A new tradition at SPFGI
It was my dream to revolutionize chess for young people, especially girls. I strongly believe that chess can and will help kids of all ages, in many different aspects. Naturally, some will want to take chess seriously, maybe to become grandmasters. But for most, chess will be a fun game which can teach them many valuable life lessons.
15 years ago, I fought very hard to create a brand new all-girls event, the first ever in the United States. I faced many objections and challenges to this idea. Eventually, the USCF gave in and approved the SPF Girl’s Invitational in 2002-2003. The 1st ever all-girls event took place in 2004. Many young ladies who took part in the early SPFGI went on to college, have families, and wonderful careers. Many became doctors, lawyers, mathematicians, engineers, bankers, entrepreneurs, etc. Some are starting to teach their own kids chess.
Because of the SPFGI, today there are countless all-girls tournaments and girl’s chess initiative across the country. Not only more girls participate in chess, the level went up dramatically! SPFGI remains the richest all-girls event in the world, with over $207,500 in scholarships and cash prizes. In addition, ALL qualifiers and official state/national representatives receive free housing and meals. We expect over 70 players from all over the US and 13 countries in North, Central and South America this year. The tournament budget is about $250,000.
We are starting a new tradition at SPFGI!
Beginning this year, we are inviting some alums of this event back to talk to the current group of participants, about how chess played a major role in their lives. Here are the four alums this year:
Alex is an analyst at Goldman Sachs in the Investment Banking Division, where she is part the Financial and Strategic Investors Group. Alex graduated with a BA in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations (BEO) from Brown University in 2016.
At Brown, she was the Chief Recruitment Officer and an Executive Board Member for Kappa Alpha Theta, traveled frequently to play for the Brown Women’s Club Soccer team, and served as the President of Brown’s Chess Team.
Selected Chess Highlights:
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– GM Susan Polgar