September 14, 2009
Written by: Jessica Behnham
International Master Gergely Antal, an economics major at Texas Tech and member of SPICE, placed first at the Southwest Open.
Texas Tech University’s SPICE members took home top honors at the 75th annual Southwest Open in Fort Worth.
International Master (IM) Gergely Antal, an economics major at Texas Tech and member of SPICE, placed first at the tournament, which took place over the Labor Day weekend and drew 245 players.
Antal, who was fresh off his national collegiate championship title in Indianapolis in August, scored six points in seven games with no losses to clinch the title. He yielded only two draws – both from Texas Tech teammates and roommates, IMs Davorin Kuljasevic and Gabor Papp.
Kuljasevic, a graduate student at Texas Tech, placed second scoring, 5.5 points in seven games.
Grandmasters Timur Gareev, of the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB); Amon Simutowe, of the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD); IMs Daniel Fernandez, of UTB and Daniel Ludwig of UTD; and Julio Sadorra tied for 3rd with five points.
This is the second straight major championship where Texas Tech players have finished ahead of two of the nation’s most powerful chess teams – UTD and UTB.
Paul Truong, director of marketing at SPICE, said the members of SPICE who played in the Southwest Open went on their own expense because the Student Government Association’s funds cannot be used to fund non-college tournaments.
“This is essential in order to keep the players in good shape by having them play in strong tournaments,” Truong said. “This is quite an accomplishment considering the youth of the chess program at Texas Tech and it is a great advertisement for the university.”
Through the Texas Tech Chess Program, the university has focused its resources on providing scholarships for players, conducting research, championing scholastic, college and women's chess and reaching out to chess enthusiasts of all ages.Twitter