Thursday, March 24, 2016

Webster University 2016 Final Four Team

Webster U Chess Final Four 2015

Webster University - SPICE (by USCF rating order) 2016 Final Four Team
Mascot: Gorlok

GM Liem "Man of Steel" Le (Vietnam) - Junior/Finance - 2773
GM Ray "Fearless Attacker" Robson (USA) - Junior/International Studies - 2746
GM Illya "The Brain" Nyzhnyk (Ukraine) - Sophomore/Computer Science - 2720
GM Aleksandr "The Czar" Shimanov (Russia) - Grad Student/MBA - 2708
GM Vasif "Mr. CrossFit" Durarbayli (Azerbaijan) - Senior/Economics - 2686
GM Fidel "Pinar Romancer" Corrales Jimenez (Cuba) - Senior/Computer Science - 2593
Head Coach: GM Susan Polgar
Coach & Team Strategist: FM Paul Truong
Team Assistants: GM Manuel Leon Hoyos, GM Denes Boros, GM Ashwin Jayaram, IM Eric Rosen, IM Irene Sukandar, WGM Katerina Nemcova
The following 4 universities have qualified for the prestigious annual College Chess Final Four Championship:
  • Webster University #1 seed
  • Texas Tech #2 seed
  • University of Texas RGV #3 seed
  • Columbia University #4 seed
Round 1 (10 am – April 2):
Webster vs Columbia / Texas Tech vs UT RGV

Round 2 (5 pm –  April 2):
Webster vs UT RGV / Texas Tech vs Columbia

Round 3 (9 am – April 3):
Webster vs Texas Tech / UT RGV vs Columbia

Le Quang Liem-001 (2)
Ray Robson-001 (2)
Illia Nyzhnyk-001 (2)
Aleksandr Shimanov-001 (2)
Vasif Durarbayli-001 (2)
Fidel Corrales-001 (2)

Rules for the 2016 Final 4 of College Chess 

Eligibility:  Each player must satisfy the eligibility requirements established by the USCF College Chess Committee (CCC).  The requirements are the same as those for the Pan-American tournament played Dec 26-29.  If not already provided in advance, each team must furnish the Chief TD with their Eligibility Letter printed on University stationery on Friday evening at the Team Captains’ Meeting. 

Teams:  Each team has four players and up to two alternates.  Board-order based on March ratings (50-point transpositions allowed among USCF ratings) is also determined in the same way as for the Pan-American.

Scoring: The President’s Cup is a Team Round Robin scored by total individual points.  In the event of a tie, the teams are declared Co-champions.  The following tie-breaking systems are for sole possession of the President’s Cup and will be applied in this order:
  1.  Total team match wins.
  2.  Head-to-head outcome.
  3.  Armageddon (5-4 minute “shootout”).  White must win with 5 minutes, and Black must win or draw with 4 minutes.  There is no delay or increment time.  Winner of a coin toss chooses color.  Each team selects one team member to represent them.  This team member can be any Player or Alternate from your Official Team Roster for the tournament, it does not have to be your “Board 1” player.
Team rosters:  Each team’s Official Roster must be presented to the Chief TD no later than Friday at the Team Captains’ Meeting.  Rosters will identify which team member is the Team Captain.  If a Team’s roster is not in Board Order for Round 1, the Team Captain must ensure the Chief TD is aware of your team’s Round 1 lineup.  Round 1 Lineups will be posted by the Chief TD one hour before the start of the round.  After Round 1, Team Lineups for Rounds 2 and 3 must be submitted to the Chief TD at least one hour prior to the beginning of the next round.  Otherwise, if the Chief TD does not receive a Lineup change, he will assume the previous round’s lineup is being used for the next round.  The Chief TD will post the updated Team Lineups on the tournament web site as soon as possible and also will email copies to each team’s point of contact for the tournament.

Team Captains:  There will be a Captains’ Meeting on Friday evening immediately after the Team Dinner concludes.  It usually takes about 30 minutes.  It is at this meeting where we all agree upon rules for certain situations that are not specifically addressed.  At this meeting be prepared to provide the Chief TD with the phone number and email address of your team’s Captain and a backup point of contact.  The Chief TD will use this information to distribute instructions, Lineup Changes, etc. during the tournament.

Communicating with others During Play:  No player whose game is in progress may talk with another person without the Chief TD being present before the communications begin.  This includes players wanting to talk with their Team Captain about whether to accept or decline a draw offer made by the opponent.

Cell Phones, Other Communication Devices and Calculation Devices:  We will discuss this at the Captains’ Meeting on Friday night.  The Chief TD’s initial position is:  No player with a game in progress is allowed to physically possess (e.g. have on their person during the game) or to have access to any communication-capable or calculation-capable device.  If you are playing a game during the Round, don’t bring such devices into the Playing Room.

Sets, Boards and Clocks:  DGT Boards will be provided by the Tournament Organizer for play.  They must be used.  The TD is responsible for the Time Control programmed into the clocks provided by the Organizer, not for incorrect Time Controls set on clocks provided by a team.

Pairings:  The team pairings/seeds are predetermined by the March 2016 US Chess Rating Supplement.  There will be a drawing for Round 1 and Round 3 colors on Board 1 at the Friday evening meeting before the tournament.
  •  Rd 1 1 vs. 4; 2 vs. 3
  •  Rd 2 1 vs. 3; 2 vs. 4
  •  Rd 3 1 vs. 2; 3 vs. 4
Official Time Controls: Game 90 with a 30-second increment each move.
The tournament is FIDE & US Chess rated.

Chief TD:  The Chief TD for this tournament is National Tournament Director and FIDE Arbiter Mike Hoffpauir from Virginia.  Mike has been the Chief TD (and organizer) of several College Final 4 Championships and also has been the Chief of the Pan Ams. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Rules & Conditions for the 13th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational

Rules & Conditions for the 13th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational - the richest all-girls championship in the world!
($200,000+ in scholarships + $7,500 cash prizes)
July 23 (arrival day) – 28, 2016 at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri)

The Annual SPF Girls' Invitational, in its 13th year, is the most prestigious All-Girls event in the United States. It is also the first All-Girls event approved and sanctioned by the USCF back in 2003. It is an invitational event, and will once again be held at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri).

Each state, as well as each country in the American Continent (South, Central, and North America) is allowed to nominate one representative. Each Canadian province is allowed one representative to be nominated. In addition, automatic qualifying spots will be awarded to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar Foundation National Open for Girls and the Susan Polgar Foundation World Open for Girls.

Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus for all qualifiers!

• There will be an intense training session with Susan Polgar and members of the SPICE team, followed by a 6 round (g/90+30) FIDE rated championship tournament.
• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.
• There will be many chess prizes awarded, as well as scholarships to Webster University.
Official representatives should be nominated by June 10, 2016. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than July 11, 2016. (Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow the host state / country to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions to the June 10 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state / country affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state / country.

Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state or country they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are under the age of 19 on July 22nd 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 or country.

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 22nd of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

Special invitation for this year: All past participants of the SPNI and SPFGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2015) are invited to participate in the 2016 SPFGI. 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 2016 SPFGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel.

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 15, 2016.

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, Bughouse and the SPFGI 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) of the main event will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement).

Champion: Webster University scholarship* (full tuition and fees approximately $25,000 + per year x 4 years)
2nd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $14,000 + per year x 4 years)
3rd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $12,000 + per year x 4 years)
(In case of a tie, a playoff will used to determine the level of scholarships)

* The scholarships to Webster University must be exercised no later than Fall of 2019, and are not transferable. In addition, these scholarships cannot be combined with other academic scholarships, or stacked. If players won scholarships in past events, they can choose to exercise the highest one.

Additional CASH SCHOLARSHIP this year!

1st place = $2,500
2nd place = $1,500
3rd place = $1,000
Top under 13 = $500
Top under 10 = $500
Triple-crown champion (main event, blitz, and puzzle solving) = $1,000
Biggest upset prize (each round) = $50 x 6 = $300 gift certificate
Best dressed player = $100 gift certificate
Best written essay about the SPFGI experience = $100 gift certificate

There will also be additional surprised prizes which challenge intellect and wit!
(In case of a tie, cash prizes will be shared)

The Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California, two for Texas, and two for Missouri), the District of Columbia, as well as each country in the American Continent (South, Central, and North America) 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 a limited number of 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 Foundation National Open for Girls and the Susan Polgar Foundation World Open for Girls.

The SPFGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (

Contact info: Polgar Committee (

The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through