Monday, February 1, 2010

TTU the Victors

TTU the Victors: Red Raiders raked in the awards in 2009

By Matthew Mcgowan
Monday, February 01, 2010
Story last updated at 2/1/2010 - 12:36 am

The trophies have been lining up at Texas Tech.

Forget football, basketball, track, or other sports. You won't find these - with one possible exception - on ESPN.

Red Raiders have been racking up the victories against rival groups across the country.

Since the beginning of classes last fall, they've won victories in chess, meat and livestock judging, paintball, plant science quiz bowls, and interior design.

Most, like the agronomy quiz bowl team, compete in groups - small cadres of participants who have spent months preparing for their respective fields of competition.

Others, like interior design champ Allison Yank, went it alone.

But regardless of whether in groups or solo, Tech's students have returned home with accolades.

The year's not over yet, so many of these extracurricular teams are still

competing for national and state titles.

This article doesn't include them all, but here's a rundown of some of the different student groups and their accomplishments.


Thirty-two pieces in two colors on 64 squares.

Then add to that four national and two state titles on top of one open championship and you've got chess on Tech's terms.

"Other schools have chess teams," said Paul Truong, assistant coach and director of marketing for Tech's 21/2-year-old Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence. "It's not about teams. We have an institute. It's not just about chess competitions. It's multi-faceted."

And, judging from the string of victories above, all won by Red Raiders in the past six months, Truong is right. SPICE has become a hot-spot breeding ground of chess champions.

The institute's select few Knight Raider chess teams have tacked a slew of accomplishments onto their resumes in the past few months.

Knight Raiders A-Team members Gergely Antal, Davorin Kuljasevic, Gabor Papp and Chase Watters - all international masters - collectively came home from Houston with a Texas collegiate championship in November.

In the same tournament, Hungarian-born Antal and Croatian-born Kujasevic won first and second place, respectively, in the individual competition.

The next month, the same team tied for second place for Division 1 of the 2009 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship on South Padre Island.

Again at South Padre, Antal and Kujasevic took individual honors, tying for first place.

By that point, however, Antal, an economics student, had already been on a roll.

He won September's 75th Annual Southwest Open in Fort Worth. That's to say he took the No. 1 spot out of 245 players at the open.

But that was after he made history for Tech in August by winning the 2009 World Chess Live Tournament of College Champions - a major win, the first major national title for a Knight Raider.

The Knight Raiders A-Team's win in December qualified them for a seat at the President's Cup in March, which Truong described as "college chess' Final Four Championship.

Source: Avalanche Journal
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