GM Susan Polgar victorious in Dresden
By Jennifer Shahade
July 20, 2006
Dresden at Night. Photo Paul Truong
Susan Polgar, on the heels of her succesful showing at the Mayor's Cup, had another great tournament in Dresden, Germany, blazing through top women players from over 20 countries to take home the 2006 World Women's Cup Title.
Soccer is so popular in Germany that the organizer, Dr.Dirk Jordan structured the event based on the World Cup, which was contested at the same time. Each country playing in the World Cup of soccer could pick one player for the Women's Chess World Cup. They were split up into eight groups with four players each. The top two players from each group advanced to the knockout stage, with three rounds of elimination. To be as true as possible to the World Cup in soccer, there was even a third place match!
The final standings were.
1st place- Susan Polgar (U.S.A)
2nd place- Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany)
3rd place- Marie Sebag (France)
4th place- Carolina Lujan (Argentina)
There were even penalty kicks (for fun), but fortunately, no head-butts. The event was also held as a promotional precursor to the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden, which Susan is helping to promote.
Susan was the most experienced player in the field, and she dispatched eight opponents. Susan is known for particularly strong play in rapid and blitz events, so the time control ( 25 minutes with a 10 second increment) did not hurt her.
Here's a cool game she played in the final against Argentinian star, 20-year-old Carolina Lujan:
The nice in-between-move (otherwise known as intermediate move) 30.Qg6+! clinched the victory for Susan. In-between-moves are hard to see, especially at rapid time controls.
Local favorite, IM Elisabeth Paehtz made it to the final against Susan. Susan's superior technique decided the game.
IM Elisabeth Paehtz, Runner-up IM Harriet Hunt from England
This soccer ball is not to be kicked!
A shot from the opening festivities. Does it make you wonder what they're planning for the 2008 Olympiad?
Susan Polgar with Anastasia Sorokina from Belarus
Photos courtesy of Paul Truong.