Texas Tech Awards Chess Scholarships

Written by Cory Chandler

News Release

DATE: Sept. 5, 2006
CONTACT: Cory Chandler, cory.chandler@ttu.edu
(806) 742-2136

LUBBOCK – Three internationally known female chess players and a fourth student recruited from Texas have received chess scholarships from Texas Tech University.

The students received a $1,000 scholarship for their first year. Funds for the scholarships were provided by the Office of the President and the W. H. Freeman Publishing Company. One of the scholarship winners will be designated as the university’s W. H. Freeman Chess Scholar.

As a result of this activity, Texas Tech received the highest award given to colleges by the US Chess Federation. Texas Tech and University of Connecticut School of Engineering both received the 2006 Chess College of the Year Award. Texas Tech joins the ranks of such colleges as Stanford University, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Maryland, St. John’s University and Rhode Island University.

Dr. Hal Karlsson, faculty advisor to the Knight Raiders chess club at Texas Tech, awarded three of the scholarships after attending the first Susan Polgar World Open Chess Championship for Girls – a tournament held June 16-18 in Las Vegas for females younger than 21.

Karlsson selected three tournament participants as scholarship recipients. The students, chosen for their tournament performance and on their academic potential, are: Laura Morales Mendoza of Mexico, Luciana Morales of Peru and Magdalena Matyszewska of Poland.

Mendoza, of Mexico City, Mexico, is a FIDE Master – a title awarded by the World Chess Federation. She won the chess puzzle contest portion of the Polgar championship and placed 5th in the slow-control tournament. Laura has won numerous girls’ tournaments in Mexico City and she was member of Mexican Women Team in the Chess Olympiads.

Morales is a Women’s International Master from Lima, Peru. She ranked 3rd in the regular Las Vegas tournament and won the blitz tournament, which consists of speed chess. Morales was named Peruvian National Chess Champion 18 times in various age categories and also was the 2006 Peruvian Women’s Olympiad team captain. She tied for third place in the Continental Championships of the Americas in 2005. She is the first Peruvian chess player to qualify for World Championship playoffs

Matyszewska was born in Poland, but lives in Wyandotte, Mich. Matyszewska placed 4th in the regular portion of the Polgar tournament.

A chess scholarship also was awarded to freshman Bryan Pernes, who has played in nearly 180 rated tournaments nationwide. He won the amateur section of the 2004 Texas State and Amateur Championships, the 2004 Texas High School Scholastic Championship and placed 3rd in the 2004 National High School Championship. The Office of the Provost provided funds for Pernes’ scholarship.


CONTACT: Dr. Hal Karlsson, associate professor of geosciences, Texas Tech University, at (806) 742-3130, or hal.karlsson@ttu.edu.