Nelly Estrada (FIDE 2025) from the University of Texas in Brownsville scored 6-0 to win the Open Section of the Susan Polgar National Open Chess Championship for Girls under 21. She also won the Puzzle Solving Championship, scoring a perfect 20 puzzles in 5 minutes.

For her magnificent results, she received a state of the art Dell laptop and printer as well as the brand new Susan Polgar Digital Clock! Let’s not forget the 3 big trophies to show off around campus!

UTB chess ace nails first tournament
The Brownsville Herald


The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College could have a chess phenomenon on its hands.

On Sunday, Nelly Estrada won six straight matches to win the individual championship for girls under 21 at the all-women’s Susan Polgar National Chess Championship at the Ramada Bayfront Plaza in Corpus Christi.

Also at the tournament, Paredes Elementary tied for the championship in the second grade and under division, scoring a tie with an all-star team from Corpus Christi’s Susan Polgar South Texas Chess Center.

Canales Elementary was third in that division and Egly Elementary was fourth, UTB-TSC assistant chess coach Rusty Harwood said.

Faulk Middle School was third in its division, Harwood said.

Estrada did her winning at twice her normal speed.

The 19-year-old El Paso native is a Mexican national chess master who is used to playing 90 minute matches. In the United States, the standard is 45 minutes.

“You have to be focused on the game so you don’t miss anything,” Estrada said Sunday from Corpus Christi.

“I wanted to do well; I wanted to be focused. I hope I can keep it that way.

Polgar was a four-time world champion and five time Olympic champion chess player and is generally regarded as the top female player in the world.

Estrada, an El Paso native raised in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, said she feels honored to have been sent to Corpus Christi to compete on the university’s behalf.

“It was a very rewarding tournament,” she said. “I’m’ very proud that (the university) sent me and a coach. I know that they’ll help me and the team to improve in the future.”

Harwood said he expected Estrada to do well but that the six straight victories and tournament championship was a bonus.

“I’m extremely excited about that and the trip to Chicago,” he said.

Members of Paredes Elementary’s co-championship team were: Monik Douglas, Lauren Guzman, Paulina Lazo, Elizabeth Ukoli and Kaitlyn Ware.

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