January 9, 2015
Ranked No. 3 in the nation, Texas Tech University's chess team qualified for the Final Four of Chess in New York City recently at the 2014 Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championship, hosted at the University of Texas-Brownsville (UT-B).
Texas Tech competed against some of the top intercollegiate chess teams in the nation and had one of four teams (Texas Tech's A team) go undefeated.
“This year we had tough challenges from Webster University, Duke University, Columbia University and Yale University,” chess program director Al Lawrence said. “But coach Alex Onischuk's tournament strategy paid off for our teams.”
Webster University took the Pan-American championship with all three of its teams finishing in top spots. Texas Tech's A team went undefeated and its B squad beat UT-B's best group, ranked fourth in the nation, helping to take them out of the competition for the Final Four.
“Our biggest goal was to make the Final Four at the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championship,” Onischuk said. “Our Texas Tech players were resilient, especially when meeting unexpectedly strong teams, and our players really worked together as a team to make the Final Four happen.”
Texas Tech's A team ultimately scored 4.5 points out of 6, securing a spot at this year's Final Four at the prestigious New York Athletic Club. Texas Tech will take on Webster University, the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Each team will play each other once, and the winner of the championship is determined by total game points.
Texas Tech qualified for the Final Four last year, finishing third behind Webster University and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
“We are extremely proud of our chess team and staff and look forward to their continued success in the upcoming 2015 collegiate chess championship,” said Juan Muñoz, senior vice president for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement and vice provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.
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.Twitter