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Abby on Columbus, College and her Last Scholastic Game Print E-mail
By Abby Marshall   
April 16, 2010
abbypreviewWY.jpg I played my first chess game when I was six years old at the Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio. While I certainly hope that I will not be playing my last chess game ever in Columbus this weekend, on Sunday at 2pm I will be playing my last scholastic chess game.

I have high hopes for this tournament, but because it is so competitive I am not really consumed with dreams of winning, but rather I am going to enjoy the experience of finishing my scholastic career in Columbus. This is where it all started for me, where a public school program with the most wonderful coach in the world changed my life, and what I like to think led me to carve out a new place in the insular chess world that I’ve come to know well over almost thirteen years. I’ve realized that chess provides the opportunity to travel around the world, has numerous intellectual benefits, and is an endlessly rich, enjoyable game; this is true no matter your gender or whatever other excuse people come up with to stop someone from pursuing their goals in chess. I’m graduating from the children’s chess world, but there are many really great female players who are still a part of it, and they will make a difference.

It really is hard for me to believe that this is my last scholastic event. Somehow, between winning first place in novice sections and getting sixth at the K-12 Nationals in 2002, I finished elementary school; between a disappointing sixth at the K-12 Nationals in 2003 and winning the Polgar for the second time, I finished middle school; and between having a breakthrough tournament at the US Open and winning the Denker, I am finishing high school, and will graduate in June. I will actually be arriving in Columbus on Wednesday to have time to visit my old teachers and friends. My success would not have been possible without Indianola, without my family, without Mark, and without the super fantastic support of everyone else who helped me get this far.

I’m going to Barnard College in the fall. I visited the campus last week, and I think it’s the greatest place in the world because you get everything. Barnard itself is a small campus with about 600 incoming freshmen, but NYC’s Times Square is fifteen minutes away. Barnard is also a women’s college, which is cool because it focuses obviously on women’s issues and has unique resources, but it is also affiliated with Columbia University so Barnard students can take classes at Columbia and vice versa. It’s been very exciting for me to think about the next four years of my life, although I am feeling pretty directionless. Maybe I want to be an anthropology major, maybe I want to become an IM, maybe I want to try to win the Pulitzer Prize, maybe I want to drop out of school. But in all likelihood, I will be moving to New York City in the fall, which besides being a thrilling place for a nineteen year old kid to live, the city is also what I hope will great for my chess. Keep an eye open for my future blogs, which will be coming to you courtesy of me typing from a tiny dorm room in Morningside Heights.

Bookmark the High School Nationals and All-Girls Nationals pages to stay posted this weekend and look for on-scene updates by Shaun Smith and a wrap-up by Abby.


April - Chess Life Online 2010

FIDE Trainers Seminar for Women Instant Replay: Topalov-Anand Game 5 Drawn Anand on Top so Far in Sofia Kasparov, Karpov and Carlsen to Appear at New York City BenefitInstant Replay: Anand Wins Game Four Chess Without Borders Join Millions of Volunteers Worldwide on Global Youth Service Day Nakamura to Relocate to Saint LouisA Couch Potato's Guide to the World Championship - Part II Aleksandr Lenderman: Officially a Grandmaster Expert Meets Grandmaster: A Personal Perspective on Playing Maurice Ashley Anand Evens Score in Sofia Topalov Begins Match with Big Win A Volunteer's Perspective on Columbus: A Blue Apron & Female Fire A Couch Potato's Guide to Topalov-Anand Santarius Wins Hales Corners Challenge XIField finalized for 2010 U.S. Championship All-Girls Nationals: Ballantyne Ties with Chen and Wins UTD Scholarship High School Nationals: The Biggest Tie Ever and Hunter on Top $10,000 Up for Grabs at the US Championship Blitz Open Kudrin and Ivanov Win Hartford Open Meekins and Ong Lead High School; Matlin Leads All GirlsThe National High School and All Girls Begin in ColumbusIn Columbus, Ryba Wins Blitz, Low and Uesgui Take Bug Abby on Columbus, College and her Last Scholastic Game Final Four: UMBC beats Brownsville to retain titleThe Quest to Qualify by IM Altounian GM Jesse Kraai Takes Clear First in Reno Vela, IS 318, Adelberg and Lee on Top at the Junior High Nationals Four GMs Tie in Saint Louis Open College Final Four Update: Brownsville vs. Maryland Baltimore County Four Lead the Saint Louis Open Adelberg and IS 318 in Clear Lead at Junior High NationalsJunior High School Nationals: Day 1 ReportFinal Four Kicks Off in BrownsvilleTournament of Champions Final: Altounian vs. StudenNakagawa Takes First in K-9 BlitzThe Grandmaster ApartmentRecord field set for Saint Louis OpenGM Pascal Charbonneau on Blitzing the Donald Benge Memorial 2010 Grand Prix Sponsors: ChessLecture.com and ChessMagnetSchool.com The Final Scoop on the Philadelphia Open GM Robert Hess is the 2010 Samford Fellow Benefactor Membership Upgrade AvailableThe Story of IS 318: Interview with the Director of Chess Movie Kamsky Tops Philadelphia Open New USCF Rating Floors Implemented Far West Open BeginsBe a USCF Benefactor! The Scoop Begins at the Philadelphia Open The April Check is in the Mail