A short summary about Saturday:
The 4th Annual Aquaprofit - PolgárChess Day was held this past Saturday. It was a great success as usual, despite the major snow storm that hit Budapest the night before. Around 500 chess fans weathered the snow storm to celebrate the now traditional “Day of Celebration of Chess and its Queens”.
I am impressed by the tremendous interest for chess and this event year after year. There was a huge amount of mainstream media interest (which is not typical for chess) including most major TV stations, before, during and after the actual event. Of course it was great timing for the publicity of the event that Judit just came back a few days earlier from Mexico City with a spectacular victory over Ivanchuk and Topalov to win the UNAM Invitational.
There was one major change from previous years. The Aquaprofit – Polgár Chess Day got extended to a full day event instead of only an afternoon spectacle. Therefore, numerous new colorful activities were added to the program.
Some of them include the two exhibition games Judit and I played in front of the live audience. In the first one, we played while sharing our thoughts by explaining our though-process during our game with the enthusiastic audience in separate rooms (I won that game). The moves were transmitted by cell phones and then we met up to play face to face in the latter part of the game. The second game was a “Trust-Chess” blitz game, (where all the pieces were silver looking, packaged in foil-paper), in which Judit nicely swindled me at the end and balanced the score 1-1.
Sofia gave an hour-long well-attended lecture for beginners, which served also as an introduction to my sisters’ new book: Chess Playground http://polgarchess.com.
The book is aimed to introduce chess to the youngest audience, and is full of chess drawing, rhymes and puzzles. The book, which is already available in Hungarian as well as in English, is being used as the manual in one of the elite Kindergartens in Budapest where chess became part of the curriculum since this Fall. Pre-K students have one hour long chess session weekly, while K, has it twice a week.
The co-authors Sofia and Judit had a book-signing of their first book together. Volume two is already on its way.
The highlight of the event (which also included a press-conference, Q/A, autograph and photo sessions with the fans) was the usual 100 board simul by the three sisters. Among our opponents were numerous celebrities such as Andrea Temesvari, Ivan Fischer, and Marci Eszterhazy, just to mention a few. Also many GMs supported the event with their presence, such as the currently top-ranked Hungarian Zoltan Almasi, chess-legend Pal Benko (82) or the nation’s newest GM and Texas Tech Knight Raider Gergely Antal, etc.
I also went on a chess show, hosted by GM Gabor Kallai, on a major Hungarian Sports TV station (similar to ESPN) in the United States. We discussed the Aquaprofit – Polgár Chess Day, Judit’s spectacular success in Mexico, including her final game victory over Topalov, as well as Texas Tech Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, the Knight Raiders, and the unprecedented success of the program, etc.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors and organizers of this wonderful day of “Chess Celebration”, and specifically the main sponsor Aquaprofit and its director Mr. Tamas Nadasi. And of course the initiative of my sister Judit whose brainchild project became a wonderful tradition.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
A short summary about Saturday:
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Chess tips for new / novice players
I have done hundreds of lectures to parents, coaches and young players around the world and across the United States over the years. The questions I am most often asked are about advice and tips for young players and chess parents. I have talked about it in the past in my column, but since I received many requests for a refresher, here they are again. Below are some of the most important basic things that you should know about playing in a chess tournament:
• Once the game has started, you may not interrupt, interfere, or talk to your opponent.
• You may never directly assist any player during a game. If a player raises a hand for assistance, you should immediately summon a tournament director.
• If you witness an illegal move or position, say nothing. It is the responsibility of the players to bring any complaint to the attention of a tournament director.
• You are not permitted to say anything if a player oversteps the time limit on his clock. Only the players themselves can claim a win on time.
• When a player loses a game, you must refrain from getting upset or angry or showing negative emotions. Young players need support and encouragement more than ever after a loss. They do not need scolding. Help your player stay calm and relaxed for the rest of the tournament.
• You may help your player find her correct table and board before each round.
• You should supervise your player between rounds. It is not the responsibility of the tournament director or organizer to mind your children between rounds.
• You should keep your player from distracting other players during and between rounds.
• Players should try to conserve their energy between rounds so they can be fresh for the next game.
• You should always encourage young players to practice good sportsmanship at all times, especially after losing a game.
• Official tournaments are smoke-free.
• You should view your players’ game only from behind them or in the aisle to avoid eye contact with them.
• Keep a distance between yourself and your player. In some large tournaments, you may not even be allowed in the playing room during a game.
• If you see a player or a team playing the wrong opponent, you should notify the tournament director right away.
• Only tournament officials can record information on the wall charts. Parents, coaches and players should never write on them. However, players may record their results on the pairing charts.
• You should make sure that your players’ results are reported in a timely manner.
• If you detect that a prize has been erroneously awarded after the end of a tournament, bring this to the attention of a tournament director.
The following are generally accepted rules of etiquette that should be observed by all chess players:
• It is considered rude and inappropriate for a player to eat or have a meal at the playing table.
• Basic refreshment such as water is OK.
• If you chew gum, chew quietly.
• Smoking at the playing table is prohibited.
• Refrain from singing while playing.
• There should be no communication with your opponent until after the game, except to resign, offer a draw or announce J’adoube (adjusting your pieces).
• Don’t make a draw offer to your opponent after every move once it is refused or rejected.
• Don’t listen to music / MP3 player during the game.
Although the following are not rules, it is recommended to do the following:
• Try to show up to your game in a timely manner.
• Don’t adjust the chess pieces with each move. It is quite annoying for your opponent.
• It may sound too basic to even mention, but don’t cough or sneeze at your opponent.
• Shake hands before and after the game. It is customary.
• Have you ever seen the sign: “No shirt, no shoes, no service”? The same rule holds true in chess. Proper attire should be worn while playing.
• Don’t whistle while you are playing.
• No trash talking before, during or after the game.
• Don’t do anything to annoy your opponent or other players who may be sitting next to you.
Here are some very important chess principles that will help you become a better player:
• Control the center: The center of the board includes the squares e4, d4, e5, and d5. When you start a game, place your pawns in the center to occupy and control as many of these squares as you can. Location, location, location!
• Develop your pieces as soon as possible: Get your knights and bishops out right away. This should be done during the first six or seven moves, before you try to checkmate your opponent.
• Castle as soon as possible: Castle early to keep your king safe. Remember, you can’t win if you get checkmated first. So, don’t forget to castle! After you castle, connect your rooks by developing your queen.
• Keep your pieces protected: Don’t leave your pieces en prise (unprotected). Each and every piece is very valuable, so don’t forget to protect them. Protecting a piece means that if your opponent can take your piece, then you can capture back.
• Have fun: The most important thing in chess should be to have fun, whether you win or lose. My motto in chess is “Win with grace, lose with dignity.” When you win, be a good sport. When you lose, be an even better sport. Shake hands and congratulate your opponent. This will go a long way in making good friends.
Besides the five valuable principles above, there are others that you should try to remember. Chess is a game with logic, strategy, planning and tactics. Keep the following principles in mind as you play.
• Every move should have a purpose.
• Try to discern the idea behind your opponent’s move.
• Always think before you move.
• There is no take back in chess. So make your decision carefully.
• Planning is one of the most important elements of the game.
• Analyze your games and learn from your mistakes: Every player, from beginner to world champion, makes mistakes. It is very important to review your games to find your mistakes and learn from them.
• Pace yourself wisely: There are many different time controls in chess. Use your allotted time wisely. Whatever the time control, use your time to find the best plans and moves. Don’t rush just because your opponents play fast.
These and many more tips can be found in my best-selling chess instructional book “A World Champion’s Guide to Chess” and “Learn Chess in 30 Minutes” DVD, which can be found at www.PolgarChess.com. You can also improve with http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2009/10/polgar-chess-university.html
Sunday, November 21, 2010
MI A KÖZÖS A POLGÁR NÕVÉREKBEN?
Mind a három Polgár-lány kétszeres olimpiai bajnok. Mádl Ildikóval csapatot alkotva 1988-ban Szalonikiben és 1990-ben Újvidéken is megtörték a szovjet sakkozó nõk hegemóniáját. Mind a három Polgár-lány kétgyermekes anya. Érdekes megjegyezni, hogy a 6 gyermekükbõl az elsõ 5 fiú, és csak Judit második gyermeke leány. A világ minden táján tartanak bemutatókat és adnak interjúkat, ahol büszkén vallanak magyarságukról, budapesti gyermekéveikrõl. Igaznak tûnik a mondás: „A Polgár-lányok felérnek három külügyminiszterrel!"
A magyar sakkozás egyetlen felnõtt világbajnoka. Négyszer játszott sakkolimpián, ahol (egyéni érmein kívül) csapatainak két aranyérmet és egy ezüstérmet szerzett Magyarországnak, majd 2004-ben, Calviában a sakktörténelemben elõször dobogós amerikai csapatot segítette ezüstéremhez! A Texas Tech Egyetem
díszdoktora, az egyetem sakk tanszékének vezetõje. Több mint 10 éve New Yorkban él. Az amerikai sakkozás mára talán legismertebb és legelismertebb alakja, emellett a magyar sakkozás és Magyarország hûséges képviselõje.
Igazi mûvészlélek! Gyönyörû támadójátszmái és taktikai megoldásai legszebb gyõzelmeit halhatatlanná teszik. 1989-ben Rómában minden idõk egyik legértékesebb teljesítményét nyújtva 2928-as performanszot ért el. Ezen a versenyen 9-bõl 8,5 pontot szerzett, a torna egy szakaszában, zsinórban három szovjet nagymestert gyõzött le. A közelmúltig családjával Izraelben élt, ahol korábban a Kaszparov Sakkakadémiát vezette. Mintegy egy éve a férje munkája miatt Kanadába költöztek. Manapság ritkábban játszik, „civil" végzettsége belsõépítész.
Minden idõk legerõsebb nõi sakkozója. Abszolút világrekord, hogy immár huszonnyolcadszor vezeti a nõi világranglistát! (Kaszparov a saját kategóriájában csak 23-ig jutott). A világ legjelentõsebb férfi versenyeinek legkedveltebb résztvevõje, melyet nem csak azzal érdemelt ki, hogy a férfi világranglista elsõ 10 játékosa közé
küzdötte magát, hanem bátor, megalkuvás nélküli sakkstílusával is rengeteg barátot szerzett. Fiatal kora ellenére élõ sakklegenda! Tavaly hozzá hasonló sakklegendákkal, Kaszparovval és Karpovval együtt ünnepelhette Korcsnoj és a Swiss Bank születésnapját. Judit egymaga a világ sportjának külön kategóriája, szerte a világban a legismertebb magyar hölgy. Példa arra, hogy a nõk az élet minden területén felvehetik a versenyt a férfiakkal. A férfiak döntõ többségének azonban jobb, ha a sakktáblán nem versenyez Judittal! Budapesten él, a 2002-es sakkolimpiai ezüstérmes férficsapatunk „hõse", az Aquaprofit sakkcsapatának tagja!
Chase Watters, GM Anatoly Bykhovsky, IM Istvan Sipos, GM Andre Diamant, GM Davoring Kuljasevic, Dr. Hal Karlsson, and Dr. Rich Rice
Texas Tech Knight Raiders chess team was recognized before the Texas Tech Football game earlier today.
Here is the link to 305 pictures from this fabulous event.Texas Tech won by the score of 64-21 and the total paid attendance was 55,083.
Here is the video of the recognition.
Here is the video of the spectacular entrance.
Chess: Three tie at Tal Memorial
By Jack Peters, Special to the Los Angeles Times
November 21, 2010
The Tal Memorial in Moscow ended in a three-way tie last Sunday among Levon Aronian of Armenia, Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan. Each scored 51/2-31/2 in the round robin, a tribute to the late world champion Mikhail Tal. All 10 competitors are ranked among the world's top 18.
U.S. champion Hikaru Nakamura tied for fourth place at 5-4 with Alexander Grischuk of Russia and Wang Hao of China. Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia disappointed with a modest 41/2-41/2. Others: Boris Gelfand (Israel), 31/2-51/2; Alexey Shirov (Spain), 3-6; and Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), 21/2-61/2.
The last round was tense. Mamedyarov, the sole leader at "+3," lost to Gelfand, enabling Karjakin and Aronian to catch up with draws. Nakamura nearly joined them, attaining a winning position against Grischuk but ultimately conceding a draw at move 90.
A year ago, Nakamura had no experience in elite tournaments and was regarded as merely a great blitz player. Now, at age 22, he is unquestionably one of the world's strongest grandmasters. By going undefeated in Moscow, he will gain about eight rating points and advance to 10th place in the world rankings.
Former U.S. champion Alexander Onischuk won the Spice Cup, a grandmaster round robin organized by the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Onischuk and German grandmaster Georg Meier scored 61/2-31/2 in the double round robin, but Onischuk took first prize because he won five games and Meier only four.
Top-seeded Zoltan Almasi (Hungary) went undefeated but won only twice. He and Wesley So (Philippines) shared third place. Eugene Perelshteyn (Massachusetts) scored 3-7, and 15-year-old Ray Robson (Florida) had 21/2-71/2. The top four finishers are ranked among the world's 100 best players.
Source: LA Times http://www.latimes.com
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Big success for Knight Raiders and SPICE at 2010 SPICE Cup
Posted: November 12, 2010 - 12:12am
After more than 10 days of exciting high-level chess competition, the 2010 SPICE Cup Chess Festival came to an end last Sunday.
All the major Internet chess servers and media covered the SPICE Cup. Even the New York Times wrote about our prestigious event with the following headline: “Texas Tech Attracts Top Players to SPICE Cup.” Overall, chess enthusiasts from more than 170 countries were able to follow SPICE Cup News and LIVE games. This brought incredible positive attention to Texas Tech, SPICE and the Knight Raiders.
The B group was won by a pair of Texas Tech Knight Raiders. Grandmaster Anatoly Bykhovsky (Tech freshman) and Grandmaster-elect Gergely Antal (Tech graduate in August 2010) tied for first with six points.
The youngest participant of the SPICE Cup, FIDE Darwin Yang of Plano, earned his second International Master norm. He earned his first International Master norm at the 2010 SPICE Spring Invitational. He needs one more norm to earn the International Master title.
The A group was won by American Grandmaster Alex Onischuk, former U.S. No. 1 and champion, as well as multiple-time Olympiad medalist. Even though Onischuk finished with the same +3 score as German Grandmaster Georg Meier (who is ranked No. 2 in Germany and plans to apply to attend Tech for the fall of 2011), he was declared the winner due to the special scoring system where a win is equal to three points instead of the traditional 1 point.
Tying for third and fourth in the A group were Hungarian No. 1-ranked player Grandmaster Zoltan Almasi and the Philippines No. 1-ranked 17-year-old chess phenom Grandmaster Wesley So. So has also expressed interest in attending Tech in the near future.
Grandmaster Georg Meier won the 2010 SPICE Cup Blitz Championship with the score of six points in seven games. Grandmaster So finished second with 5.5 points.
The SPICE Cup FIDE Rated Open was won by Grandmaster Georgi Kacheishvili, who is one of the top-rated players from the Republic of Georgia. He scored 5.5 points in six games to earn the top honor.
Tied for second were Tech International Master Itsvan Sipos (Hungary), Senior Master Faik Aleskerov (Azerbaijan) and Joachim Nilsen (Norway). Aleskerov plans to attend Tech next semester.
Once again, I would like to thank the following generous sponsors and supporters of the 2010 SPICE Cup: Texas Tech Office of the Chancellor, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement, Office of International Affairs, Gov. Rick Perry, Chancellor Kent Hance, President Guy Bailey, Provost Bob Smith, Dr. Rob Stewart, Dr. Juan Munoz, Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin, Ambassador Tibor Nagy, Hungarian Consul General Kroly Dn, Dr. Kelly Overley, Grace Hernandez, Russell Thomasson, Jodey Arrington, Dr. Sheryl Santos, Dean Sam Dragga, Dr. Hal Karlsson, Dr. Alice White, Dr. Rich Rice, Jerry Perez, Lucia Barbato, Sam Segran, Dr. Phil Smith, Katherine Neville, Jon Crumiller, Jeff Smith, Cohen family, Mautner family, Paul Azzurro, Cory Chandler, Sally Post, Chase Watters, Bill Snead, Anatoly Lekhter, Marty Grund, Dewain Barber, Peggy Flores, Rachel Flores, Abbie Kleppa, Dr. Richard Mautner, Paul Albert, Hanon Russell, Albert Vasse, Dr. James Brink, Bill Brannan, Angelo Barranda Jr., Abie Cox, Kevin Mulligan, Brett James, Zachary Haskin, Greg Jones, Amber McCloud, Erica Perry, Zeljka Malibabic, Brana Malibabic, Andy Kormendi, Nancy Sachs, Robert Glassman, Douglas Goldstein, Dr. Marvin Corman, Lev Alburt, Josh Waitzkin, Tim Dallas, Lynn Elms, Leigh Martzall, Scott Cheatham, Jobi Martinez, Amanda Foster, Dahlia Guerra, Ashley Gonzalez, Jon Quinn, Dr. Kanika Batra, Magne Kristiansen, Aud and Kris Kristiansen, Norwegian Society of Texas — Vestlandet, Karin Slyker, Naveen Yarlagadda, CopyCraft, Laura Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Barranda and Mr. & Mrs. Chua-Tuan, and the Susan Polgar Foundation, etc.
I would also like to thank ICC (Internet Chess Club), Chessdom.com, MonRoi.com, PlayChess.com, TWIC, Chess.com for covering the games live, as well as DGT and MonRoi for providing the live broadcast technology.
Finally, a big thank you to Marty Grund (Internet Chess Club) for personally creating the unique and beautiful trophies for the SPICE Cup A & B Group.
SPICE Cup annual chess trivia
Each year at the SPICE Cup closing party at my home, the players participate in a fun chess trivia contest.
This year, GM Onischuk was the winner with 16 of 20 correct answers.
GM Meier, GM Perelshteyn and IM Krush tied for second with 15 of 20 correct answers.
Below are the SPICE Cup chess trivia questions. How many can you get correctly without looking up the answers?
SPICE Cup 2010 Trivia
1. Is this the third, fourth or fifth SPICE Cup? A) third; B) fourth; C) fifth
2. Who won the 2010 Women’s Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk? A) China; B) Ukraine; C) Russia; D) Other
3. Nov. 2 is the birthday of which Polgar sister? A) Susan; B) Sofia; C) Judit
4. The 2012 Chess Olympiad will be held in: A) Troms; B) Istanbul; C) Albena; D) Elista
5. Legendary American grandmaster Yasser Seirawan was born in which country?
6. Who was the World Chess Champion in 1968?
7. Who won the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship?
8. How many players representing Russia are there in the Top 10 of November FIDE (active) rating list?
9. Who is older, Magnus Carlsen or Sergey Karjakin?
10. What year was the first Bobby Fischer-Boris Spassky match held?
11. What real-life grandmaster’s life was the musical “Chess” based on? A) Karpov; B) Kasparov; C) Korchnoi; D) Spassky
12. One of the greatest World Chess Champions Paul Morphy was raised in which state? A) Louisiana; B) Pennsylvania; C) New York; D) North Carolina
13. Who is the second youngest World Chess Champion of all time?
14. Who broke Bobby Fischer’s long standing record to become the youngest Grandmaster (in 1991)?
15. Which year did Gary Kasparov lose to Deep Blue?
16. Which Israeli player won the 1996 World Junior Chess Championship?
17. Since 1990, how many World Junior Championships were won by U.S. players?
18. Which famous actor said “I failed to make the chess team because of my height”?
19. Which World Chess Champion said: “When you see a good move, look for a better one”?
20. Which famous person said: “Life is a kind of Chess, with struggle, competition, good and ill events”?
Source: Avalanche Journal
Monday, November 15, 2010
Under a New Scoring System, Fewer Ties and Drawn Games
By DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN
Published: November 13, 2010
A two-year-old scoring system may be the solution to two problems that have long bedeviled chess.
One is how to break ties at the end of tournaments. Complicated rules based on opponents’ scores have been used, as have tie-breaker games of varying lengths, but both have drawbacks.
The second problem involves games that quickly end in draws because the players do not want to battle it out or can earn more prize money by drawing a game. (In some tournaments, a draw at the end guarantees each player a share of the pot.)
One cure for prearranged or short draws was first used in Sofia, Bulgaria, a few years ago. It is a rule that prohibits players from offering a draw or from drawing before 30 moves have been played. But a way around it is to repeat a position three times, which under chess regulations is a draw.
Two years ago, the organizers of the first Bilbao Final Masters event tried another approach. Under their scoring system, wins, which had been worth 1 point, count for 3, and draws, which had been half a point, count for 1. The Bilbao system rewards wins and discourages draws.
The fourth Spice Cup, which ended last weekend at Texas Tech University, illustrated the benefits of the system.
In the tournament’s B division, which used the traditional scoring system, Anatoly Bykhovsky, an Israeli grandmaster, and Gergely Antal, an international master from Hungary, tied for first with 6 points each. Bykhovsky had three wins and six draws; Antal had four wins, a loss and four draws.
The A division used the Bilbao system and came up with a winner: Alexander Onischuk of the United States, who edged out Georg Meier of Germany, 18 to 17. Onischuk had five wins, two losses and three draws; Meier had four wins, one loss and five draws. Under the traditional scoring system, they would have tied with 6.5 points each.
Onischuk’s aggressive approach was rewarded in the last round, when he beat Ray Robson, a 16-year-old grandmaster from Florida.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
A Tech-proposed UIL chess puzzle-solving competition to be statewide pilot program
Posted: November 13, 2010 - 12:11am
By Joe Gulick
Chess, one of the most competitive games in the world, will be the subject of a University Interscholastic League competition next year for elementary and middle school students in a pilot program proposed by Texas Tech and designed by Susan Polgar, Tech’s chess grandmaster.
The competition will not involve actual games of chess but solving chess puzzles designed by Polgar, who is the founder of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Tech.
Students in grades 2 through 8 will have 20 puzzles to solve in a 30-minute period, Polgar said.
“Every single move in chess is problem-solving,” she said. “Each move is a new problem to solve.”
Polgar and Lynn Elms, the UIL regional director, noted the pilot program is a historic moment for Texas Tech, which has been associated with UIL for at least 75 years.
“This is the first competition that Texas Tech has ever proposed. We are pleased Susan and something as exciting as chess is involved,” Elms said.
The Chess Puzzle Solving competition will be presented in diagrams similar to the ones that appear in Polgar’s weekly Avalanche-Journal column, but the puzzles will be ones designed for younger players, Polgar said.
The elementary students will choose from multiple choice answers in which white can checkmate black in one move. Older students will have some puzzles that are checkmates in one move and others that are checkmates in two moves.
“I believe chess can help children improve their thinking skills in general. It can help their discipline and improve their self-confidence. Chess is a wonderful tool in building relationships,” Polgar said.
Last January, Polgar presented the proposal to the UIL State Legislative Council in Austin. That resulted in a mini-pilot program this year in Lubbock, Laredo and Corpus Christi.
The UIL Legislative Council in October determined Chess Puzzle Solving would next be a statewide pilot program, which means all schools will have the opportunity to compete, said Elms. All of the Houston schools have committed to the competition, and they are expecting good participation from other schools in the state, she said.
If it is successful, the pilot program could become an annual UIL event by September 2012, Elms said, and they are also hopeful Chess Puzzle Solving competitions for high school students would be added later.
College scholarships for skilled chess players are available, Elms said.
“It can be a way for kids to get more dollars to come to school — to compete in college. But that’s way down the road. We have to take care of second through eighth grades first,” Elms said.
Chess is a natural subject for competition among students because it is a great educational tool and an equalizer, Polgar said.
“In chess, children are forced to think before they act,” she said.
The game is also an inexpensive activity, Polgar said. Rather than activities that require expensive equipment or musical instruments, chess can be played on a very modestly priced set.
Source: Avalanche Journal
Friday, November 12, 2010
Some speakers who shared their knowledge on our events: