Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational: International tourney capped with Colombian champion

| July 31, 2013

The 10th Annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational at Webster University wrapped up with a closing ceremony and a new champion from South America.

Luisa Mercado Mendoza, a 17-year-old from Cartagena, Colombia, took the top prize, earning a four-year, all-tuition-and-fees scholarship to Webster, worth $23,000 a year; a cash prize of $3,000; an iPad mini; and a $2,400 year-long fitness sponsorship from Crossfit.

Fifty-seven of the top young female chess players – as young as age 6 through age 18 – from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Brazil gathered on Webster’s home campus last week for the 10th Annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls chess event in the United States.


President Beth Stroble, left, and Webster Chess Coach Susan Polgar, on right, present the winners’ trophy to Luisa Mercado Mendoz.

“I was quite impressed with the dedication I saw from Luisa,” said tournament founder and Webster University chess coach Susan Polgar. “She came here to take care of business and that’s exactly what she did. Her dedication really paid off.”

Mendoza, who has been playing chess for 13 years and currently ranks in the top five players in Colombia under age 18, said she immediately called her family in Colombia to share her good news. “They were screaming and cheering,” she said.

On the other end of the line were her mother, father, three aunts and a cousin. Another aunt accompanied Mendoza to St. Louis for the tournament.

Read more of this story and tournament results at

Previously: Snapshots from 10th Annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational Kickoff

Video above: Becca Lampman (Washington) and Margaret Hua (Missouri) both tied for first in the Armageddon Blitz Championship with 9-1 score, making them co-champions. The Armageddon game is for the trophy. Becca won the coin toss and chose black.

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