Stephanie Ballom in New in Chess!

Stephanie Ballom featured in Sweet 16 magazine back in 2005.

Stephanie Ballom in “Sweet 16” magazine back in 2005.

The above article is not from NEW IN CHESS, but Guideposts Sweet 16 magazine. More on the NEW IN CHESS later. This article was titled, “Queen of the Board” and written by Lisa Freeman. It was about Stephanie Ballom who (at the time) had just won the 1st All-Girls National Championship in Chicago, Illinois. The article written stated that she had troubles in school until she picked up a book on how to play chess in the bookstore. She stated when she read the strategies in the chess book, something clicked and her grades started to improve. (see article)

Stephanie Ballom was a standout at Mansfield Highschool in Mansfield, Texas and won a $30,000 scholarhip to University of Texas-Dallas. Despite winning this opportunity, she decided to attend Texas Tech University. Now in her 3rd year, she is able to keep chess as one of her activities since GM Susan Polgar took a position there to run SPICE, the Susan Polgar Insititute for Chess Excellence.

Stephanie is certainly helping out with the SPICE program and was apparently part of the host committee for the strong Reshevsky Memorial organized by SPICE. Stephanie appeared in the NEW IN CHESS magazine (2007 #8, page 92). I was surprised to see her in the picture as she seemed surprised when I informed her about a month back. Perhaps her study of Russian will help her if SPICE continues to organize strong tournaments.

All the best Stephanie!


  1. I solute this accomplished young lady! 😀 I hope the best for you, Stephanie, in chess, and in life in general! I must add my 2 cents worth about how chess cause my intellectual lights to turn on as well. For me it occurred about when I was in my early undergraduate years at Syracuse University! I was always a pretty good student, but nothing spectacular, because I never really got too excited about school! After I got married I decided to curtail most of my physical sports activities (basketball, tennis, ping pong, and other stuff…) in favor of staying home more and started to play competitive chess! I began to delve into chess books and guess what happened? I found that studying chess made my other studies in the electrical engineering curriculum became easier for me! Now, I’m not 100% sure that it was just chess, but I think that my power of concentration, the ability to analyze more deeply and with greater creative thought, along with speed of grasping course material definitely took a BIG leap forward after I combined serious chess study with my other school work! Of course, getting married to my beautiful wife must have had some good effects on me too, making me want to do better in life! But I really believe that chess study help my brain snap to attention! Come to think of it, probably music, puzzles, and other cerebral activities may be what has helped folks in those fields like chess impacted me and Stephanie!? What do other bloggers think? ❓

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