in St. Louis

07.22.12 We're in St. Louis, Missouri for the Susan Polgar Foundation Ninth Annual Girls Invitational chess tournament taking place July 22nd-27 on the campus of Webster University. The tournament proper begins on Tuesday, July 24th but in the meantime there will be lots of activities including: training sessions with GM Polgar, blitz, bughouse and problem solving championships, a pool party, a visit to the city museum and much more.

St. Louis' famous arch, site of the Jefferson Museum of Westward Expansion.

Forty-eight young women from across the nation have gathered at Webster University in St. Louis for the Susan Polgar Foundation Ninth Annual Girls Invitational chess tournament. All participants are treated to complimentary meals and accomodations on campus and superb playing conditions on par with international-level chess tournaments. In addition, players will receive eight hours of training from GM Polgar and her team of chess instructors.

Results from the blitz, bughouse and open tournaments will be posted as they become available.

Tournament Schedule

Sunday, July 22 Blitz, Bughouse and Puzzle Championships

Monday, July 23 Training Day, Visit to City Museum

Tuesday, July 24 Opening Ceremony (1:30 p.m.), Round 1 (2:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, July 25 Round 2 (9:30 a.m.), Round 3 (3:00 p.m.)

Thursday, July 26 Round 4 (9:30 a.m.), Round 5 (3:00 p.m.)

Friday, July 27 Round 6 (9:30 a.m.), Closing Ceremony (2:30 p.m.)

St. Louis' icon: Gateway to the West

The arch from directly below.

St. Louis has become a chess epicenter with the World Chess Hall of Fame and...

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

On the first floor of the World Chess Hall of Fame a modern chess art exhibit featuring the work of David Zwirner. This piece is entitled Chess Game (2001).

Chess Game detail

A figure from the video production A Game of Chess (2011) by Marcel Dzama.

This set was used in game 3 of the 1972 World Championship Match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. After losing game one and forfeiting game 2, Fischer demanded to play in a private room without spectators. He won that game and the match quickly turned in his favor.

Maine representative to the Polgar tournament, Haley DeLuca Lowell, in front of the world's largest chess piece.

It's really the world's largest!

A friendly game on a large scale outside the Hall of Fame

Directly across the street from the World Chess Hall of Fame is the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis the nation's premier chess club.

The St. Louis Club hosted all three major 2012 U.S. Championships: Open, Women's and Junior.

The club offers fine playing conditions in its tournament rooms

and skittles rooms.

Walls in the club are adorned with photos of great players of the present

and the past.

Flat screen monitors are located throughout the club for education and entertainment.

No detail is overlooked.

Chess on the street in front of the club a la Harvard Square.

Down the road a piece from the chess club is Webster University the new home of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence.

GM Polgar poses for a photo op.

And the press take notice.

Don't let their size fool you. The young lady on the left has a USCF rating of 1800+.

GM Polgar with Chief Tournament Director (and Boston native) Frank Niro and tournament assistant Maraani Diamant.

GM Polgar welcomed parents and participants...

then fielded questions from the players.

Players listened to GM Polgar's comments and advice with rapt attention.

Maine's rep. at the playing site.

The main event will take place on the Loretto Hilton stage in the Browning Theatre.

A great venue for both players and spectators

Each players is represented at the board by their state's flag.

After lunch participants were treated to a two-hour training session with GM Polgar.

Then the stage was set for the blitz championship.

After some light hearted fun...

The girls get down to business.

GM Polgar checking in on an interesting position.

Coast to coast: Taylor McCreary (left) representing California plays in the blitz tournament with Michelle Chen representing Massachusetts.

Haley DeLuca Lowell at the board during the blitz tournament.

My compadre!

After blitz and some dinner it was on to the Puzzle Solving Championship.

Then the Bughouse Championship!

The behind-the-scenes work of the tournament directors and organizers makes the event run smooth.

Parents play some skittles during the bughouse tournament.

More reports from St. Louis to come!


Go Haley! Best of luck!

good luck, haley, & have fun!

Dan; Great array of photographs of your journey to St. Louis and Webster University! keep em coming! good luck to Haley and Safe Travels!
Daryl DeLuca

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