At the halfway point of the week long Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, the official Northern California representative Rebekah Liu (1735) of Palo Alto is tied for 4th place at 2.5/3, ahead of several higher rated players. In the photo at left from this online album, she stands next to the tournament's namesake: GM Susan Polgar. Rebekah, who earned her ticket to Lubbock, Texas by winning the CalChess Girl's Championship and the subsequent playoff match, drew yesterday's round as black versus the #2 girl from the host state, Angel Bohannon (1768). This afternoon at 1:30 Central time, she faces Michelle Xueying Chen (1805) from Massachusetts.
The latest article on Chess Life Online mentions Rebekah and includes her round 3 game against Bohannon. I am guessing that Rebekah simply overlooked after 17... Ng6 18.Qxd8 Rxd8 that 19.Nc6 forks both of her rooks. With that in mind, black should have tried 15... bxc3 instead of Kxg7.
Rebekah also found success in the side events. On Saturday evening, she won the second highest quad in the warm-up event, sweeping a field of three 1600s. On Monday night, she won the puzzle contest by correctly solving all 10 checkmate positions in 5:26, a minute and a half faster than any of the other girls! According to her father, Rebekah really enjoys the trip to Texas and has made a few new friends with other competitors.
In other news, the August Top 100 lists are out. Rebekah simultaneously jumped onto two new lists for the first time: #83 for age 14 (including boys) and #91 overall among women (any age). Woohoo! Perhaps there is still some hope for Girl Power in chess!?
Update on Wednesday evening: Rebekah drew again and now has 3.0 out of 4. She will play with the black pieces tomorrow against Fiona Lam (1720) from Maryland. Here are the complete Polgar tournament standings and pairings.