Round 2 video:

Round 3 video:

Members of SPICE and the Texas Tech Knight Raiders Chess Team took part in an officially rated chess tournament nearly 800 feet below ground at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico yesterday (Sunday, October 19, 2009).

The event was officially approved by the U.S. National Park Service. In addition, all members of SPICE and the Knight Raiders were provided complimentary entrance to the caverns by the Park Service.

Once arrived at Carlsbad Caverns, members of the Knight Raiders manually descended nearly 800 feet below ground. It took about an hour just to get to the playing location. Before and after the tournament, everyone had a chance to tour the magnificent caverns.

The tournament started at 2 pm. After 5 hard fought rounds, International Master Gergely Antal and International Master Gabor Papp tied for first with the score of 4.5 out of 5. The only draw they had was against each other in a bitterly hard fought game.

Tommy Polgar and Rebecca Lelko tied for 3rd and 4th. Dr. Hal Karlsson and Brett James tied for 5th and 6th. 8 players took part in this rated chess event.

We were even lucky enough to witness the fascinating Bat Flight at Carlsbad Caverns. At 5:25 pm, approximately 500,000 – 600,000 bats came out of the caverns. We were told by the park rangers that this may be the last or one of the last bat flights of the season as they migrate to Mexico for the winter.

Here is the link to 95 pictures from the Carlsbad Caverns Blitz Chess Tournament: Videos of each round will be posted on YouTube shortly.

Big thanks to the U.S. National Park Service ( for making this possible and for their wonderful hospitality, Texas Tech University, and Peggy Flores for making all the arrangements for SPICE and the Knight Raiders.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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