In just two short years, Texas Tech University SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) has grown leaps and bounds. In our first full recruiting year, we have about 20 students, including 3 over 2500 FIDE.

In our second full recruiting year (fall 2010), this number will double to around 40. Students from all over the U.S. and around the world (India, Holland, China, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Israel, Canada, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Russia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Romania, etc.) have either applied to Texas Tech or seriously inquired about various chess scholarships.

Some of them include IM Istvan Sipos (Hungary – 2492 FIDE), GM Elshan Moradiabadi (Iran – 2558 FIDE), FM Eric Hansen (Canada – 2415), GM Andre Diamant (Brazil – 2486 FIDE), WGM Xiaobing “Vivian” Gu (China – 2356), and a many more strong players.

Inquiries and discussions for chess scholarships have also begun for the fall of 2011, which include a number of GMs with FIDE ratings between 2600 and nearly 2700! In addition to chess scholarships, there are also many other types of scholarships. The key is to apply as early as possible since scholarships (chess and non-chess) are limited.

But SPICE is not just for IMs, GMs, or top rated players. We have many students with ratings of 1500-1600 up to expert level who enjoy an excellent education at Texas Tech University while having the opportunity to learn, play, and improve their chess. Many of our students are either on the Dean’s list or in the Honors’ College.

At Texas Tech, we work hard, play hard, and having fun doing it. The camaraderie level among players is high. Everyone is helping each other. There are many tournaments and fun events year round. There are plenty of community outreach programs and we interact very well with local organizations, government, and media. Because of this, we receive a lot of support from the area.

Chess fever is growing high at Texas Tech University and in Lubbock, Texas. If a program like this can be created from the ground up in just two short years, it can be duplicated in other places. In the past, I have worked very hard to promote and support scholastic chess, women’s chess, chess for girls, chess in education, military chess, correspondence chess, internet chess, etc. College chess is now another part of my chess promoting effort.

The school was established in 1923. Today, Texas Tech University has more than 39,000 students and 18,000 faculty / staff from over 100 countries. The main campus in Lubbock, Texas has 30,049 students.

Texas Tech University comprised a vast 1,850 acres, but elegant Spanish Renaissance-style buildings and attractively landscaped grounds give the campus an old-fashion collegial feel. Located in Lubbock, Texas Tech enjoys the area’s High Plains climate and four distinct seasons.

Texas Tech offers students a choice of more than 150 bachelor’s, 100 master’s, and 50 doctoral programs. Faculty members are nationally known for their work in a wide variety of fields. It is the ONLY institution in Texas with a graduate school, a law school, and a medical school in the same location as the main undergraduate campus. Overall, there are 14 colleges at Texas Tech University with 62 academics departments and 198 degree programs. No other chess program can compare to this.

More than 400 clubs and organizations provide enrichment outside of the classroom.

Texas Tech also many other locations such as San Angelo, El Paso, Spain, and Germany, etc. It is expected to be designated as a tier one university soon.

Why should a student / chess player come to Texas Tech?

Here are just a few of the many benefits:

1. To receive top notch education.

2. To receive world class intense chess training.

3. To have the opportunity to compete in multiple major SPICE chess tournaments (SPICE Cup, SPICE Spring Invitational, Get Smart! Play Chess!, Lubbock Open, and many more) every year.

SPICE is a premier center for chess education, research, technology, and outreach.

The goal of SPICE is to:

– Recruit outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to TTU and TTU-HSC

– Provide a substantial amount of scholarships to chess players

– Be a world leader in promoting women’s chess

– Support the nation’s most elite chess programs

– Promote chess as vehicle for enriching the education of children

– Serve as a center for chess education and research

– Support and promote competitive chess at the college level

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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