Monday, January 10, 2011

Texas Tech Leaps to Top Chess Schools

This is cool - really cool.  Congratulations to Texas Tech, SPICE, Susan Polgar, and Paul Truong, for putting this great program together.

From The New York TimesChess
A Dallas University Finishes on Top in a ShowdownBy DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN
Published: January 9, 2011

A couple of years ago, college chess could be divided into two tiers. The elite included the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the University of Texas, Dallas. The second tier was made up of everyone else.

No more. With aggressive campaigns to recruit top players, the University of Texas, Brownsville, and Texas Tech University have joined the top tier.

Haraldur Karlsson, who is the faculty liaison for the chess team at Texas Tech, explained in an interview four years ago why the university had begun recruiting top talent.

“To be quite frank, Tech is not Harvard,” said Dr. Karlsson, who is an associate professor of geosciences. “And we have to compete really hard for the best students. And there tends to be a link between good chess skills and good academic skills.”

That also meant attracting grandmasters to mold the up-and-coming teams. Texas Tech, which is in Lubbock, hired Susan Polgar, a grandmaster and former women’s world champion, to run its program. In Brownsville, the university’s latest coach is Ronen Har-Zvi, an Israeli grandmaster.

Rest of article.

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