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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Four Tie at 1st US Junior Girls Chess, Munoz Wins Scholarship

Hello chess blog friends, the 2014 US Junior Girls Chess Invitational in New Hampshire (July 17-21) has concluded with four co-champions: Claudia Munoz, Apurva Virkud, Maggie Feng, and Akshita Gorti. Munoz was awarded the $10K scholarship to the University of New Hampshire on tie-break. 

I'm blessed that I won the U.S. Girls Junior Chess Championship. As a #HispanicI'm looking to inspire other #Latinos
— Claudia Munoz (@chesscampeona) July 21, 2014

In 1966, the United States Chess Federation started the Boys Closed Championship, which provides the winner a seat into the prestigious US Championship. This year, F. Alex Relyea, FIDE arbiter and Associate National Tournament Director based in Bedford, NH, decided that an equally prestigious event for girls should exist. “There are some amazing young girls playing. We need to have the same prestigious titles for them that we have for boys.” He worked with the United States Federation to create and host the inaugural event in New Hampshire. UNH Manchester will provide a $2,500 award renewable up to four years and Relyea Chess will provide a total prize fund of $6,200 with top prize of $2,000 and lowest prize of $200.

Organizer Alex Relyea told Chess Life Online (of the US Chess Federation), "This tournament was very hard fought, with the lead changing almost every round. Quad-champions, with two more players just half a point back shows just how tight the tournament was. Special thanks to the University of New Hampshire for its sponsorship. It was an honor to spend five days with the players."

USCF President Ruth Haring thinks this event bodes very well for the future of women in chess in America: "The 1st Junior Girls Closed is stronger than US Women's Championships in the 79's and early 80's‏. This tournament is an exciting event which will give experience to our talented girls playing in the round-robin format."

Find full information, standings, photos and download a pgn file on the official website.

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