Top Chess Players Travel to Lubbock for SPICE Cup 2010

Players include youngest American ever to earn Grandmaster title, at age 14.

Ray Robson, who celebrated his 16th birthday this week, is among the top Chess competitors scheduled to compete in the SPICE Cup International Invitational Tournament. The event, now in its fourth year, will be held at Texas Tech University. The 2010 SPICE Cup Festival will take place from Oct. 28-Nov. 7 in the Matador Room of the Student Union Building. Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin will join SPICE director Susan Polgar for the kickoff to the event. He will also declare Oct. 28 as “Susan Polgar Day” in Lubbock. Round-robin game play will begin immediately after the reception. Players will be broken into two groups. The six-player A Group will meet in a category 16 event – the highest rated international invitational Chess tournament in U.S. history.
  • Grandmaster Zoltan Almasi, Hungary, 2707 No. 1 ranked Hungarian on the live rating list, 2010 Olympiad Silver Medalist
  • Grandmaster Alexander Onischuk, United States, 2688 Former U.S. Champion and No. 1 ranked American, Olympiad Medalist
  • Grandmaster Wesley So, Philippines, 2668 No. 1 ranked Filipino, member of the 2008-2010 Filipino Olympiad team
  • Grandmaster Georg Meier, Germany, 2659 No. 2 ranked German, member of the 2008 German Olympiad team
  • Grandmaster Ray Robson, United States, 2539 Former U.S. Junior Champion, youngest ever American Grandmaster
  • Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn, United States, 2528 2007 SPICE Cup Champion, 2009 SPICE Cup B Group Co-Champion, winner of multiple National Collegiate Team Championships
Ten players form the B Group tournament, a Category 10 event comprised of mostly grandmasters or international masters:
  • Grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic, Croatia, 2555 Texas Tech business major graduate student, 2-time winner of the National Collegiate Team Championship, member of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders, first Texas Tech Grandmaster
  • Grandmaster Ben Finegold, United States, 2534 2-time U.S. Open Champion, 2-time National Open Champion, 2009 SPICE Cup B co-champion, former winner of the prestigious Samford fellowship
  • Grandmaster Gergely Antal, Hungary, 2526 Texas Tech Economics Major Graduate, 2009 National Collegiate Chess Champion, member of the Knight Raiders, second Texas Tech Grandmaster
  • Grandmaster Andre Diamant, Brazil, 2498 Top rated Brazilian Junior, former Brazilian National Champion, member of the 2008 & 2010 Brazilian Chess Olympiad team, member of the Knight Raiders
  • Grandmaster Anatoly Bykhovsky, Israel, 2497 One of the top young players in Israel, member of the Knight Raiders
  • International Master Irina Krush, United States, 2490 Reigning and multiple time U.S. Women’s Champion, multiple time Olympiad medalist
  • International Master Bryan Smith, United States, 2478 Highest rated player ever from Alaska, winner of multiple National Collegiate Team Championships
  • International Master Dean Ippolito, United States, 2469 Prominent chess coach, former winner of the prestigious Samford fellowship, 11-time All-American
  • International Master Danny Rensch, United States, 2404 Prominent chess coach, former National Elementary, Junior High, and High School Champion, 6-time All-American
  • FIDE Master Darwin Yang, United States, 2402 Currently one of the top rated American juniors, earned first IM norm at the 2010 SPICE Spring Invitational
The Festival will also include a World Chess Federation (FIDE) Rated Open, a Scholastic event and an Open competition. Spectators are welcome, daily admission is free. Live updates will be available at