Matt Lasley taught his daughter how to play chess. Now Alexa can school her dad in the game.
Alexa, a home-schooler from Black Forest, is preparing to travel to Texas for the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, being held this summer at the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence. Alexa, who has been playing chess since about age 7, scored the opportunity to attend the invitational when she won second place in the Colorado State Scholastic Chess Championship, where she played against ninth- to 12-graders. Alexa was the youngest competitor, but she beat five of the six players she battled. As the female competitor with the most points, Alexa said, she had won her way to the Susan Polgar competition.
Susan Polgar was the first woman to qualify for the men’s world championship, in 1986, and earn the men’s Grandmaster title. Her Institute is dedicated to boosting the popularity of chess among all people, especially girls.
Q&A WITH ALEXA
How old were you when you first beat your dad at chess?
“I think I was 11 or 12, and I was so excited, I was jumping around, ‘Yeah, I beat Dad!'”
Tell me about the Susan Polgar Invitational.
“It’s in late July, and I think a little of it’s in early August. And it’s a week long, and you play every day.”
What do you like about chess?
“I don’t know. It’s lots of fun, and it makes you think.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Maybe an author, but I’m not really sure.”
What are some of your hobbies besides chess?
“I like reading a lot. In the summer I catch lots of butterflies.”
Who inspires you?
“My mom and dad.”
Dragon Keeper series, Warriors series
Two brothers, two sisters. “I’m the oldest.”
Alexa said her whole family plays chess. “Except my mom doesn’t play chess. She says she has other things to learn.”
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– GM Susan Polgar