Update on Thursday night: Samyukta Bhat won today and is in clear 2nd place with 4.5 out of 5! She faces top seed and tournament leader Yang Dai (2057) in Friday's final round, needing a win to become national champion. On behalf of all of Samyukta's fans back home, here's wishing you all of the best of skill!
Samyukta Bhat, winner of the CalChess Girl's Championship, remains tied for first with a perfect 3-0 score at the halfway point of the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. The photo at right shows Samyukta posing with GM Susan Polgar. The two other girls sharing the lead are the top seeds: Yang Dai (2057) of Virginia and defending champion Courtney Jamison (1984) of Texas. An incoming 9th grader rated 1740, Samyukta started out ranked #9 out of 60 girls. No doubt the competition will soon become much tougher, starting tomorrow against Julia Jones (1869), also from Texas. Here's wishing her all the best of luck!
Samyukta is not the only Fremont area girl playing in Texas. 8-year old Alisha Chawla has a single point (see photo at left), competing against mostly older and higher rated opponents. No doubt she will benefit from the entire experience, including instructional lectures, puzzle contests and blitz tournament.
Watch this post and my Twitter feed for updates throughout the week. There will be one round daily through Friday. For more photos of young ladies playing chess, click on album #1 and album #2.