Sunday, May 11, 2008
SPICE and Chess get big boost
Polgar: SPICE and chess in general in Lubbock get big boost from benefactor
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Story last updated at 5/11/2008 - 4:01 am
Last week, I mentioned the record-breaking participation at the first Lubbock Open Chess Championship. The Lubbock Open took place on April 26 at Monterey High School. The local support for the event was overwhelming, and we are very excited about organizing the event every year.
Now there is more good news for Texas Tech's Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) and chess in Lubbock. A number of schools in Lubbock ISD already offer chess as an after-school program. The Lubbock Area Foundation recently awarded SPICE a substantial grant to introduce chess in schools that do not have such programs.
The LAF is a tremendous resource for Lubbock and West Texas citizens. My hope is to be able to raise enough financial support to begin or support chess programs in every school in Lubbock and surrounding cities. Chess is such an effective and inexpensive tool to enhance young people's educational and life experiences.
Also, a few days ago, SPICE announced an extremely generous pledge from a private donor. The gift will provide $320,000 for TTU scholarships beginning this fall and spread out over the next five years. This support follows $25,000 in support already given to Texas Tech's chess program by the same benefactor in 2007. Get your guns up, chess fans!
There's more. Additional funds will support the installation of three double-sized concrete chess tables between Texas Tech's Student Union building and library to support the increased enthusiasm for chess on campus.
Texas Tech has enjoyed a large number of inquiries from student chess players in the past year. In the fall, some of the top chess players in the United States, and indeed the world, will enroll at Tech. Rising water raises all boats, and it sure has been raining a lot this past week! Soon, Lubbock will be known as the center of chess in the United States.
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