“Get Smart! Play Chess.”

Texas Tech University will host a variety of student chess competitions Saturday at the Lubbock Science Spectrum.

Written by Jaryn Jones

Texas Tech University, the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), the Susan Polgar Foundation and the Knight Raiders will host the fourth annual Lubbock Open Scholastic Chess Competition, the fourth annual Lubbock Open Chess Championship, and a UIL Chess Puzzle Solving Invitational contest. Around 150 students are expected to participate, and there will be prizes and giveaways for competitors, coaches and parents.

All events will be held Saturday (Feb. 19) at the Lubbock Science Spectrum (2579 S. Loop 289). A United States Chess Federation (USCF) membership is required for both championships. Membership can be obtained online at www.uschess.org or on site.

Open Scholastic Chess Championship

On-site registration and check-in is from 8:30-9:30 a.m., and the entry fee is $20. The event is a USCF-rated individual and team scholastic competition.

The event is a four-round Swiss System tournament with a 30-minute maximum per player per game.

  • 10 a.m. – Round 1
  • 11:15 a.m. – Round 2
  • 1 p.m. – Round 3
  • 2:15 p.m. – Round 4

Competitors will be divided into five age-groups: primary, elementary, middle school, high school and novice. No USCF membership is required for the novice section.

The award ceremony will be held shortly after the last game. The top three school teams and top five individual finishers in each section will receive a trophy. There will also be a special prize for top sibling, top parent/child and top coach/student teams.

Open Chess Championship

The Lubbock Open Chess Championship is a USCF-rated individual championship. On-site registration and check-in is from 9-10 a.m., and the entry fee is $30. Texas Tech students and K-12 students will receive $5 off the entry fee.

The event is a four-round Swiss System tournament, and all games are played in one section of competitors.

  • 10:30 a.m. – Round 1
  • 11:45 a.m. – Round 2
  • 1:15 p.m. – Round 3
  • 2:30 p.m. – Round 4

The award ceremony will be held shortly after the last round. Cash prizes will range from $40 - $100. The top competitor will also receive a trophy.

Special Events

Thanks to a proposal from the Texas Tech SPICE program, chess will be the subject of a University Interscholastic League competition next year. The UIL Chess Puzzle Solving Invitational will take place at 12:15 p.m., and the entry fee is $5.

The invitational is sponsored by the Susan Polgar Foundation. Competing students will have 30 minutes to solve 20 chess puzzles. Competitors will be divided by age group, and prizes will be awarded to the top student in each section. Participants are not required to have a USCF membership.

There will also be a “Get Smart! Play Chess.” quiz show where competitors have the chance to win various prizes.

For more information call (806) 742-7742 or visit www.SPICE.ttu.edu.

CONTACT: Paul Truong, director of marketing, SPICE, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-7742 or paul.truong@ttu.edu.