Monday, July 2, 2007

2007 CYCC: GM Susan Polgar meets Canada's best young chessplayers

Four-time World Women's Chess Champion Susan Polgar received a warm welcome Monday afternoon from the players of the 2007 Canadian Youth Chess Championship.

GM Polgar, the CYCC's honorary chairperson and a leading advocate of youth chess, arrived in Canada after making the long drive from New York to Ottawa. She had flown to New York hours earlier from Budapest.

Still, GM Polgar was in good spirits, traveling with her two sons, Tom and Leeam, and her business manager Paul Truong. From the Chateau Laurier, they strolled along the Rideau Canal to Ottawa City Hall for the CYCC's opening reception. Upon her arrival, GM Polgar mingled with the eager throng of players and their parents.

Soon after, the formal ceremonies began. Gordon Ritchie, Chair of the 2007 CYCC Organizing Committee (shown above with GM Polgar, her manager and her sons), introduced Dave Gibbons of the Ottawa Mayor's Office, who welcomed GM Polgar and the CYCC's participants on behalf of Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien. GM Polgar gave a brief speech wishing success to the CYCC participants. After, she was interviewed by several Ottawa television news reporters.

GM Polgar will have a busy day Tuesday, which is Day One of CYCC competition. She will spend one-on-one time with CYCC players when their games are finished, and lecture to players over the lunch hour, and speak to parents when the second round of CYCC play takes place. Beginning in the early evening, GM Polgar will give a simultaneous exhibition, taking on dozens of CYCC players at once.

Her presence at the event is made possible thanks to the generous support of TELUS Corp., the major sponsor of the 2007 CYCC.

The 2007 CYCC qualifies Canada's best young chess players for the 2007 World Youth Chess Championship, to be held in Antalya, Turkey this fall. More than 180 Canadian boys and girls -- a record number -- are competing in the 2007 CYCC from July 3 to 6 at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

Additional photos of the CYCC opening reception can be found at:

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