Texas Tech Offers Its First Ever Scholarships for Chess

Written by Michael Castellon

Date: Feb. 7, 2006
CONTACT: Michael Castellon, m.castellon@ttu.edu

LUBBOCK – Three young women have become the first recipients at Texas Tech to be offered scholarships based on their ability to play chess.

In conjunction with the Knight Raiders Chess Club, Texas Tech offered three $1,000 scholarships following the Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls, which was held in Corpus Christi January 27–29. The Office of the Provost provided funds for the scholarships.

The recipients of the scholarships were:

• Victoria Bailey of Brownsville, TX
• Roxana Ortiz of Laredo, TX
• Ananya Roy of Marietta, GA

More than 200 high school girls from across the nation participated in the championship. The girls participated in a puzzle-solving contest, a blitz tournament and a six round Swiss-style tournament. The scholarships were offered on basis of performance in the main event.

The tournament, which was the first of its kind and the largest according to organizers, tested a new technology for the first time in the U.S. The new technology allowed observers to view games live over the Internet. More than 1.5 million people viewed the tournament online.

Hal Karlsson, associate professor of geosciences and faculty adviser for the Knight Raiders, represented Texas Tech at the event.

“By recruiting chess players we are targeting a group of students who tend to be very academically inclined,” he said. “This type of recruitment has a tremendous benefit for the university. Each of these young women was very skilled and bright at playing the game and it’s our belief they would make a tremendous addition to Texas Tech University.”

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CONTACT: Hal Karlsson, faculty adviser for Knight Raiders Chess Club, (806) 742-3130, or hal.karlsson@ttu.edu