The Susan Polgar National Invitational
The second annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (under 19)
was held on August 7–12 alongside with the 2005 US Open in Phoenix, Arizona
this year. This is the most prestigious girl’s event in the United States.
In order to participate in the championship, a player must be nominated by
her own state. Each state creates its own criteria to select its best player.
The National Invitational for girls under 19 under way in Phoenix
Approximately 3,000 girls participated in regional and state qualifying events
in the last 12 months to earn the right to represent their states. A record
48 girls (four of them as young as 11 years old) represented their respective
states in this championship.
Abby Marshall of Ohio
At the conclusion of the tournament, three players tied for first with the
score of 5-1 (4 wins and 2 draws). WGM Anya Corke (CA), WFM Alisa Melekhina
(PA) and Abby Marshall (OH) were declared co-champions. They were also the
top three seeds of the tournament.
Alisa Melekhina of Pennsylvania
Anya Corke was born in California and currently resides in Hong Kong. She
won the Hong Kong National Championship a few years ago, and earned her WGM
title with an incredible performance in the 2004 Olympiad in Calvia, playing
for the Hong Kong men’s team. Even though she is a very experience international
player, she made a personal request to play in the tournament and she received
a special invitation from Susan Polgar herself.
Anya Corke of California, resident in Hong Kong
Each co-champion was awarded a full tuition and fees scholarship
(value more than $40,000 each) to the University of Texas in Dallas, presented
by Dr. Tim Redman (UTD).
Susan Polgar (2nd from left) with the winners Alisa Melekhina, Anya Corke
and Abby Marshall
Louiza Livschitz (CA), Amanda Mateer (AZ), Emily Lau (HI) and Anjali Datta
(TX) were tied for 4th through 7th place with the score
Anjali Datta of Texas
In addition to the main event, the players also competed in the Blitz and
Puzzle Solving Championships. In the Blitz Championship, Abby Marshall (OH)
scored a perfect 6-0 to win clear first. Anjali Datta (TX) and Elisha Garg
(CA) tied for 2–3 with the score of 5-1.
Elisha Garg of California
In the Puzzle Solving Championship, WFM Alisa Melekhina (PA) correctly solved
9/10 puzzles to win clear first. Abby Marshall (OH) and Alexandra Wiener (CT)
both scored 8/10 puzzles correctly. However, Abby Marshall got second place
for faster time.
Alexandra Wiener of Connecticut
A record $155,000 in prizes, stipends and scholarships were awarded
to the 48 young ladies! The third annual Susan Polgar National Invitational
for Girls will be held in Chicago, IL on August 6-11, 2006. The event was sponsored
The Susan Polgar Foundation (www.SusanPolgarFoundation.org),
UTD (University of Texas in Dallas), US Chess Trust, Excalibur Electronics
and the World Chess Hall of Fame, Everyman Chess, International Chess Marketing,
Chess4Less, Polgar Chess (www.PolgarChess.com), American Chess
Equipment, Frank Berry, ChessOnDVD, and the USCF, etc.
Susan Polgar with the girls from her National Invitational
Susan at a nearby US park
In front of one of the most famous landscapes in the world
Sedona in northern Arizona, with its stunning array of red sandstone formations.
A church built on the red rocks of Sedona
In addition, to boost the popularity of chess among girls in the United States,
the Susan Polgar Foundation will organize two major additional girls event
in 2006: The Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls (under
21) will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas (January 27-29, 2006) and the Susan
Polgar World Open Championship for Girls (under 21) will be held in Las
Vegas (August 16-18, 2006).
Information and photos provided by Paul Truong