Russian grandmaster visits SPICE


Webster’s chess team received a visit for the current Russian and European chess champion, Alexander Riazantsev, on March 6.

Riazantsev visited the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), where he shared chess tips with the team, held an informal coaching session, talked strategy with head coach Susan Polgar and met with Webster provost Julian Schuster. He also conducted a livestreamed interview with Russian media about his U.S. visit.

Riazantsev coaches the Russian national women’s chess team and some of the top players in the world. Webster’s team is preparing for the President’s Cup collegiate chess championship, where they hope to win their fifth consecutive title.

“It was very deep. Every line he said was important and he showed just how fast-paced the next level is and how they operate in it,” team member Justus Williams said. “It’s good to be offered these opportunities, to be in the same room as the Russian champion. How he operates is very different. It was a great learning opportunity.

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