Back to front page
New York Times
May 25, 2007, 6:04 pm
An Opening Gambit With an Odd Acronym
By Dylan McClain
When the legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight was pushed out of Indiana University, Texas Tech University in Lubbock jumped to welcome him, in hopes of raising the school’s national profile. Perhaps that move did not reap enough public attention (or maybe it was not the right kind), because the school is now trying another visibility-building leap in a different kind of competitive endeavor: Chess.
Texas Tech announced with some fanfare on May 12, the day of its graduation exericises, that it had hired this year’s commencement speaker — Susan Polgar, the former women’s world champion — to head something called the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, or (wait for it) Spice....
Jim Brink, Texas Tech’s senior vice provost for academic affairs, said that Spice will receive more than $250,000 a year from a combination of private donations and university financing. What will the institute do? “All sorts of things,” he said.
Among them: Help recruit and train a “world-class” chess team; organize and promote tournaments; do community outreach in local schools to promote chess; and work with departments around the university on the use of chess as a research tool, particularly in the development of artificial intelligence.
...Mr. Brink said that the university hoped to attract better students through chess. “There is a strict correlation between excellence in chess and excellence in the classroom,” Mr. Brink said.
Source: NY Times