April 4, 2014
Texas Tech University’s Chess Team is heading to New York today for the “Final Four of Chess,” the national championship for college chess, which takes place this weekend at the New York Athletic Club.
Texas Tech is among four teams that qualified during the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship held in Lubbock in December. 2013. The other teams are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Webster University.
“It’s an honor to qualify among the best four in the nation,” said Al Lawrence, director of the Chess Program. “Head Coach Alex Onischuk has done a superb job helping to rebuild the Texas Tech team so quickly. Everyone at Texas Tech has been wonderfully supportive and our talented team has worked hard.”
Texas Tech team members, in board order, include Grandmaster Yaroslav Zherebukh, a sophomore; Grandmaster Elshan Moradiabadi, a graduate student; International Master Andrey Gorovets, a graduate student; and International Master-Elect Luis Torres, a freshman. International Master-Elect Faik Aleskerov, a graduate student, will travel as an alternate.
Onischuk, a Grandmaster, was one of 12 invited to the U.S. Chess Championship in St. Louis in May. He is a former U.S. Champion and has been one of the world’s 100 top-rated players for the past 17 years.
Each team will play each other once. The number one and two teams (Webster and Texas Tech, respectively) will play each other in the final round. The winner of the championship is determined by total game points. Webster University is the defending national champion.
Games will be broadcast live online. Please go to www.facebook.com/ttu.chess for updates and a link to the live action.
The Texas Tech University Chess Program—part of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & and Community Engagement—offers outreach programs to more than a dozen area schools and can provide teaching materials and other assistance on request.
Through the Texas Tech Chess Program, the university has focused its resources on providing scholarships for players, conducting research, championing scholastic, college and womens chess and reaching out to chess enthusiasts of all ages.