While much of America spent last weekend watching the NCAA’s Final Four, a Fairfax County-based consulting and technology giant brought nearly two dozen of the nation’s top collegiate chess players here to battle it out in a Final Four of a different sort.
Unlike with the collegiate men’s basketball event, in the Final Four of Chess — hosted and sponsored by government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, of McLean, Va. — there were no cheers or jeers.
The only place where the championship tournament was “broadcast,” so to speak, was on a website that chess enthusiasts use to preserve recorded games.
There were few spectators, if any, beyond the players and coaches themselves, and only a few members of the media came out to cover the four college teams as they vied for the championship title by playing three rounds over eight boards in meeting rooms at an area hotel.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders, led by Hungarian-born chess great Susan Polgar, successfully defended their team’s title, scoring 8 points to best UMBC and UTD, who both tied for second with 7.5 points, while NYU came in a distant fourth with 1 point.
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– GM Susan Polgar