Sunday, September 26, 2010
Chess champ attending 2010 Chess Olympiad in Russia
Posted: September 25, 2010 - 11:02pm
Greetings from Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia!
I arrived at the 2010 Chess Olympiad on Wednesday after traveling for two days. The trip was relatively smooth, just a lot of connecting flights. My route was Lubbock to Dallas to New York to Helsinki to Moscow to Khanty-Mansiysk! I will write more about this event and how it will affect SPICE in future columns.
The question of the week is can I explain a little more about the Chess Olympiad. Is it a part of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and how big is it?
The 2010 Chess Olympiad has just begun. It is currently taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia (close to the West Siberian Plain).
Nearly 1,500 players, coaches, and captains of 262 men’s and women’s teams from nearly 150 countries are here for two weeks to battle for the individual and team gold, silver and bronze medals. Just to give you an idea how large the Chess Olympiad is, here are the statistics for this international competition:
• 2008 Summer Olympics (Beijing, China): 204 nations.
•2008 Chess Olympiad (Dresden, Germany): 152 nations.
•2006 Winter Olympics (Turin, Italy): 86 nations.
Yes, chess is a part of the IOC. There have been various discussions in recent years to include chess as part of the Summer or Winter Olympics. Nothing has materialized yet. For now the Chess Olympiad enjoys the second position behind the Summer Olympics with approximately 150 countries battling every two years.
You can follow LIVE games and all updated information about the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk at www.ChessDailyNews.com.
Source: Avalanche Journal
Friday, September 24, 2010
Magnus Carlsen' loss today reminds us of how difficult it is not to lose a game in Chess Olympiad. In such an important event where one plays for national pride, no serious player will just mail it in. Everyone comes to each game to fight.
Here are the top 3 players in the Men's (Open) and Women's Olympiad who played the most games (up to the Dresden Olympiad - Minimum 15 games) without a single loss:
Men’s (Open) Olympiad
Title - Name - Country - Total points scored - Total games played - Wins - Draws - Losses - Percentage
GM Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 32½ points 47 games 18-29-0 69.1%
GM Acs, Peter HUN 13½ points 19 games 8-11-0 71.1%
IM Minić, Dragoljub YUG 14½ points 18 games 11-7-0 80.6%
GM Polgar, Susan (*) HUN - USA 43½ points 56 games 31-25-0 77.7%
WGM Kushnir, Alla USSR - ISR 23 points 25 games 21-4-0 92.0%
WIM Zvorykina, Kira USSR 17½ points 20 games 15-5-0 87.5%
(*) All games on board 1
Monday, September 20, 2010
September 20, 2010
Texas Tech Freshman to Compete in 2010 Chess Olympiad
Grandmaster will join nearly 1,500 players representing many of the World Chess Federation's 171 national federations.
Written by Cory Chandler
A 19-year-old member of the Texas Tech University Knight Raiders chess team will compete against some of the world’s best players at the 2010 Chess Olympiad that begins today and continues through Oct. 4 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
Freshman Grandmaster Andre Diamant, the 2008-09 Brazilian national chess champion, will join nearly 1,500 players representing many of the World Chess Federation’s 171 national federations.
Diamant, who competed in Texas Tech’s 2009 SPICE Cup International Invitational Tournament before attending the university as a student, is the first Knight Raider to compete in an olympiad.
“I think that Andre’s inclusion in the Olympiad speaks volumes about the type of world-class talent we have been able to attract to Texas Tech and Lubbock,” said Susan Polgar, coach of the Knight Raiders and director of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE).
Polgar will join Diamant in Khanty-Mansiysk to promote Texas Tech, SPICE and to recruit additional top talent. She also is the co-chair of FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess and ambassador for Tromso, Norway 2014 Chess Olympiad bid.
Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu.
CONTACT: Paul Truong, director of marketing, SPICE, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-7742, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Knight Raider team member heading to the 2010 Chess Olympiad
September 18, 2010 - 11:01pm
Nineteen-year-old Texas Tech freshman Grandmaster Andre Diamant, 2008-09 Brazilian National Chess champion, is heading to the 2010 Chess Olympiad to compete against some of the world’s best players. The Chess Olympiad will take place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, Monday-Oct. 4. He is the first Knight Raider to qualify for this prestigious event. It speaks volumes for Tech and Lubbock to be able to attract this kind of world-class talent.
Nearly 1,500 of the best chess players from all over the world are projected to compete in this year’s Chess Olympiad and Women’s Chess Olympiad. More countries are expected to be represented in the Chess Olympiad than the summer or winter Olympics. FIDE (World Chess Federation) has 171 national federations. It is the second-largest sports organization in the world, behind only soccer.
According to CBS and other sources, there are approximately 45 million people in the United States who play chess and more than 700 million worldwide. There are also more children who play chess in this country than major sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, etc.
I will join Andre in Khanty-Mansiysk to promote Texas Tech, SPICE and to recruit additional top talent. I am also the co-chair of FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess and Ambassador for Troms, Norway 2014 Chess Olympiad bid.
Source: Avalanche Journal
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Members of the Knight Raiders A team met with Texas Tech Provost Bob Smith this afternoon. He wanted to welcome everyone and to recognize their magnificent achievements.
Left to Right:
International Master Istvan Sipos (Hungary), Grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic (Croatia - Co-Captain), Grandmaster Anatoly Bykhovsky (Israel), Chase Watters (Texas - Co-Captain), Grandmaster Andre Diamant (Brazil), and Peggy Flores (SPICE).
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Life-changing moments of a future world chess champion
Posted: September 11, 2010 - 11:33pm
Lubbock Avalanche Journal
The question of the week is can I point to a single experience in my life, which I can define as having contributed to who I am or what I do today?
The answer is I can probably point to at least three different occasions that greatly impacted my life. The first one was when I was around 4 years old. That was when I discovered the game of chess and my life has never been the same since. Here is what my husband Paul Truong wrote in an article for a major chess website a few years back.
“Since Susan is too modest to talk about herself, I was asked to do it. I have known Susan since we were teenagers. She is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. The same goes for her two sisters, Sofia and Judit. This is from my personal knowledge of an interview with Susan.” — Paul Truong
Susan took up the game quite by accident. One day, when she was not even 4 years old, Susan came across a chess set in the family house and developed a curiosity for it. At the age of 4, Susan won her first “official” tournament, the Budapest Championship for girls under 11, scoring a perfect 10 wins in 10 games.
Susan’s father, Laszlo, a chess enthusiast, understood his daughter’s special potential. He helped her with her chess, but his knowledge was very limited. Therefore, he hired trainers to help her. The Polgars, an average Hungarian family, had to work very hard just to survive. So, they saved as much as possible and gave up everything to give their daughter this opportunity.
Due to the logistical situation and financial hardship of the family, it would have been awkward for her two younger sisters to afford to develop a major interest other than chess. So in a way, Susan paved the road for her two sisters. Susan had to put in a lot of hard work. The more success she had in international competitions, the more financial rewards the family received. Eventually, her parents gave up their jobs to help Susan’s career on a full-time basis. When Sofia and Judit were old enough to learn chess, Susan helped to train her sisters.
Susan speaks seven languages. This is a great help when she travels abroad. These languages have also played a big role in getting her published as a chess columnist worldwide. Her first book, published by a German firm, was released when she was only 16. Right after Susan turned 15, she became the No. 1-ranked woman in the world, higher than Gaprindashvili and Chiburdanidze, legendary women’s world champions, even though she was the youngest player among the top 25 women players in the world. But success did not come easy.
There were many pitfalls (such as having to face religious, gender and age discrimination, and much more) on the way to the top. But Susan worked hard to overcome each and every one of them.
At 16, Susan’s rating was higher than Anatoly Karpov, one of the greatest world champions of all time, at the same age. The following year at age 17, Susan became the highest-rated player for men or women younger than 18 years old. That in itself is an incredible achievement.
With a stellar career that includes four World Championship titles (1981 World Champion-Girls under 16, 1992 Women’s World Rapid Champion, 1992 Women’s World Blitz Champion, 1996 Women’s World Champion), 10 Olympic Medals (five gold, four silver and one bronze), becoming the first woman to ever qualify for the Men’s Zonal for the World Championship as well as the first woman to “earn” the overall grandmaster title, Susan could not have done it alone.
She was fortunate to have the unconditional love and support of her family. Laszlo and Klara basically gave up their lives for Susan and her two sisters. Susan, Sofia and Judit not only are close sisters, they are also each other’s best friends. They supported each other through the good time and bad.
The second life-changing moment occurred on Sept.11, 2001. Paul and I were supposed to have an important business meeting near the World Trade Center in New York City around the time when the planes by the terrorists struck the Twin Towers.
A day or two before the meeting was supposed to take place, the other party requested to have the meeting pushed back by a few hours. If this did not happen, who knows what would have happened to us.
That was when my perspective and goals changed. I knew in my heart that I had to do more to make a bigger positive impact for future generations. Shortly after that, I founded the Susan Polgar Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, to promote chess with all its educational, social and competitive benefits throughout the United States, for young people of all ages, especially girls.
Because of this life-changing moment, I made it my personal mission to help kids do better in the classroom and in life, the best way I know how. I want to give them a head start, a positive start in their young lives. Since then, my foundation has awarded over $1 million in chess prizes and scholarships to young chess players, on behalf of our many sponsors and supporters.
The third life-changing moment in my life took place in November 2005 when I got an invitation from Hal Karlsson, Ph.D., a chess enthusiast, a student adviser to the Knight Raiders, and an associate professor of geosciences at Tech, to come to Lubbock to give a lecture and conduct various chess exhibitions. I have done hundreds of these events in my life and there was no way that I could have known that less than two years later, I would relocate to this wonderful city with my family to start SPICE.
I have been to more than 50 countries and most states in the U.S. But I could not be more proud to call Lubbock home. This city still maintains the small-town hospitality, West Texas charm and friendliness, while it offers big-city convenience. It is a wonderful place to raise a family.
There are other life-changing moments but these are the three that stick out in my life the most.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The school was established in 1923. Today, Texas Tech University has more than 39,000 students and 18,000 faculty / staff from over 100 countries. The main campus in Lubbock, Texas has 30,049 students.
Texas Tech University comprised a vast 1,850 acres, but elegant Spanish Renaissance-style buildings and attractively landscaped grounds give the campus an old-fashion collegial feel. Located in Lubbock, Texas Tech enjoys the area’s High Plains climate and four distinct seasons.
Texas Tech offers students a choice of more than 150 bachelor’s, 100 master’s, and 50 doctoral programs. Faculty members are nationally known for their work in a wide variety of fields. It is the ONLY institution in Texas with a graduate school, a law school, and a medical school in the same location as the main undergraduate campus. Overall, there are 14 colleges at Texas Tech University with 62 academics departments and 198 degree programs.
More than 400 clubs and organizations provide enrichment outside of the classroom.
Texas Tech also many other locations such as San Angelo, El Paso, Spain, and Germany, etc. It is expected to be designated as a tier one university soon.
Undergraduate: Approximately 56% male - 44% female
Graduate & Professional: Approximately 52.5% male - 47.5% female
New Transfer Students: Approximately 57% male - 43% female
5. South Korea
SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) was established in 2007. It is the only established university chess institute in the United States and possibly in the world. The goal of SPICE is to work with our friends and colleagues to enhance chess, education, technology, and research, etc.
Why should a student / chess player come to Texas Tech?
Here are just a few of the many benefits:
1. To receive top notch education.
2. To receive world class intense chess training.
3. To have the opportunity to compete in multiple major SPICE chess tournaments (SPICE Cup, SPICE Spring Invitational, Get Smart! Play Chess!, Lubbock Open, and many more) every year.
SPICE is a premier center for chess education, research, technology, and outreach.
The goal of SPICE is to:
- Recruit outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to TTU and TTU-HSC
- Provide a substantial amount of scholarships to chess players
- Be a world leader in promoting women's chess
- Support the nation's most elite chess programs
- Promote chess as vehicle for enriching the education of children
- Serve as a center for chess education and research
- Support and promote competitive chess at the college level
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Knight Raider chess team members thrive on and off the board
Posted: September 4, 2010 - 11:01pm
Lubbock Avalanche Journal
The question of the week is how important is it for me to recruit excellent students for the Texas Tech Knight Raider chess teams?
The short answer is it is very important. Here are my criteria which I addressed in a previous column:
• Professionalism (Will the recruit take pride in what he/she does and give his/her all?)
• Work ethic (Will the recruit be willing to put in maximum effort academically and in chess training?)
• Coachability (Will the recruit be willing to be coached to improve his/her chess strength? There is no perfect chess player. Every player has room to grow.)
• Team player (Will the recruit put the team concept above personal accolades in team competition? Team unity and chemistry are extremely important for success.)
The accumulative grade of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders chess teams (A team, B team, and women’s team) last year was approximately 3.28, with 3 players earning a perfect 4.0. They also have a wide range of majors such as economics, finance, math, electrical engineering, psychology, law, Spanish, English, political science, biotech, and microbiology, etc.
In addition to getting good grades, they also worked hard to improve their chess skills. Through the special SPICE training program, the 13 active members of the A team, B team, and women’s team gained nearly 1,100 rating points in this short time. That is an average improvement of nearly 90 rating points per player! Their vast improvement resulted in winning five national, two state, and one regional chess championships in less than two years.
Besides a busy academic and chess schedule, many members of the Knight Raiders also volunteered countless hours teaching and promoting chess in the Lubbock community through schools, libraries, and senior centers, etc. I am very proud of my players and we will work hard to continue the tradition of excellence on and off the chess board.
BBC radio program
Last week I was on the hour long BBC radio program “World Have Your Say” with host Ros Atkins, former No. 1-ranked table tennis player in the UK Matthew Syed, former Utah Jazz NBA star John Amaechi, and others.
The very interesting topic was “Is there such a thing as natural talent?”
To listen to this entire show, visit www.ChessDailyNews.com and click on the “BBC Radio Special” icon.
Local chess activities
The new school year has started and chess is in full swing again. Below is the information for upcoming events:
• “Super Saturday” SPICE Fun Chess; Sept. 25 to Oct. 16.
Two levels: Novice and Intermediate.
Class dates: Sept. 25; Oct. 2, 9 and 16 (four sessions).
Hours: 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Texas Tech’s administration building.
Instruction will be provided by members of the Texas Tech Knight Raider Chess Team, based on Grandmaster Susan Polgar’s chess curriculum and direct guidance.
Registration fee: $79 by Sept. 20, after add $20 late fee. Send registration form to: Texas Tech University, SPICE, Box 45080, Lubbock, TX 79409.
• Sixth “Get Smart! Play Chess!” Open: Oct. 23.
A Four-Round Swiss System Tournament (Game/30).
Event Site: Science Spectrum 2579 S. Loop 289.
• Spice Cup Open Chess Championship; Oct. 30.
A Four-Round Swiss System Tournament (Game/45).
Event Site: TTU Student Union.
• Spice Cup 2010 Scholastic Chess Championship; Oct. 30.
A Four-Round Swiss System Tournament (Game/30).
Event Site: TTU Student Union
• SPICE Cup FIDE Rated Open; Nov. 5-7.
A Six-Round Swiss System (G/90 with 30 second increment).
Open to all FIDE rated players and USCF 1600 and higher.
Event Site: Tech student union.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Hungarian-American Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar has had an illustrious career, which includes winning 4 Women’s World Championships, and is the only player to win the triple-crown (Blitz, Rapid, and Classical World Championships). She became the #1 ranked female at the age of 15, and remained in the top 3 for nearly 25 straight years. In 1991, she broke the gender barrier by becoming the first woman in history to earn the Grandmaster title through traditional FIDE requirement. She is also a five-time Women’s Olympic Champion, earning 10 overall medals – 5 Gold, 4 Silver, and 1 Bronze.
She has promoted the game in various roles away from the board: an award-winning chess journalist; best-selling chess author; heading the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Texas Tech University; and leading the Susan Polgar Foundation, a non-profit organization supported by charitable donations that aims to promote chess and its educational benefits to youngsters, especially girls. The Susan Polgar Foundation has presented more than $1,000,000 in chess prizes and scholarships to young chess players since 2003. In 2009, Susan became the first woman to coach a men’s division I collegiate chess team to the Final Four.
“I have visited Tromsø and can personally say Tromsø is a beautiful city, well equipped to be an excellent choice for the Chess Olympiad 2014.” -Susan Polgar
The city of Tromsø, backed by the Norwegian Chess Federation, is committed to become the host city for the 41st Chess Olympiad in 2014.
With its 68 000 inhabitants, including 10 000 university students, Tromsø has all the amenities of “a small large city”. Chess players around the world will discover a friendly and open-minded population with hotels of excellent international standard, an attractive restaurant scene and a diversity of cultural activities. Tromsø has a very active chess environment, and hosts an annual international Chess festival, Arctic Chess Challenge, in August every year. The tournament will be further upgraded in the coming years in order to prepare for the potential Olympiad in 2014.
“Being elected as the host city of the Chess Olympiad in 2014 is a major ambition for our city”, says Tromsø mayor Arild Hausberg. “We promise the chess world a unique experience combining competent and experienced organizing skills in a friendly and exciting environment. And the event, if we succeed in winning the bid, will engage the whole city to the pleasure of the participants and the population. A comprehensive cultural program will be an integrated part of a Chess Olympiad in Tromsø”, concludes the mayor.
The preparation for the bid is well under way with both delivery of the international bid to FIDE in May 2010 and the subsequent international campaign. The bidding committee has been actively engaged for most of 2008. Active working relations with the Norwegian government have secured sufficient support. The bidding committee have troughout the national financial application and through the development of the international application to FIDE have had of a committee of Olympic and chess expertise. The chairman in this process was former managing director of the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee, (17th Winter Olympics 1994), Mr. Henrik Andenæs. Now succeeded by former Mayor of Tromsø (1999-2007) Mr. Herman Kristoffersen. Working alongside him you have a business professional, the President of the Norwegian Chess Federation, Mr. Jøran Aulin Jansson, as vice chairman. To coordinate the international campaign former vice president and legal adviser of FIDE, Mr. Morten Sand, is working as international adviser. General Manager is Mr. Børge Johan Robertsen.
What makes Tromsø exceptional is its magnificent nature. Located north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is blessed with midnight sun all through the summer, and has more polar Northern lights, “Aurora Borealis”, than anywhere else in the world. Being referred to as the entry-port to the Arctic, Tromsø still has a relatively mild climate, and lies a limited 3 hours flight away from London and Frankfurt, and less than 2 hours flight from the Norwegian capital, Oslo. This will give easy access to chess participants from all over the world.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Hey Chessters of the West Texas Frontier,
On August 28th, the 2nd match in the Panhandle team match occurred, and miscalculations were made, mates materialized, blunders bounced from board to board, and when all of the mental smoke had cleared, Lubbock had beaten the Amarillo Empire 17.5-6.5.
In the previous match Amarillo spanked the Lubbock team like a bad child, 18-6. So stay tuned for a potential 3rd match this fall.
To see the complete details of the tournament check: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201008285721-12864104
Many thanks to Steve and the Amarillo team for the revival of Amarillo vs. Lubbock chess rivalry. I think it's been close to 20 years is what Steve has said, since Amarillo and Lubbock duked it out as a team, in the royal game.
Also a big thanks to Zac for taking care of the key, help with clean-up, etc.
Former President of the Knight Raiders Chess Club
Member of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders A team
Here is the history of this match:
Amarillo 7-1 Lubbock
10.5 - 9.5 (12/1966 Kress, TX)
10.5 - 7.5 (4/16/1967)
14.5 - 5.5 (11/16/1985 Lubbock)
11 - 9 (2/22/1986 Amarillo)
15 - 5 (11/23/1986)
15 - 5 (4/5/1987)
18 - 6 (7/31/2010 Amarillo)
6.5 - 17.5 (8/28/2010 Lubbock)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
|4||1988, 1990, 1994, 2004||43½||56||31||25||0||77.7|
|STATISTICS YEAR BY YEAR|
Total record: 31 wins, 25 draws, 0 loss in 56 games over 4 chess olympiad, all on board 1.
Total medals: 10 / 5 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze