Colleges Fight for Title With Talent-Filled Rosters
By DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN
Published: January 5, 2013
New York Times
The Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship has a long and distinguished history. Many elite players have competed in it since it was first held in 1946. But last year’s event, which was held at Princeton University from Dec. 27 to 30, had the strongest field ever, with 23 grandmasters among its 183 players.’
Five teams from four universities — the University of Texas at Dallas; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Illinois; and the A and B teams from Webster University in St. Louis — tied for first place.
…many universities now aggressively recruit chess players as part of their marketing efforts. They see building top teams, often with players from all over the world, as a way to distinguish themselves from other universities.
Webster is an example of this philosophy. Last year it hired Susan Polgar, a former women’s world champion who was the coach at Texas Tech. When Polgar took the job at Webster, she also persuaded many of the players she had recruited for Texas Tech to follow her.
At the championships, Webster’s teams were ranked No. 1 and No. 3 and included eight grandmasters: Wesley So of the Philippines, Georg Meier of Germany, Manuel León Hoyos of Mexico, Fidel Corrales Jimenez of Cuba, Anatoly Bykhovsky of Israel, Andre Diamant of Brazil, Denes Boros of Hungary and Ray Robson of the United States.
Full article here.