That’s right an entire two time National Collegiate Championship Team has transferred to a new University.
The Texas Tech chess team will return to defend their national title, but with a different school.
In an unprecedented move the entire Texas Tech chess team has transferred to Webster University in St. Louis. Most think of St. Louis as a baseball town, but apparently it’s a chess hotbed as well being the home of the World Chess Hall of Fame.
Webster University is a private school that promised the team more funding and access to a new, 6,000-square-foot learning center in the city.
Unlike athletes in sports associated with the NCAA, chess players can transfer and immediately play forgoing the one year off NCAA transfers have to take.
The chess team’s coach, Susan Polgar, chose Webster because of the city’s close ties to the chess community, “St. Louis today is the center of chess in America,” she told the Associated Press. “It just seemed like a perfect fit.”
Polgar, a self-taught chess prodigy from Hungary, has been the top ranked female chess player in the world since 15. She single handily turned Texas Tech into a chess powerhouse since her arrival in 2007.
Several Universities tried to woo the chess team away from Texas Tech, but it was Webster’s full scholarship offer for all players that won out.
Considering the team ,consisting of members from Iran, Germany, Israel, Brazil, Azerbaijan, and Hungary, had no close ties to Texas the move was an easy decision.