2009 SPICE Cup (Polgar)

2009 SPICE Cup

More SPICE in Texas chess! GM Susan Polgar is bringing world class competition to the U.S. in the form of a Category 16 tournament. She bills it as the strongest invitational ever held in history. While chess historians are scrambling to verify this, Polgar continues to promote chess on a number of fronts.

Most notably she has promoted the idea of more girls playing chess with a number of tournaments designed to help increase participation. There are no data to verify whether girls are sticking with chess after their teens years, but Polgar has certainly built a huge following in this regard. She held the Polgar Tournament for Girls alongside the Denker Tournament of Champions at the World Open.

Political rankling and contentious lawsuits has resulted in a less than amicable parting between Polgar and the USCF, but she continues to promote chess independently through the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Texas Tech. SPICE will host two tournaments, the aforementioned Category 16 (2630) and then a 2500-level tournament.

The “A” tournament has an impressive lineup with a number of top juniors including GM Dmitry Andreikin of Russia and GM Wesley So of the Philippines and GM Yuriy Kuzubov of the Ukraine. The “B” tournament features GMs Gabor Papp, Eugene Perelshteyn and Amon Simutowe and GM-hopeful Ray Robson. Should be exciting!

Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence

More details here!


  1. I just saw the following on GM Susan Polgar’s website:
    GM Amon Simutowe, who is currently attending the University of Texas in Dallas, after confirming his participation in the upcoming SPICE Cup B group, had to withdraw 2 days ago. He stated to me that he was denied permission by a chess administrator at UTD to play in the SPICE Cup at Texas Tech University. He said that it was a shock to him as it never happened before. He felt very bad about it.

    I understand his decision. This is not the fault of GM Simutowe. He could lose his scholarship if he chooses not to comply. This is an unfortunate decision by someone above him. Just as in previous SPICE events, as a professional courtesy, I routinely invited players from UTD, UMBC, UTB, NYU, etc. to support College Chess and young talented players.

    I have known GM Simutowe since 2001 when I invited this unknown player at that time to the NY City Mayor’s Cup. He is a nice young man and I wish him the best with his chess and study.
    This is very sad, somebody has an axe to grind at UTD.

  2. Yeah i just came from there as well Micigan,it seems to me when THEY began to feel the pressure THEY start becoming extremely irrational ,im mean when THEY REALIZE! THEY dont know everything fear began to set in so they have to use their “power” to deny and distract but its cleat this stuff is falling TIMELESSLLY into the past.This young man has reached their gm requirements and still THEY find reasons why THEY dont want him to participate. What a joke! PEACE

  3. This is quite a development. I had no idea of this as I am traveling. Simutowe read the comments here and has told me that he does not want to inflame the situation, but it is puzzling why he is being denied this opportunity. Is this yet a political battle… or perhaps it is a competitive battle between UTD and Texas Tech? The information is not clear here, but it is quite strange. If the reasons are unfounded then it will be another sad day for chess.

  4. I spoke with Mr. James Stallings of Director of the Chess program at UTD at length this morning. He explained the situation regarding GM Amon Simutowe’s withdrawal from the SPICE CUP tournament to my satisfaction. There appears to be no politics behind the decision, GM Simutowe had to make a judgment call of academics versus chess for his future and I think he made the correct call. I didn’t realize he was starting grad school, which is very tough. I wish GM Simutowe luck in his academics and chess. Mr. Stallings explained the situation to GM Susan Polgar.

  5. Right… I believe the issue is why he was not allowed to play, but if it is a matter of missing classes then perhaps that may be the overarching issue.

    Thanks for following up!

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