 years old when a friend of our family asked me to give a simultaneous for a group of journalists during an event. Everybody was surprised when I defeated six of the eleven players and drew with three others. A daily newspaper wrote an article about the event and the official Hungarian chess magazine Sakkélet gave a full-page of coverage about me.
These first tastes of success encouraged both me and my father to put more effort into chess. When I turned 7, my father searched for a personal trainer to help develop my skills. As we were not a rich family, we had to save money for the trainer’s wage. Therefore, we did not buy as much clothes, toys, or accessories as other families did. First I was going to school in the mornings and had chess lessons in the afternoons. But as I developed more in chess, I needed more and more training sessions. My parents decided to put me in a ‘private pupil’ status, so that I had more time for chess. This meant having exams in Math and other subjects during the summer when other children were on their vacation.
My very first adult Hungarian team championship came in 1996. My debut couldn’t be better: I won the championship. Everybody who has achieved an aim for what he had worked for many years knows it well – that sweet taste of victory. And when one has tasted it for the first time, he wants it again. That success – still at the age of 10 – made me even more determined to become a better player.
My second big challenge was the 1996 world championship finals at Menorca. It was my second time traveling abroad. Traveling through Barcelona was a huge experience for me. My whole family supported me all the way – my mother accompanied me to Spain. In the end, I finished fifth in the tournament. Many of the competitors who appeared there already had their master or grandmaster titles by then.
After Spain things sped up: I was signed by a club participating in the Hungarian First Division - Matador – and was immediately given the third place in rank. In that same year I was invited to the ‘98 Rapid World Championship Finals in France. In the end, I won the world championship, which is one of the most favorite memories of my life so far. This can be better understood if one imagines that he is in EuroDisney – one of the children’s favorite places in Europe for free and finishes a competition with a perfect of 8 points out of 8 games. I was even interviewed by the Chinese National Television. When I finally got home, I was on the front page of the national sport newspaper and several other newspapers. For a while I felt like a star. In those days I also learned a lot about how to deal with success and how to put behind achievement when I had to go forward.
Though it seemed that success followed success in my life, there were always lows to bring me back to reality. Meanwhile I had graduated from primary school and started my secondary school in which they did not allow me to continue my studies as a private student. For that I had to focus less on chess for a long time. Little successes – like participating in the secondary school’s team – cheered me up during that time. Our school won the first place in the national “student Olympic” championship twice. For the second championship I requested from our trainer to share my knowledge with my teammates in order to help them develop into better players. I was also invited to other schools to give simultaneous exhibitions, but I did not take part any active tournaments. I just played team games.
School was not the only problem during those days. Two other shocking events happened to me: my parents divorced and our club went bankrupt – which of course meant that we had to give up participating in the First Division. I had to look for a new club for the first time in four years. Fortunately, my father not only taught me how to face success but failures as well, so I could get back on my feet.
Three years passed with practicing and I continued my path of collecting new championships. I won the European Rapid Championship trophy in Graz 2000. After secondary school, I decided to return to chess. I wanted to be an IM, as I had one norm before at the age of 11. I reached the international master level unexpectedly quickly in two months in 2005, which opened the gates for me to foreign championships. I got signed by a Polish, a Slovakian and a new Hungarian club. I had my first league victory with my Slovakian team (Komarno) in 2006 and in 2007 we repeated the victory.
My biggest challenge was to become an international grandmaster, which I reached at the 2007 European Individual Championship in Dresden. I even received an invitation to the final 128 in the World Cup in Khanty Mansysk, Russia. I saw some of the top players in the world there and had to fight against grandmaster Rublevsky. Unfortunately, he was a too big of a ‘fish’ for me to defeat.
Now, in the 14th year of my professional chess career, I have almost attained all that I wanted. I have signed with several clubs, earned the grandmaster title and several titles as well. But I am still far away from being number one in my sport and I still have plenty to learn. I saw many players who got stuck in development at my level. This happened because of laziness in some cases, while with some others it was because they could not set up new challenges for themselves. I do not want to lay back in my armchair because I feel that I can reach whatever I want in chess.
On the way home from Russia I was wondering on the plane whether all these efforts were worth it all. I have to say: totally. I have learned a lot about how to appear, how to communicate and how to behave among foreign people. I even learned how to live on my own – for a week or more – in a foreign country and be away from my family. Sometimes I feel like I should regret the many things that I gave up for practicing chess when I was a child, but the success that I have achieved has compensated that feeling.
With my short autobiography I wanted to show that one can achieve success (or even more) that one has dreamed of, but only if he works hard and brings his best to the game. That is the only way to become a ‘grandmaster’ in any aspect of life.
This was in my ChessCafe column this month. Click here to read my column this month.