Knight Raiders Place Third at Final Four

Texas Tech's chess team played against top schools for the national championship.

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Texas Tech University's chess team, the Knight Raiders, placed third in the Final Four of Chess for the national collegiate championship this weekend in New York City.

This was the second straight year Texas Tech qualified for the prestigious tournament. They competed against Webster University, the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

“Third place is a good result,” said Alex Onischuk, the chess program's coach. “Our students fought well, but the other two teams played better chess at this event. It was a great experience for all of us.”

Reigning champion Webster University took the title again this year with the UT-Dallas taking second and Maryland-Baltimore County taking fourth.

Texas Tech team members are International Grandmaster Yaroslav Zherebukh, International Grandmaster Elshan Moradiabadi, International Master Andrei Gorovets, International Grandmaster Samy Shoker and Woman International Grandmaster Carla Heredia Serrano.

“Our players were well prepared by Coach Alex and kept a great team spirit,” said Al Lawrence, program director of the chess program. “The other teams in the Final Four were very impressive as well. Being a part of the Final Four was an unforgettable experience and was well earned by our Texas Tech players.”

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 upon request.