January 2, 2014
Webster University dominated the 2013 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, held Dec. 27-30 at Texas Tech University.
The Webster University chess team and coach Susan Polgar achieved the most dominant performance in the 60-year history of the prestigious PanAm InterCollegiate Chess Championship, also known as the World Series of Chess. The 2013 PanAm, held Dec. 27-30 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, was the strongest field ever, with 42 college chess teams from across the country and 25 grandmasters competing.
Webster entered three teams into the competition. The A team scored a perfect 6-0 and finished a full point ahead of the field. Members of the A team also scored 21.5 game points in 24 games (19 wins – 5 draws). Webster’s B team finished in 4th place, while the C team finished in 6th place.
The top four finishing teams in the PanAm event qualify for the President’s Cup, also known as the Final Four of Collegiate Chess, held each April. They include: Webster University A team (6-0), University of Maryland-Baltimore County (5-1), University of Illinois (5-1) and Webster University B team (4.5 – 1.5). However, because each university is allowed only one team in the Final Four, Texas Tech (5th place) takes the second spot from Webster.
Webster’s team members also dominated in the individual category, winning all four board prizes: Board 1, Grandmaster Le Quang Liem (5/6); Board 2, Grandmaster Anatoly Bykhovsky (5.5/6); Board 3, Grandmaster Wesley So (6/6); and Board 4, Grandmaster Ray Robson (6/6).
The best overall performance award of the 2013 PanAm was won by Webster’s So, who is ranked 28th in the world, with a rating of 2,894.