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On the road to the National Championship
Posted: March 26, 2011 – 8:05pm

SPICE is still a relatively new program and the Texas Tech Knight Raider chess team is still in its infancy stage. However, in just three short years, the Knight Raiders have captured nine national, two state, and one regional titles. Our team is currently ranked fourth in the country and there is also a good chance that we will be ranked number one next season.

In 2009 Texas Tech made history by qualifying for the College Chess Final Four in its first ever competition in Division I. In 2010 we qualified for the Final Four again and our team will fight for the National Division I title on April 1-3 in Washington, DC.

Here are the members of Knight Raiders who will represent Texas Tech in the upcoming Final Four:

GM Davorin “the Goran” Kuljasevic, Croatia (Team Captain)
USCF rating: 2570 / FIDE rating: 2528
– Finance, graduate student
– 5-time Croatian Youth Champion, 2-time PanAm Champion, 2-time US Chess League Champion, 2004 Mitropa Cup Team Champion, 2011 SPICE Spring Invitational Champion, etc.
– Soccer, working out

GM Andre “the Shiny” Diamant, Brazil
USCF rating: 2535 / FIDE rating: 2520
– Economics, freshman
– 8-time Brazilian Junior Champion, PanAm under 12 Champion, 2008 Brazilian National Champion, 2009 Maccabiah Game Champion, 2nd best percentage on board 5 at 2010 Chess Olympiad, etc.
– Soccer, ping pong

GM Anatoly “the Rocket” Bykhovsky, Israel
USCF rating: 2631 / FIDE rating: 2517
– Finance, freshman
– 2-time Israeli blitz Champion, 3-time Israeli National Youth Champion, 2010 SPICE Cup “B group” Champion, etc.
– Soccer, working out

IM Istvan “Steve the Magnificent” Sipos, Hungary
USCF rating: 2462 / FIDE rating: 2407
– Geography, junior
– 3-time National Team Champion, 2-time National Youth Champion, 2009 Gabcikovo International Open Champion, etc.
– Soccer, music, pool

SM Faik “the Gentle Giant” Aleskerov, Azerbaijan
USCF rating: 2441 / FIDE rating: 2322
– International Business, graduate student
– 3-time Azerbaijani Youth Champion, 2-time World Youth Bronze Medalist, 2000 Baku International Open Champion, 2010 SPICE FIDE Open Vice Champion, etc.
– Tennis, basketball, soccer

Here are just some of the Knight Raiders’ accomplishment in the past three year since SPICE was established:

2008 PanAm Intercollegiate Chess Championships (Fort Worth, TX)
IM Gergely Antal – Board 1 National Champion

2009 PanAm Intercollegiate Chess Championships (South Padre Island, TX)
IM Davorin Kuljasevic – Board 1 National Champion
IM Gergely Antal – Board 3 National Champion
Division IV National Team Champion (Osbourn, Haskin, James, Parkhomenko, Shah)
Texas Tech A qualified for the College Chess Final Four in its first try in Division I (Kuljasevic, Papp, Antal, Watters)

2009 Tournament of College Champions
IM Gergely Antal – National Champion

2010 PanAm Intercollegiate Chess Championships (Milwaukee, WI)
Division II National Team Champion (Watters, Flores, Lelko, Cassidy, Osbourn)
Division IV National Team Champion (Haskin, Kamphorst, James, Roy)
GM Andre Diamant – Board 2 National Champion
GM Anatoly Bykhovsky – Board 3 National Champion
Texas Tech qualified for the College Chess Final Four for 2nd consecutive year (Kuljasevic, Diamant, Bykhovsky, Sipos)

2009 Texas State Collegiate Championships (Houston, TX)
IM Gergely Antal – State Individual Champion
Texas Tech – State Team Champion

2009 Southwest Open – Regional (Fort Worth, TX)
IM Gergely Antal – Regional Champion

Source: http://lubbockonline.com

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