Tenth Annual Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational Chess Competition to be Held July 22-25 at Webster University

The six-round championship tournament will award more than $200,000 in chess scholarships and prizes

A player during last year's tournamentST. LOUIS - Fifty-seven of the top young female chess players – as young as age 6 through age 18 – from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Brazil will gather on Webster University's home campus next week for the 10th Annual Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls chess event in the United States.

A partnership between Webster University and the Susan Polgar Foundation, the six-round championship tournament will award more than $200,000 in chess scholarships and prizes, including a four-year, full-tuition-and-fees scholarship to Webster University for the tournament champion, worth approximately $23,000 per year; and four-year Webster University scholarships to the second- and third-place winners, each worth $13,000 per year.

Polgar, the top-ranked female chess player in the United States, is one of the strongest female chess players in history. She is head coach of Webster's national champion collegiate chess team, director of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Webster University and recognized as a trailblazer who laid the foundation for female chess players everywhere.

One of the key outcomes of the Girls' Invitational tournament, according to Polgar, is that the girls competing in the event will continue to spread the word about the importance of women in chess.

At Webster, Susan Polgar and SPICE are leaders in promoting chess as a vehicle for academic excellence, enriching the education of children and for promoting women's chess. Chess is increasingly valued for its instructional impact. Globally, educators recognize chess as a tool to cultivate interest and success in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.  

The opening ceremony for the Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational will be at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 22 at the Loretto Hilton Center on the Webster University campus, 130 Edgar Rd. in Webster Groves. Round 1 of the tournament will begin immediately following the opening ceremony, at 2 p.m., on the Loretto Hilton stage. The ceremony, all tournament rounds and the closing ceremony (Thursday, July 25 at 3 pm. at the Loretto Hilton) are free and open to the public.

(Rounds 2 and 3 will take place on Tuesday, July 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., respectively. Rounds 4 and 5 will be held on Wednesday, July 24, same times as Rounds 2 and 3. The tournament wraps up on Thursday, July 25, with Round 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)

Webster University's collegiate chess team has ranked No. 1 in the country since August 2012, when the team was officially formed. The team made history in April when it became the first St. Louis team ever to win a Final Four collegiate chess championship. It was the first time in history that a team made it to the Final Four of Collegiate Chess in its first year at a school and also the first time that a first-year team has been ranked as the No. 1 seed in the Final Four. Because of those accomplishments, Polgar was named the “College Chess Coach of the Year” during the Final Four awards ceremony.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.