As a fan of Major League Baseball I share the frustrations of countless fans resigned to watching teams like the New York Yankees dominate the sports landscape and establish consecutive winning streaks called dynasties. In chess, Texas Tech University dominated for years when GM Susan Polgar became the school’s coach. In her time at Tech, GM Polgar led her team to victory in the Chess Final Four for the first time in Tech’s chess program history. That was 2007 and the chess program in Lubbock would grow much faster than the university was prepared to deal with. She left the program in 2012 to start a new program at Webster University and took most of Texas Tech’s chess talent with her. Texas Tech faded somewhat into chess obscurity as the SPICE program at Webster University dominated the college chess landscape and established a powerful dynasty that turned out to be more like the Death Star. Texas Tech made chess headlines by defeating Webster at the Pan Am Intercollege Chess Nationals in the home of my beloved Indians: Cleveland, Ohio!
This win was impressive not only for Tech’s redemption victory over Polgar’s Webster team, but also the level at which Webster’s teams suffered in the tournament. FM Mike Klein has an excellent tournament report over at Chess.com. Surely expectations will be high for both colleges in next year’s competition and Tech recently added the lovely and talented WCM Claudia Muñoz to their lineup. It will be exciting to see what happens in the weeks and months to come as both schools regroup and head into the new year.
Play through all games from the tournament below: