NEW YORK CITY —
Aleksandr Shimanov walked upstairs to his coaches after he lost his round two game of the national championship. After seeing the loss, head coach Susan Polgar put her hand over her mouth in disbelief.
The team took a step back to regain themselves after Shimanov’s loss. Two games still remained for Webster in round two, and a win in both of those games would give them an overall win for the round.
Ray Robson secured a win shortly after, which did not come as a surprise according to Polgar and assistant coach Paul Truong. Jorge Cori was the only one remaining.
Cori and his opponent both had less than one minute on the clock. Time can be added on to a player’s clock if they make a move in under thirty seconds, but risking a single move could end up in a loss.
Polgar said she was worried after Shimanov’s loss. She said Shimanov was just a bit too greedy. Shimanov had a draw set up but touched the wrong piece and then lost the game.
The team huddled around Polgar’s computer screen to watch Cori’s game being updated. They analyze every move he made, thinking about his probability of winning. Cori’s four hour long game is close to an end, one way or the other.
Cori’s opponent’s time ran out on the clock. Truong threw up his hands and smiled.
“I was starting to get nervous,” Cori said after winning the game.
Cori realized his team would lose the round if he lost his game. Truong said Webster’s chances of winning would be practically over if they lost round two.
Webster will enter the final round of the President’s Cup in first place with a half point lead over the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Saint Louis University, which will play Webster in round three, holds the last place spot in the tournament with two and a half points.
Any of the final four teams still have a statistical possibility of winning the championship. Webster, UTRGV and Texas Tech University are within a point of each other, with a tie also being a possibility for the tournament this year.