November 21, 2007
Written by Cory Chandler
Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn of Massachusetts won Texas Tech University’s SPICE
Cup 2007, the first invitational tournament in Lubbock organized by chess giant Susan
Grandmaster Gilberto Hernandez of Mexico placed second in the tournament, one of the strongest international invitational round-robins held on U.S. soil in five years and within Texas borders since 1972.
The event pitted 10 internationally acclaimed chess players – hailing from countries including Poland, Hungary, Mexico and the U.S. – against each other through nine rounds of play over eight days.
"SPICE Cup was a major success, thanks to incredible support from Texas Tech, the entire local Lubbock community and countless sponsors and supporters of the Susan Polgar Foundation," said Polgar, director of Texas Tech’s Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE). "I am very happy and proud to be able to bring such a prestigious event to this city. It was truly a joint effort."
As many as 10 million people watched the matches worldwide via Internet, according to institute estimates.
Perelshteyn, who captained the University of Maryland Baltimore chess team to five national titles, scored 6.5 points in nine rounds, tallying four wins and five draws.
In winning, he beat out a field of participants with an average rating of 2,527 – well above the 2,400 required to earn the U.S. Chess Federation’s highest class designation of senior master.
Grandmaster Julio Becerra, two-time MVP of the U.S. Chess League, and Grandmaster Kamil Miton, three-time Polish junior champion and former under-12 junior world champion, tied for 3rd and 4th place respectively.
Grandmaster Imre Hera of Hungary, who in fall 2008 will be the first chess grandmaster to attend Texas Tech, finished in 5th place. Hera was Student Olympic Champion and is now representing Hungary in the World Chess Federation World Cup, held in November and December in Russia.
SPICE also hosted an open tournament for chess aficionados from the community. Chase Watters, president of the Texas Tech’s Chess Club, won with a perfect 5-0 score.
Polgar is director of SPICE and coach of the Knight Raiders chess team. She has won four women’s world chess championships, five Olympic gold medals and is the only world champion in history to win the triple-crown (classical, blitz and rapid women’s world championships).
Contact: Paul Truong, director of marketing, SPICE, Texas Tech University (806) 742-7742, or email@example.com.