For players and teams who dominate their sport to the extent of winning a National Championship, the normal giddy response from them usually involves traveling to a fun location, say for instance, Disneyland. For the Texas Tech chess team, however, they are celebrating their win with something a little more exotic…a transfer to another school.
In an unprecedented move, the entire Texas Tech chess team, winners of two straight National Championships, is packing up their pieces and transferring to Webster University.
The team, consisting of coach Susan Polgar and seven chess-masters, is making the move for the benefit of the entire team. Webster offered her more funding for the club than she was currently getting, access to a new, 6,000-square-foot learning center in the city and full scholarships for every member. Plus, the school is located in St. Louis, which is widely considered the hotbed of chess in America.
"St. Louis today is the center of chess in America," she told the Associated Press. "It just seemed like a perfect fit."
Polgar was hired by Texas Tech in 2007 to turn around her program and in a few short years she did just that. A chess prodigy herself, Polgar became the top ranked female player in the world at 15 and has multiple chess world records.
The success of her program at Texas Tech drew offers from numerous schools but when Webster upped the ante with full rides for her team, she couldn't pass it up.
Her team consists of members from all parts of the world, including Iran, Israel, Germany, Brazil, Azerbaijan and Hungary. None of Polgar's squad had any qualms about the move.
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