Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Susan Polgar Girls Invitational to be held in St. Louis this year

The 9th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girl's Invitational (SPGI) will be held at Webster University in St. Louis July 22-27, 2012. Once again, I have been offered the privilege of serving as the tournament director. This year there will be over $100,000 worth of chess scholarships, prizes, notebook computers, free lodging and free food for the participants.

The opening ceremony will be at 1:00 PM on July 22. The format this year is similar to 2011.

• There will be a two-day intense world class training session with Susan Polgar and her team, followed by a 6 round (g/90+30) championship tournament.
• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.
• There will be many chess prizes awarded, including scholarship(s) to Webster University.

Once again this year, there will also be a free entry Swiss system USCF rated side tournament for coaches, SPGI family members and tournament officials -- with prizes!!

Each state is allowed one representative to be nominated by June 1, 2012. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than June 15. (Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions to the June 1 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state.

Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are under the age of 19 on July 27th of the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended college on a full time basis prior to June 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, are eligible to represent the state in which they reside.

Exception: If a player graduates from high school early and is already attending college, she may still represent her state if nominated. This is the decision of each state affiliate.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The participants of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational DO NOT have to be high school students. Any qualifier under the age of 19 (by July 27th of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

Special invitation for this year only: All past participants of the SPNI and SPGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2011) are invited to participate in the 2012 SPGI. The idea is to have the past participants learn my method of training so they can go back home and share their knowledge with the younger players. However, registration MUST be made ASAP since space is limited. There will be mutual training sessions for all, however separate section & prizes for alumni participants over the age of 19.

Players are required to furnish the organizer an emergency phone number and the e-mail address of a parent/guardian.

There is no entry fee to participate in the 2012 SPGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel. For all state representatives, and qualifiers from the SPNO or SPWO, Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus.

For alumni participants, wild card/special invites, coaches, parents, or other family members, inexpensive accommodations are available for housing and dining on Webster’s campus. Please note that all reservations and registrations MUST be made (and accommodation expenses prepaid) no later than June 25, 2012.

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, and the SPGI Championship. Co-champions are recognized in the case of a tie, with each champion receiving a Champion’s Plaque or Trophy. The Champion (or Co-Champions) will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement).

Champion: Webster University scholarship (approximately $13,000 per year x 4 years) + netbook computer + Champion's Plaque / Trophy
2nd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $13,000 per year x 4 years)
Top under 13: netbook computer
Top under 10: netbook computer

The scholarship must be exercised no later than the Fall of 2015.

The New Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California, two for Texas, and two for Missouri) and the District of Columbia represented. We strongly encourage each state and the District of Columbia affiliate to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine each state’s champion and representative. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state who has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Polgar Committee as soon as possible.

Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee and its members may elect to award wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational.

Special qualifying events: The Polgar Committee will award automatic qualifying spots to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar Nationwide Open for Girls (New Orleans) and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (Chicago).

The new SPGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com).

For information and rates to stay and/or dine and other logistics on Webster’s campus, please send an email to michellenelson30@webster.edu

Contact info: Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com)

Michelle at Webster University michellenelson30@webster.edu 314-968-7468

The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through info@PolgarFoundation.org.

Webster University is located at 470 E. Lockwood Avenue Webster Groves, MO 63119

BIG THANKS to President Dr. Beth Stroble and Webster University for hosting and sponsoring this very prestigious event for girls!

-- Susan Polgar

Here's the link
to the original announcement

Former Women's World Chess Champion Susan Polgar and SPGI TD Frank Niro go over a game while waiting for a non-chess event in Seattle, Washington, February, 2010.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

2nd Meridian Invitational set for June 23

Frank Niro (right) playing the tournament winner, Corey Longhurst, in this photo from last year's Meridian Invitational as other participants look on.

This year's Meridian Invitational USCF rated chess tournament will be held on June 23 at our home in Meridian, Idaho. Let me know if you would like an invitation. Limit is 12 players. There is no entry fee again this year. As always, refreshments will be served.

Click here
to view the tournament flyer with the details.

Click here for last year's tournament report on the ICA web site:

A game from last year's event:

Niro,F (1703) - Kircher,C (1753) [B01]
Meridian, ID (4), 20.08.2011

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.c4 Nb6 8.b3 Be7 9.Be3 Bf6 10.Na3 Qd7 11.Ne5 Bxe5 12.dxe5 Bxe2 13.Qxe2 Qe7 14.Bxb6 axb6 15.Nb5 0-0 16.f4 Qc5+ 17.Qf2 Qxf2+ 18.Rxf2² Rfc8 19.Rd1 Na7 20.Nxa7 Rxa7 21.a4 Kf8 22.Rfd2 Ke8 23.Rd7 Raa8 24.Kf2 Rd8 25.Rxd8+ Rxd8 26.Rxd8+ Kxd8 27.g4 Kd7 28.Ke3 Kc6 29.b4 Kd7 30.Ke4 c5 31.b5 Ke7 32.f5 f6 33.exf6+ Kxf6 34.fxe6 Kxe6 35.g5 h5?! 36.gxh6± gxh6 37.h3 h5 38.Kf4+- Kf6 39.h4 Kg6 40.Ke5 Kh7 41.Kf5 Kh6 42.Kf6 Kh7 43.Kg5 Kg7 44.Kxh5 Kh7 45.Kg5 Kg7 46.Kf5 Kh6 47.Ke6 Kh5 48.Kd6 Kxh4 49.Kc7 Kg4 50.Kxb7 Kf4 51.Kxb6 1-0

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A favorite Oregon City spot is closing

Sadly, we just recieved this note from our friends
Sarrah and Carlos Torres:

WINESTOCK is closing

We have to share with you that as of May 31st Winestock will no longer exist in OC! We have been asked to leave our space by the landlord who has signed a lease with someone else. This has been really hard news for us to take! But, we are extremely thankful for the 6 years we had here with all of you. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Here's what the month of May looks like @ Winestock:
THIS WEEK: NATIVE Cabernet Franc release party! Wed-Sat
NEXT WEEK: BLIND TASTING, Test your palate 1 last time @ Winestock! Wed-Sat, 3-10pm
May 19th: EPIC TRUCKLOAD SALE with BACCHUS! Sat, one-day only, 11-4pm. Regular shop/bar hours afterwards, til 10pm

May 28th-29th: Fixture Sale
May 31st: Hand keys over to landlord

STOREWIDE SALE 15% OFF, 20% off 2 CASES (or more)***
INCLUDES ALL INVENTORY, except artwork and NATIVE Cabernet Franc. Further discounts may apply and those items will be marked.

THIS WEEK: NATIVE Cabernet Franc RELEASE! This week is monumental for us as we have been waiting for the release of this very special wine since the fall of 2010 and the time is now.
$22/bottle $118.80/6-pack $237.60 case $49/Magnum
One Varietal, One Barrel, One Vineyard
All Natural, Native, Hand-made, Nano-batch, unfiltered
23 case production and 6 magnums.

The 2010 growing season in the Columbia Valley was cooler than what's considered typical. Which for those of us who appreciate the subtle things in life and wine, was a gift from the wine gods. While the Summer season saw cooler days, the weeks approaching harvest were warm, sunny and dry. We were excited to make wine in 2010, especially given these conditions. A beautiful opportunity to make a beautiful wine! The early morning of October 15th we drove down the Columbia River Gorge thru the woods of Goldendale and entered the agrarian valley, destination: Benton City! We reached the heart of the Red Mountain appellation, to pick up a ton of hand-harvested, LIVE-certified, Cabernet Franc grapes from the Black Rock Vineyard, planted about 10 years earlier. The same day, we hand sorted and destemmed each cluster, thru the night along with the help of good friends! Over the next few weeks, fermentation went smoothly and as calculated, each day we saw the juice absorbing more color and phenolics from the berries. The native yeast did it's job, magically, completing fermentation on its own (and THEY say it can't be done!) The wine rested in barrel from November to November, (2-year and 3-year filled, French oak barrels bought from Beaux Freres). We racked into a 3-year barrel just before bottling on the full moon of 11-22-11. Bottled unfined, unfiltered. This is a beautiful Cabernet Franc, one that is reminiscent of the varietal and is showing real personality!

Upon opening the bottle, the aromatics are sweet and candied, showing floral notes of violets and roses, fresh raspberries and ripe cherries, with an undercurrent of spices. This is after just opening the bottle! Aromas deepen with more exposure to air. The color is a brilliant jewel tone, radiant and clear. On the palate the wine is silky smooth with a nice velvety backbone. The most impressive singular quality of the Native Cabernet Franc is it's "crazy, expansive length!" As for cellar time, good things happen to those who wait. Each time you open a bottle of Native you will be rewarded with a wine that is in a new place of its evolution, maturing slowly and surely over time. Expect this journey to continue thru the decade, now till 2020!

Join us for a tremendous sale as a local distributor, Bacchus Wines is going out of business and we are here to help them move the last of their inventory. These are great wines selling from 20-50% off their normal retail prices. Nothing wrong with these wines except that they are stuck in a lonely warehouse. Help release them and give them a new home. Most wines will be available for tasting. Get here early and bring your truck! 11-4pm. Regular shop hours following.


**Open at 3pm, MONDAY thru SATURDAY till MAY 26th** 

wine by the glass, bottle, case 

small plates . desserts 


Sarrah and Carlos Torres 


820 Main Street Suite B 

Downtown Oregon City 97045 

On 9th, between Railroad and Main 

sarrah.winestock@mac.com • WineStock

Sarrah & Carlos Torres (photo courtesy of Lewis & Clark Bank)

Dreamgift by Spencer Brewer, often makes me reminisce about special times at Winestock, even though the last time we heard live music there it was by a harpist.

Visit www.spencerbrewer.com to learn more about his music.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

More controversy brewing in the chess world

Open Letter on Ilyumzhinov's Visit to Chicago

To: the FIDE Presidential Board
Re: Open Letter in objection to the recent Chicago visit

Dear FIDE Leadership Team,

The USCF Executive Board passed a motion this morning, with a vote of 7-0, directing me to convey our concerns related to FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's recent activities in Chicago, Illinois. The text of the motion is below:

The USCF is deeply concerned about FIDE President Ilyumzhinov's recent visit to Chicago and the resulting press coverage on the FIDE website, due to the fact that President Ilyumzhinov discussed a US National Championship event with Chicago organizers without USCF participation. Put simply, this is a step in the wrong direction as it shows a complete disregard for the authority of all national federations and is against the interests of the great game of chess, both worldwide and in the United States.

We were surprised and disappointed that FIDE did not use this visit by President Ilyumzhinov as an opportunity to work with USCF as a partner. We wish to make it clear that we expect any future discussion relating to FIDE Involvement in a US-based project must include approval by and integral involvement of the USCF.

The only persons authorized to represent the USCF in negotiations with FIDE on matters involving chess are President Ruth Haring, Executive Director Bill Hall, FIDE Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky and Zonal President Francisco Guadalupe.

FIDE's motto is "Gens una sumus" or "We are one family." In that spirit, the USCF sent a large delegation to the 2011 FIDE Congress in Krakow, Poland, expending significant resources to strengthen the relationship between FIDE and the USCF. To this end, we expect FIDE to respect the rights of the national federations and remember its own motto. In the future, we fully expect FIDE to seek approval from the appropriate USCF officials of the United States national federation, as designated herein pertaining to any and all planned chess related activities in the United States.


Bill Hall
US Chess Federation Executive Director
May 2, 2012
Source: USCF web site

A song that has always made me relax: Cinderella by Spencer Brewer