July 23, 2012
ADVISORY TO NEWS ASSIGNMENT EDITORS
WHAT: The formal opening ceremony for the Ninth Annual Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational six-round chess competition at Webster University, the most prestigious all-girls chess event in the United States, featuring 48 of the top young female chess players – as young as age 6 through age 18 – from across the country. St. Louisan Margaret Hua, 13, is the tournament's top seed.
More than $100,000 in chess prizes and scholarships will be awarded, including a four-year, $13,000-per-year scholarship to Webster University for both the first- and second-place winners.
Speaking at the opening ceremony will be Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch, Susan Polgar and tournament director Frank Niro. A special message from Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon also will be presented.
WHEN/WHERE: Tuesday, July 24, at 1:30 p.m. at the Loretto Hilton Center on the Webster University campus, 130 Edgar Rd. in Webster Groves.
Round 1 of the tournament will begin immediately following on the Loretto Hilton stage, at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony, all tournament rounds and closing ceremony (Friday, July 27, 2:30 p.m. at the Loretto Hilton) are free and open to the public.
(Rounds 2 and 3 will take place on Wednesday, July 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., respectively. Rounds 4 and 5 will be held on Thursday, July 26, same times as Rounds 2 and 3. The tournament wraps up on Friday, June 27, with Round 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
BACKGROUND: The Ninth Annual Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational is a partnership between the Susan Polgar Foundation and Webster University. Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar, World and Olympiad Champion, and her Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) relocated to Webster University in June from Texas Tech University. In addition, all members of the reigning collegiate champion Texas Tech "A" chess team are transferring to be enrolled at the University this fall.
At Webster, SPICE and Susan Polgar are leaders in promoting chess as a vehicle for global diversity and academic excellence, enriching the education of children and for promoting women’s chess. Chess is increasingly valued for its instructional impact. Globally, educators recognize chess as a tool to cultivate interest and success in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.
Susan Polgar is considered a trailblazer who has made an enormous impact in the chess world. She is recognized as the one who laid the foundation for female chess players everywhere.
Polgar is one of the strongest female chess players in history. She is the winner of four world championships and the only world champion in history – male or female – to win the Triple Crown (Rapid, Blitz and Classical Chess) world championships. Polgar also is the first woman to break the gender barrier to qualify for the Men's World Championship Cycle, earn the Men's Grandmaster title, and to receive the Grandmaster of the Year Award. In 2011, Polgar became the first female head coach to lead a men's Division 1 collegiate chess team (Texas Tech University) to the national title. She led that team to a second national title earlier this year.
YOU ARE INVITED TO SEND A REPORTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER OR CAMERA CREW TO COVER THIS FORMAL OPENING EVENT, AS WELL AS TO ANY OF THE CHESS ROUNDS SCHEDULED THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.
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