Webster University won the Final Four of college chess in Rockville, Md., over the weekend, while St. John Vianney High School took top honors in its separation in the U.S. Chess Federation’s Supernationals V K-12 contest in Nashville.
The wins are the latest nod to St. Louis, home of the World Chess Hall of Fame, as it tries to set up itself as the chess mecca.As quietly as the game is played, so are its contest celebrations quiet compared with mainstream collegiate football and basketball competitions. About 100 people gathered Monday in a Webster University self-service restaurant to welcome their charming team home.
Some hooted and hollered. Other students watched curiously from a detachment as they ate lunch in silence. Julian Schuster, provost at Webster and chess enthusiast, told the crowd that the win came from hard work and dream.
Webster’s bid to become a chess inspiration happened just nine months after luring grandmaster and Coach Susan Polgar away from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Traditionally thought of as a man’s game, Polgar has not only broken the mold, but subjugated. Originally from Hungary, this is her third nationwide collegiate chess contest in a row as head coach.
Two of the six players on Webster’s winning team followed her from Lubbock. The four others recently came to Webster to play chess for Polgar and the Gorloks, named for the private school’s mascot.
All six of the contest players including two alternates are grandmasters, or top players in chess. We hope it’s the first of many national titles,said Polgar, 44, who wore blue high heels, black slacks and coat with a white T-shirt 2013 nationwide Champions.
The players come from all over the world. They are Georg German Precision Meier, Wesley Asian Tiger So, of the Philippines, Ray Fearless Attacker Robson, of Florida, Fidel Casanova Corrales Jimenez, of Cuba, Anatoly Speedy Rocket Bykhovsky, of Israel, and Manuel Yucatan Conquistador Leon Hoyos, of Mexico.
Bykhovsky, who followed Polgar from Texas Tech, won the last match of the contest. The game lasted four hours. The subordinate is studying finance. He said he started playing chess young and became a grandmaster by 21.
The Coalinga Chess Club won a national championship for the third straight year at a contest in San Francisco last weekend. The club’s 20 and under team tied for first place with the Bay Area Chess team of Fremont at the U.S. National Junior Chess Congress contest Saturday and Sunday and will share the title, Coalinga coach Ed Wong said.
The Mendota Chess Team, coached by Vaness French, placed third in the same division. Wong’s sons — Blake, 14, Brett, 12, and Bryce, 11 made up the winning 20 and under Coalinga team. In the individual opposition, Blake tied for second, Bryce placed fourth and Brett was fifth.
The Coalinga club won the 18 and under countrywide contest at the same contest the past two years.We were very fortunate this time, Ed Wong said.Our players had to come from behind against stiff opposition in the last two rounds.
The Bay Area team also draws players from the San Jose area, Wong said. This was a club competition, so we fundamentally were playing all-star teams, he said. Bryan Wong, 8, another of Wong’s sons, tied for 17th in the 8 and under division.
Coalinga also has won 12 Southern California scholastic State Chess Championships titles in the past six years. Members of the Mendota team that finished third in San Francisco in the 20 and under division were Sergio Mayares, 17, and Joel Montalvo and Julian Estrada, both 19.
Mendota placed second in the 18 and under division. Team members were Charles Ledesma and Kevin Romero, both 17, and Lizzy Gonzalez, 18. Ledesma was fifth in the individual competition.
In the 16 and under allotment, Mendota was fourth. Team members were Jose Caldedrio and Luis Castro, both 16, Gaston Aganza and Anthonio Rojas, both 15, and William Yim, 14. Caldedrio placed highest — 15th — in the personality conflict.
Grandmaster and previous world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta will front the Indian challenge in the Fujairah International chess contest that gets underway here. Currently ranked fourth in the country, Gupta is playing his first contest after the Chess Olympiad where he bagged the silver medal on the fourth board playing for Team India.
The Indian has rise himself to 2667 ELO rating points and the prospect are high even with the attendance of a very strong field here. Gupta is not the lone Indian hopeful in the 50500 USD prize money tournaments as multiple times national winner Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda have it in them to make the best on their day.
For the records, this will be in the middle of the strongest ever contest in Asia with presence of over 20 players above 2600 rating in the fray. The top seed is going to be Baadur Jobava of Georgia who is an associate of the top-50 club of the world along with Etienne Bacrot of France who starts as the second seed.
The attendance of the likes of Alexander Moiseenko of Ukraine, Liem Le Quang of Vietnam, Chinese duo of Ni Hua and Li Chao certainly makes this a very particular contest which the chess buffs hope will become an annual affair like the Dubai worldwide open.
Abhijeet will have his task cut out. The Indian is likely to start as the eighth seed. This is almost positively the toughest open I am playing and the focus is on just to play well. The start is often important in strong events and I hope to get a polite one, said Gupta about his chances.
Ganguly has been going through a rough patch recently and it`s time to make reward for the regular associate of World winner Vishwanathan Anand`s team. At the just ended Spanish league, the Indian lost four games in all.
Tejas Bakre is the other Indian Grandmaster in the fray who would like to earn back some lost evaluation points. The list of GM norm hopefuls from India is long with Vishnu Prasanna, Debashish Das, S Satyapragyan, Ashwin Jayaram, Aditya Udeshi and V Saravanan in the hunt.
City girl Mary Ann Gomes became only the third player in last 10 years to keep hold of the National women’s leader chess title when she success in Jalgaon on Saturday. The competition was much tougher this time with almost all leading players of the country taking part in the meet, Mary Ann told TOI after returning home on Monday.
Players like Bhakti Kulkarni, Eesha Karavade, Soumya Swaminathan and others played very good chess and the lead kept altering hands after almost every round. In that admiration, it was quite an enjoyable opposition this time, she said.
Despite being half-a-point behind three players who together shared the lead going into the final round, the 23-year-old city girl won the title beating statemate Nisha Mohta with white pieces in the 11 th round.
I just intense on my game against Nisha who was playing very well. Even after I won, I was not sure about the title as the other matches were still going on. I was pleased when I got to know the leaders had drawn their matches, Mary Ann, who has an Elo rating of 2384, said.
The Woman Grandmaster said she badly wanted to win the title as it would have certain her spot in the next edition of the World Chess Championship. I am delighted to have made the cut. It will be my maiden outside in the WCC. It is a great honour and a big challenge, she said.
Mary Ann did not do well in last month’s National Premier Meet in the city where she was the only female contributor, but it was a good preparation for National Women’s meet. The Kolkata meet had a very strong field and I played top Grandmasters. And though I did not do too well, it was a good training for the contest in Jalgaon where I again faced a strong tackle in every match, she said.
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Sri Lanka who will host the 6th World Carrom Championship 2012 at Galadari Hotel, Colombo has selected two teams with the intend of defending their title in October. Accordingly the men’s team will be go ahead by national champion Nishantha Fernando while Joseph Roshita has been selected as the women’s team captain.
The team comprises of Chamil Cooray, Mohamed Sherifdeen, Dimal Senaratne and Ajith Chandrasoma while Madushika Kanchanamala, Yashika Rahubadda, Chalani Lakmali and Arosha Wickremasinghe will describe Sri Lanka in the women’s team. Among the contribute countries for the 6th World Carrom Championship 2012 are hosts Sri Lanka, India, UK, Spain, Malaysia, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Maldives, Germany, Netherlands, Korea, Pakistan, France, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, USA, Dubai, Nepal, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, Canada and Poland.
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