I would like to thank Webster University and the Susan Polgar Foundation for supporting the SPFGI. Since inception in 2003, the SPF, through the generosity of our supporters, sponsors and donors, has awarded over $6 million in scholarship, cash, and prizes to young chess players, with more than half to girls!
Since this was the biggest SPFGI championship ever, both Webster University and the Susan Polgar Foundation added unannounced prizes. The total prizes awarded were $345,000 in scholarships, cash, and prizes. After adding accommodations, meals and miscellaneous expenses, the total budget for 2019 SPFGI was around $400,000!
I would also like to thank our incredible team, Chief Arbiter Judit Sztaray, Honorary Chair Martha Underwood, co-founder of the SPFGI Frank Niro, Chess Dads & Arbiters Andrei Botez and Jack Scheible, Alumnae Aiya Cancio, Anna Annastasia Wyzywany, Alexandra Botez, Alex Wiener, Rebecca Lelko Bykhovsky, Michelle Farell, Clare Brown, GMs Illia Nyzhnyk, Yuniesky Quesada Perez, Lazaro Bruzon, Denes Boros IM Eric Rosen, SMs Aaron Grabinsky, Roman Kozelov, Amelia Wyzywany, PJ, Jess, Leeam, and many more for pouring their hearts and souls to make this a great event for all the participants.
This has been a very dear mission to me for over 45 years! I have been fighting this uphill battle for decades, and I will continue to champion it for as long as I physically can. I would like to see more girls and women in chess, as well as more opportunities.
I realize that there are still a lot of people against the idea of giving girls these opportunities. Because of this, you do not see most "chess politicians" uttering a single word about the SPF Girls' Invitational. They want this tournament shut down because they do not support it. This is why I am especially thankful for your support.
Last but not least, a big thanks to all the parents, grandparents, and siblings of the participants for supporting their endeavors!
Please feel free to check out www.ChessDailyNews.com throughout the year for event updates, chess tips and advice, daily puzzles, and much more!
Champion ($114,000 scholarship + $4,000 cash scholarship from SPF + $4,000 training package)
Mitzy Caballero (Peru)
Webster University scholarship (full tuition and fees approximately $28,500 + per year x 4 years = $114,000) + Champion's Cup + $4,000 cash chess scholarship from SPF + Special SPICE training package (valued at $4,000)
2nd- 4th place ($2,000+$1,000+$500 cash scholarship from SPF)
Arya Kumar (NC), Anne Marie Velea (WA), Zoey Tang (OR)
Webster University scholarship (approximately $18,000 + per year x 4 years) 72,000
Top under 13 ($500 cash chess scholarship from SPF)
Zoey Tang (OR)
Top under 10 ($500 cash chess scholarship from SPF)
Alice Lee (MN)
Upset prizes (Biggest upset prize of each round = $50 x 6 + trophies)
Round 1: Cassandra Roshu (OR, 1508) 271
Round 2: Kate Jiang (Canada, 1659) 288
Round 3: Ayleen Ramirez Toledo (Mexico 1745) 384
Round 4: Gillian Mok (Canada 1445) 376
Round 5: Hailey Holmquist (Maine, 687) 656
Round 6: Viktorija Zilajeva (OK, 1355) 451
Brilliancy prize ($100)
Martha Samadashvili (NY) in round 2
Best written essay about the SPFGI experience ($100)
Cassandra Roshu (OR)
Best dressed player ($100 gift certificate)
Zoey Tang (OR)
Ms. Congeniality (Trophy)
Ashley Xing (VA)
Friends and Family (Prizes)
1st Daniel Herman (CO) 4/4
2nd -6th Rico Bulaclac (KY), Jadie Woods (MI), William Jiang (BC), Erwin Mok (BC), Shirley Herman (CO) 3/4
Anastacia Lopez Sanchez (Mexico) & Katherine Eisenman (MO) with perfect score
Puzzle Solving Championship (Trophy)
Iris Zhou (MO) 20/20 in 13' 24"
Martha Samadashvili (NY) & Emily Nguyen (TX) also got 20/20 but in 22+ minutes
Blitz Championship (Trophy)
Emily Nguyen (TX) trophy on tie-breaks over Lucia Malan (Uruguay) & Martha Samadashvili (NY)
Over 560 photos here: