Webster Chess Team Wins Chess ‘Final Four,’ President’s Cup Championship

| April 8, 2013
Webster University Final Four chess champions

Champs! The Webster University chess team captured the President’s Cup, known as the “final four” of collegiate chess.

They did it!

Webster University’s chess team captured the President’s Cup, also known as the Final Four of Collegiate Chess, in an intense two-day weekend tournament in Rockville, Md.

Webster will welcome the national champions back — trophy in hand — today during a lunch-time ceremony on its Webster Groves campus.

Webster made history with multiple “firsts” from the victory:

  • Webster became the first St. Louis team ever to win a Final Four collegiate chess championship.
  • It was the first time in history a team made it to the Final Four of Collegiate Chess in its first year at a school.
  • It’s also the first time that a first-year team has been ranked as the No. 1 seed in the Final Four.

The four-team, round-robin tournament three three rounds of four matches per side. The champion was determined by total points after each had played 12 matches. A winner in any match received one point, whereas a draw awarded a half-point to both sides. Webster’s opponents included longtime Final Four contestants University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and the University of Illinois.

Webster Chess champions return home

The champions return home after an intense weekend in Maryland.

Webster’s chess team has ranked No. 1 since August 2012, but victory was by no means assured. The audience on the scene in Maryland and those who followed online were treated to some nail-biting moments until Webster secured victory on Sunday, with a total of 9.5 points.

Those who followed along from afar on head coach Susan Polgar‘s Twitter feed (@SusanPolgar) were treated to just how tense things were. At one point Sunday afternoon, Polgar tweeted:

After 2.5 hours of play, every game can go either. Too close to call. As the past 2 years, it may come down to the final seconds.

That came not long after this:

You can cut the tension with a knife. One wrong decision can cost a team the entire season. Any of the games can go either way.

Provost takes on the chess team

In a lighter moment, Provost Julian Schuster takes on student Fidel Corrales Jimenez, a grandmaster, as the champions await their return flight from D.C.

Welcome Back

Come welcome the team back today over lunch in Marletto’s, with a ceremony congratulating them at 11:30 a.m.


Category: Student Affairs and News, Webster News

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