Sunday, February 20, 2011
Lubbock sees excellent results at the Texas State Championship
Posted: February 19, 2011 - 12:08am
Nearly 1,400 top players across our state came to Houston last weekend to compete in the 2011 Texas State Scholastic and Southwest Regional Collegiate Championships, the largest tournament in Texas this year. In the Collegiate Championship, Texas Tech Knight Raiders Andre Diamant and Anatoly Bykhovsky, both grandmasters, finished in a tie for third place. Andre took third on tiebreak, while Anatoly finished fourth. The Knight Raiders A team finished in second place overall.
Tom Polgar, 11, one of the youngest members of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders Chess Club and a sixth-grader at Evans Middle School, captured the first-ever state chess title for his school. Tom scored five wins and two draws to tie for first place in the middle school championship section.
Since 2006, in addition to the latest victory in Houston, Tom has won or tied for first in 10 other major chess championships, which include two USCF National Championships (2006 second-grade champion, 2008 K-3 champion), three SP National Open Championships (2007 K-2 champion, 2009 K-5 champion, and 2010 K-5 champion), four SP World Open Championships (2007 under 11 champion, 2008 under 11 champion, 2009 under 14 champion, and 2010 under 14 champion), and NY State Scholastic Championship (2006 K-1 champion). He has also been ranked No. 1 in the United States for his age group in the past.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Posted: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:04 pm
Technology changes game of chess
Staff Writer Daily Toreador - Dept. of Student Media, Texas Tech University
Feb. 10 marks the 15th anniversary of the first time a computer defeated a human in the game of chess.
Though it may seem the average chess player could play and beat a home computer chess game, one particular game revolutionized the interaction of chess and technology — when Russian Garry Kasparov, who is considered by many the world’s best chess player, lost to his computer opponent, Deep Blue.
“Initially, (computer chess) was an entertainment, and then it became a competition pretty much from the mid-1980s to the mid-’90s,” said Susan Polgar, the first woman to earn the grandmaster title and director of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech.
“For that decade it was a competition, and then when that famous match happened between Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov, that the computer won — the IBM computer won — that pretty much put an end to the competition, because once he lost, and a number of other grandmasters lost as well to different programs, humans pretty much gave in.”
According to the American Physical Society website, in the first match between Kasparov and Deep Blue, the computer won the first game, shocking Kasparov. Kasparov however, won three games total and played two to a draw. They played again in 1997, but Deep Blue had been improved, working on a faster processor and other resources allowing it to adapt to new strategies. This rematch ended in a win for the machine.
Paul Truong, SPICE director of marketing and public relations and assistant coach of Tech’s chess team, the Knight Raiders, said after Deep Blue’s success, players realized they needed to learn from computers, not battle against them.
“(The computers the team practices against) are loaded with computer softwares,” Truong said. “We can’t even do anything without it. Things we don’t see, computers can see. Things we can’t calculate fast enough, computers can do in a millisecond. It’s becoming a part of what we do in chess. It’s not a challenge anymore because you can’t compete against a computer. There’s no chance.”
According to the IBM website, Deep Blue’s software is used to solving problems outside of the world of chess.
“The underlying RS/6000 technology is being used to tackle complex ‘real-world’ problems like cleaning up toxic waste sites, forecasting the weather, modeling financial data, designing cars, developing innovative drug therapies,” the IBM website states.
The senior faculty adviser and founder of Knight Raiders, associate professor of geosciences Hal Karlsson, said software is becoming an assistant of sorts to professionals.
“Today, what a lot of the so-called professional higher-level chess players do, they use the program to calculate variations,” Karlsson said. “So, if they’re interested in some particular variation, they feed it into a computer, and it comes up with things we don’t think of.”
Truong also said competitors’ success is determined by how they use the computers to train.
“(The top four chess schools) will be using (software) to prepare to compete against each other,” Truong said. “Those who can interpret the data better, who can use it better, that’s the one that’s going to win. That’s the different skills now.”
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
From: LA Chess Club
Date: Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Subject: RE: 1st Metropolitan International
We don’t allow players from terrorist countries in our tournaments!
Los Angeles Chess Club
Founder & Chief Director
USCF Life Senior Master
February 8, 2011
L.A. chess club under investigation for anti-Semitic e-mail
By Ryan Torok
Mick Bighamian, founder and director of the Los Angeles Chess Club, denies writing an e-mail to 22-year-old Israeli grandmaster Anatoly Bykhovsky in mid-January that read, “We don’t allow players from terrorist countries to participate in our tournaments.”
Bykhovsky, a freshman at Texas Tech University, received the e-mail the day after sending a request to Bighamian to play in an upcoming tournament.
In a phone interview, Bighamian said that he usually leaves his e-mail app open on the club’s computer, and anybody there could have sent the e-mail, which included his name at the bottom. He denies being anti-Semitic or being prejudiced against Israelis, but he refused to discuss his feelings about Israel.
“I don’t think my views of any countries is anyone else’s business,” he said.
Bighamian said he has not found out who sent the e-mail, but added that he has placed new restrictions on the computer to limit who can send e-mails.
After The New York Times published an article about the e-mail on Jan. 24, people in the chess community dug up anti-Semitic and anti-Israel messages on Web bulletin boards from the late 1990s written by someone using the name Mansour Bighamian (Mansour is Bighamian’s real first name).
Bill Hall, executive director of United States Chess Federation (USCF), is currently investing a complaint about the e-mail and said Bighamian or his club could face sanctions, probation or expulsion.
Shortly after receiving the e-mail, Bykhovsky forwarded it to officials at the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Texas Tech.
“Basically he didn’t know how to deal with the situation,” said Paul Truong, director of marketing and public relations at SPICE.
“He was stunned…. [He] thought somebody was playing a prank or something,” Truong said.
Bykhovsky, who moved to the United States from Israel last year to study at Texas Tech and ranks in the top half percent of 80,000 USCF members, declined to discuss the incident with The Journal. In an e-mail, he said he wants the appropriate authorities to resolve the matter.
He also didn’t respond to the Los Angeles Chess Club e-mail. “He found this was something beneath him to respond to such remarks,” Truong said.
On Jan. 19, SPICE filed a complaint with the World Chess Federation. The World Chess Federation has 170 member federations, including the USCF; the Los Angeles Chess Club is an affiliate member. The USCF started the investigation after the complaint was filed.
A misunderstanding led to the initial e-mail exchange. While reading a chess newsletter, Bykhovsky came across an advertisement for the First Metropolitan International, a tournament in August that is being organized by Metropolitan Chess Club, another Los Angeles group. But Bykhovsky accidentally wrote to Bighamian, whose club was also advertising an event in the same issue.
Ankit Gupta, chief organizer for the Metropolitan Chess Club, denounced the e-mail, whether it was sent by Bighamian or not, and welcomed Bykhovsky to play in his club’s tournament.
— Ryan Torok, Staff Writer
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Lubbock chess championship less than two weeks away
Posted: February 5, 2011 - 12:13am
Texas Tech, the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, the Susan Polgar Foundation, and the Knight Raiders proudly present the fourth annual Lubbock Open Chess Championship and the fourth annual Lubbock Open Scholastic Championship. The two biggest and most important tournaments in West Texas will take place on Feb. 19. We expect to have up to 150 players competing.
Here are the details about these two exciting events:
• Fourth annual Lubbock Open Scholastic Chess Championship
The event will be held at the Lubbock Science Spectrum, 2579 S. Loop 289, on Feb. 19. It is a four-round Swiss System tournament. There is a total of 30 minutes maximum per player per game.
It is a USCF-rated individual and team scholastic championship. Games are played in five sections: Primary (K-2), elementary (K-5), middle school (K-8), high school (K-12) and novice section K-12 (no USCF membership required).
On-site registration and check in is 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. All players must check in by 9:45 a.m. Later arrivals will receive a -point bye for the first round. For more information, call 806-742-7742 or e-mail SPICE@ttu.edu
Round schedule is as follows: first round, 10 a.m; second round, 11:15 a.m; third round, 1 p.m,; and fourth round, 2:15 pm.
Entry fees are $15 if received by Feb. 14, or $20 on site. A valid USCF membership is required in all sections, except novice K-12. It can be obtained at www.uschess.org or on site on Feb. 19 until 10 a.m. Chess boards and sets will be provided. Please bring a chess clock if you have one.
Prizes: There will be trophies for the top five finishers in each section, as well as for the top three school teams in each section. Team prizes are based on the top three individual scores from the same school within the same section. There will also be a special trophy for top sibling, top parent/child and top coach/student teams. A prize-giving ceremony will be held shortly after the end of the last game, which is around 3:45 p.m.
Send registration and fees to TTU-SPICE: SPICE Box 45080 Lubbock, TX 79409-5080. Please include your name, school, date of birth, grade, phone n umber, address, e-mail address, section, rating and USCF ID number.
More information is available on www.SPICE.ttu.edu.
• Special UIL Chess Puzzle-Solving Invitational
Chess will be the subject of a University Interscholastic League competition next year. The pilot program was proposed by the Texas Tech Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, part of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement. The competition will be in the format of solving chess puzzles. Competing students will have 20 puzzles to solve in 30 minutes.
The UIL Chess Puzzle Solving Invitational will take place at 12:15 p.m, which is between round two and three. The entry for the UIL Chess Puzzle Solving Invitational is $5. There will be special valuable chess prizes to the top overall finisher in each section (K–3, 4–5, 6–8, and 9–12 grade), sponsored by the Susan Polgar Foundation!
•Fourth annual Lubbock Open Chess Championship
The event will be held at the Lubbock Science Spectrum (2579 S. Loop 289) on Feb. 19. It is a four-round Swiss System tournament. It is a USCF rated individual championship. Games are played in one section but there will be various category prizes. There is a total of 30 minutes maximum per player per game.
On-site registration and check will be 9-10 a.m. All players must check in by 10:15 a.m.
For more information, call 806-742-7742 or e-mail SPICE@ttu.edu.
Round schedule is as follows: first round, 10:30 a.m.; second round, 11:45 a.m; third round, 1:15 p.m; fourth round, 2:30 p.m.
Entry fees are $25 if received by Feb. 14, or $30 on site. TTU and K-12 students will receive $5 off. A valid USCF membership is required. It can be obtained at www.uschess.org or onsite on Feb. 19 until 10 a.m. Chess boards and sets will be provided. Bring a chess clock if you have one.
Here is the cash prize structure: $100 (plus trophy), $75 and $50; Top U-1600, Top U-1200, Top U1000/Unrated $40 each. All cash prizes are based on a minimum of 20 paid entries. A prize-giving ceremony will be held shortly after the end of the last game, which is around 4 p.m.
Send your registration and fees to the Susan Polgar Foundation: 6923 Indiana Ave., No. 154 Lubbock, TX 79413. Include your name, phone number, address, e-mail address, section, rating, USCF ID number.
Additional information is available on www.SPICE.ttu.edu.