Texas Tech University Named Chess College of the Year
October 19, 2006
Texas Tech University recently received the 2006 Chess College of the Year Award,
the highest honor given to colleges by the United States Chess Federation (USCF).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Oct. 17, 2006
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LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University recently received the 2006 Chess College of the Year
Award, the highest honor given to colleges by the United States Chess Federation (USCF).
Texas Tech shares this award with the University of Connecticut School of Engineering.
The chess federation bestowed this honor on Texas Tech as a result of the university’s
efforts to fund college scholarships and its focus on women players. The Texas Tech
chess club, known as the Knight Raiders, is directly responsible for actively recruiting
chess scholars and building interest in chess across campus. Dr. Hal Karlsson, associate
professor in geosciences and faculty advisor of the Knight Raiders, said that the
USCF gives out its awards to reward colleges who are extremely passionate about promoting
and raising awareness about the game of chess. Karlsson has worked diligently since
2003 promoting the Texas Tech chess club, funding chess scholarships, and encouraging
special emphasis on female players. Only about 10 other colleges have been named Chess
College of the Year by the federation. Texas Tech is in good company, rising to the
ranks of such chess savvy schools as Stanford University, the University of Texas
at Dallas, Duke University, and the University of Maryland. “Hal has tried to basically
put Texas Tech on the map in the chess world,” said Chase Watters, biotechnology graduate
student and president of the Knight Raiders. “The administration took notice, sat
up in their seats a little bit and the scholarships started coming.” Karlsson’s most
recent scholarship distribution, funded by the Office of the President and the W.
H. Freeman Publishing Company, went to three international female chess stars after
they competed at a tournament held in Las Vegas.
CONTACT: Dr. Haraldur Karlsson, associate professor of geosciences, (806) 742-3130,