L to R: GM Bykhovsky, GM Boros, GM Moradiabadi, GM Meier, GM Diamant, IM Neimer, IM-elect Aleskerov

The College Chess Final Four will take place this weekend in Washington, DC. The four teams which will compete in the most prestigious National Collegiate Chess title are:

TTU – SPICE (defending champion)
UTD
UMBC
NYU

Even though the SPICE warriors are the defending champion, we are the underdog for several reasons. Teams like UTD and UMBC are heavily supported by their respective universities with scholarships while the Knight Raiders relied on donations in the past to even exist.

A pro-chess university like UTD threw a big pep rally with VIPs attending to send their team off to the Final Four. On the other hand, very few administrators at Texas Tech are even aware that that we are trying to defend our National Championship title this weekend.

Most importantly, while the other three teams were busy preparing for this very important event, the SPICE warriors were busy helping me pack the SPICE office to move to a new location on campus. This directly took away our valuable time for preparation. The school administrators decided that right before the Final Four is the “right” time to move instead of waiting after the Final Four.

What our players have is sheer determination and strong faith in each other. It may be a big mountain to climb but they will give it everything they have. Win, lose, or draw, I am very proud of my players.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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