2012 Susan Polgar Open Championship for Boys and Girls

Jun 8, 2012, 11:39 AM |

My daughter and I attended the 2012 Susan Polgar Open Championship for Boys and Girls June 2-3, 2012 in New Orleans.  Format was G/45; six rounds, three per day.  GM Susan Polgar did a great job with the event.  She made a point of being accessible to all the attendees; in fact, her two sons were both participants.  

Also attending was GM Andre Diamant.  Throughout the tournament, he was present in the Skittles Room, analyzing games for anyone who stopped by his table.  

My daughter did great!  She went 4-1 in the Girls K-5 group; her rating increased from 397 to 705 as a result of her performance this weekend, and she earned a 2nd place trophy.  In addition to the trophy, she also won a copy of Susan Polgar's book Breaking Through, as well as five of her instructional DVDs.  

First-place winners got a netbook computer; first-place girls got an invitation to the 9th annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girl's Invitational Tournament.  She played some really great chess against some tough opponents.  Her one loss was against an opponent with a 1288 rating.

On Saturday night, GM Polgar hosted a simultaneous exhibition.  Thirteen people participated.  My daughter thought it would be fun, so I signed her up.  

Thanks again to the Susan Polgar Foundation for this great tournament.  I was really impressed by the sheer accessibility of the grandmasters this weekend.  There was a broad range of competitors from many skill levels from all over the country.  I highly recommend this tournament for any K-12 students who take chess seriously.  

Below I've included a few pictures as well as my daughter's game against Susan Polgar.

My daughter receiving her 2nd place trophy.  GM Polgar personally handed each student their award.
Making her move...
Polgar is White; daughter is Black.
While this game does demonstrate my 8-year old daughter's relative immaturity as a player, it also shows her nerve, spunk, and determination.  It was a great experience on many levels.  GM Polgar was a gracious opponent, and took the game very seriously.  I felt it was a very instructional game relative to my daughter's current level.  Given who she was playing, she really took the lessons learned from this game to heart.
This is her round 2 game from the tournament; she again is black.  Her opponent uses a similar opening; this demonstrates the type of play to which my daughter is more accustomed.
This is her round 4 game; her only loss during the tournament.  She is White.  I think she demonstrated some real tenacity here, although her opponent's positional knowledge was clearly far superior.  Each of them had only about 3 minutes left on their clocks; she definitely made her opponent earn the win!  Again, there are many useful lessons for her from this game.