Texas Tech Chess Claims Two State Titles

Knight Raiders capture state title and two members earn individual honors.

Written by Cory Chandler

The Texas Tech University Knight Raiders chess team captured its first state title Nov. 22 at the Texas Chess Association’s Texas Collegiate Championships.

International Masters Gergely Antal and Davorin Kuljasevic also captured the top two spots in individual competition.

The Knight Raiders A Team, comprised of Antal, Kuljasevic, International Master Gabor Papp and Chase Watters, won team play on tie-breaks to beat the favored University of Texas at Brownsville team led by the top-seeded Grandmaster Mauricio Flores.

The Knight Raiders B Team finished fourth behind the University of Texas at Dallas – the 2008 state champions. Team members include Zach Haskin, Ananya Roy, Rebecca Lelko  and Josh Osbourn.

The Knight Raiders, coached by chess star Susan Polgar, continue accumulating wins for Texas Tech, including winning a national title in August.

Paul Truong, director of marketing for the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, said the program has reached its goal of being nationally competitive three years ahead of the five-year target set by Polgar upon her hiring in 2007.

“In just two short years and with only one full recruiting year under our belt, members of the Knight Raiders chess team have now captured one national championship and two state championships,” he said. “No other school has reached this kind of success in such little time before, and we definitely could not do this without the wonderful support from Texas Tech and our generous anonymous donor.”

CONTACT: Paul Truong, director of marketing, Susan Polgar Institute of Chess Excellence, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-7742, or spice@ttu.edu