December 7, 2016

Webster SPICE “B” team advances in chess Final Four

Webster University has dominated the Pan-American Chess Championship since Susan Polgar left Texas Tech and became head coach of the Webster chess team in 2012, but they were knocked off their top spot in 2015.

The Webster University “A” team finished in fifth place and did not qualify for the Final Four of College Chess. The University’s “B” team finished in a quadruple tie for first place, according to bworldonline.com. The team consisted of Grandmaster (GM) Ilya Nyzhnyk, GM Alex Shimanov, GM Andre Diamant and GM Manuel Leon Hoyos.

Texas Tech’s “A” team, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s “A” team and Columbia University’s “A” all finished tied with Webster University. According to The Washington Times, Texas Tech won in tie breakers over the other three teams.

Webster’s “A” team had never lost a match under Polgar until this year. They drew with Texas Tech and lost to underdog University of Texas at Dallas’ (UTD) “B” team.

Webster University has won the last three national championships. Two of the three were against the UTD team than upset them in this year’s Pan-American tournament.

The Pan-American Chess Championship took place in Cleveland, Ohio, Dec. 28-30.

In the tournament, 42 chess teams around the world compete to qualify for the final four national championship, also known as the President’s Cup.

The tournament got its name from the countries competing in it. They are considered the Pan-America area, consisting of North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

The Final Four Championship is scheduled to start in April.

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  • Paul Truong

    The team lineup listed in this article is incorrect. This is the B team: Board 1 GM Alex Shimanov, Board 2 GM Ashwin Jayaram, Board 3 GM Fidel Corrales, Board 4 GM Denes Boros. GM Diamant is not a member of the Webster chess team. Webster qualifies for the Final Four by tying for 1st at the PanAm InterCollegiate Chess Championship. We are the co-champions. There is no A or B in the Final Four. In fact, if there is no B team, the A would have made the Final Four anyway. In the Final Four, we merge the top 6 players (4 starters and 2 reserves). The 6 players who will represent Webster aiming to win 4 straight Final Four National Championships are: GM Liem Le (Captain), GM Illia Nyzhnyk, GM Vasif Durarbayli, GM Ray Robson, GM Alex Shimanov, and GM Fidel Corrales.