Sunday, September 30, 2007
Speaking at the Department of Education in Mexico with the Secretary of Education
Release Date: 09/30/2007 08:16 AM
Susan Polgar breaks stereotypes as female chess champion, LA
By MIGUEL ALVARO SARMIENTO
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Susan Polgar discovered chess by accident as a child and has kept stereotypes about female players and gender discrimination in a double check ever since.
"I was 4 years old ... and searching for a new toy at home, and I kind of stumbled on a chess set," the grand master told The Associated Press in Mexico City, where she was attending the World Chess Championship that ended Sunday. "I just got curious about it, and my father taught me."
Polgar, a U.S. citizen born in Hungary in 1969, won her first international title at age 12. In 1982 she won her first World Chess Championship in her age category. Despite being the youngest player, she won all 10 of her matches and her career took off.
Over her three-decade-plus career, Polgar has toppled barriers restricting women's access to international tournaments.
In 1986 she became the first woman to qualify for the men's World Chess Championship by winning 15 qualifying rounds — the last of them a four-hour match against grand master Levente Lengyel that was over in just 30 moves.
Rules barring women kept her out of the championship that year, but her achievement led the International Chess Federation, FIDE, to open the tournament to women the following year.
"I felt like I was breaking into an 'old boys' club", Polgar said.
In 1991, Polgar became the first woman to win the title of grand master in competition against men and with standard scoring. Two women had previously received the title by winning female-only championships.
In 1994 she emigrated to the United States and two years later became the first chess player of either sex to win the triple crown of international tournaments: the World Blitz and the Rapid and Classical World Championships.
After a brief retirement, Polgar began competing again in 2003 and soon qualified as the best player in the U.S. The United States Chess Federation named her "grand master of the year" for her lifetime achivemtents.
Polgar represented the United States in the 2004 Chess Olympics in Mallorca, Spain, helping the U.S. team to its first silver medal. She also won three individual gold medals.
A year later, Polgar broke four world records in a single event in Palm Beach, Florida, including the greatest number of games played simultaneously: 326.
Shifting away from major competition, Polgar turned to education through chess — a game she says helps children improve their concentration and discipline, "to learn to make decisions and to think before acting."
She took part in a Scottish program in 2005 that showed chess can help improve children's ability to calculate and featured in a recent British television series, "My Brilliant Brain," which mapped her thought patterns and brain activity.
On the Web:
Susan Polgar's Official Site: http://www.susanpolgar.com/indexone.html
My Brilliant Brain: http://www.tvthrong.co.uk/my-brilliant-brain/my-brilliant-brain-ond ay-july-16
Source: AP and IHT
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
More than 20 people showed up for the first SPICE - Knight Raiders meeting, including Lubbock County Commissioner Ysidro Gutierrez (gray suit). The session was held at the Science Building at Texas Tech University under the direction of Dr. Hal Karlsson. Our lofty goal is to first introduce chess to all elementary schools in Lubbock.
Monday 5:30pm-8pm in the Food Court of the Student Union Building (SUB)
Thursday 5:30pm-10pm at SPICE 19th and University--Bank of America Building / Texas Tech Plaza -- Room 304A
Fridays 5:30pm-10pm at J and B Coffee House--2701 26th St
Come join us for a few games of chess. All levels are welcome!
Friday, September 7, 2007
Attached is an article written about the Chess Fiesta held over Labor Day with PCT 3 Lubbock County Commisioner Ysidro Gutierrez faithfully representing his Precinct demonstrating his zeal for education improvement for minorities in Lubbock featured in a picture with Chess Grand Master Susan Polgar who is the Director of the new Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (S.P.I.C.E).
Susan's vision is improving education opportunities for girls and minorities in the region through the advancement of chess education facilitated by S.P.I.C.E.! This is great news for the Hispanic and African American communities here in Lubbock, Texas.
The Chess Fiesta was definitely a success! Many thanks to El Editor Hispanic newspaper for *free* advertisment of the event on the front page of their periodical a few hours before press time! Incredible!
Lubbock County Commissioner Ysidro Gutierrez speaks with Chess Grandmaster Dr. Susan Polgar during a break at Dr. Polgar’s presentation “Chess Training Program for Teachers.”
Dr. Polgar spoke at the Texas Tech University College of Education.
"There is a very close correlation between chess excellence and academic capability," said Dr. Polgar. Dr. Polgar is from Budapest Hungary, but she speaks perfect Spanish. Commissioner Gutierrez believes, her program brings great hope for Hispanic students in Lubbock.
“There is a direct correlation between chess and a student’s ability to master math and science and it is fun,” says Dr. Polgar.
TTU hired her as the new director of The Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE). During the presentation she announced that TTU has been designated the world center for research in chess.
Commissioner Gutierrez expressed great hope in Dr. Polgars initiative, “Hispanic children who perform well in math and science have a greater chance to end the cycle of poverty and will be less likely to drop-out of school. We need something new to escape the bad statistics. Locating the world center here speaks of Dr. Polgars renown as a Grandmaster. Such research will add the element of science to the art of chess,” said Commissioner Gutierrez.
She is the first woman in history to qualify for Men’s World Championship and the first woman in history to earn the Grandmaster title. “I urge everyone to read more about Dr. Polgar at her web page; http://www.susanpolgar.com/” said Commissioner Gutierrez. (Photo by Jerry Perez)
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Chess champions to show skills at free exhibition
Chess champion sisters, Susan and Sofia Polgar, will share their skills with teachers, children and young adults Monday.
The Texas Tech Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence will host two free events in the basement of the College of Education building. Events include the "Chess in the Schools Workshop for Teachers" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the "Polgar-Polgar Simultaneous Exhibition" from 5 to 10 p.m.
For more information or to register, contact Hal Karlsson at (806) 742-3130 or Paul Truong at (806) 392-0758.
Source: Lubbock Online