NEW YORK CITY —
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) leads the Final Four College Chess National Championship with three points after the first round of the tournament. Webster University is second with two and a half points. Texas Tech University ended the first round with one and a half points and Saint Louis University trails everyone with one point.
Assistant coach Paul Truong believes the second round of the tournament will be the most influential for the team. Webster will play UTRGV, the team that Truong said is Webster’s heaviest competition.
Ray Robson got a huge advantage over his opponent in the first round because of his higher rank, according to coaches Susan Polgar and Truong. Robson got the sole win for Webster.
“Right from the start I thought I got a good position,” Robson said. “It seemed like [my opponent] wasn’t really sure what to do.”
Webster is just half a point behind UTRGV a third of the way through the tournament after playing Texas Tech University in the first round. Vasif Durarbayli and two other starters tied their first game.
Robson said he was surprised at how calm he felt going into the game. He said he realized his teammates were not likely to get a win so he put it on himself to get Webster over the edge against the competition.
“I just kept improving my position and exploiting his weaknesses,” Robson said.
Round two will begin at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. CT).