‘A' and ‘B' Chess Teams Tie for First Place in 2012 PanAm Intercollegiate Chess Championship

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 3, 2013 – No. 1-ranked Webster University's "A" and No. 3-ranked "B" chess teams tied for first place in the 2012 PanAm Intercollegiate Chess Championship – also known as the World Series of College Chess – last week at Princeton University. The top four schools will now advance to the College Chess Final Four, to be held April 6-7 in Herndon, Va. Since only one team per school can qualify for the Final Four, six players from Webster's "A" and "B" teams will be selected to represent the University in the Final Four.

Webster's "A" team was the top seed in the World Series of Chess, while the "B" team ranked third. Both teams are coached by Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar, World and Olympiad Champion, and director of SPICE, the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, at Webster University.

Webster's "A" team members include:

Grandmaster Wesley So, Webster freshman, currently ranked No. 1 in the Philippines and No. 3 under 21 player in the worldGrandmaster Ray Robson, Webster freshman, ranked No. 8 in the U.S. and No. 10under 21 player in the worldGrandmaster Fidel Corrales Jimenez, Webster freshman, ranked No. 3 player in CubaGrandmaster Georg Meier, Webster sophomore, ranked No. 4 in Germany(Alternate) Grandmaster Manuel Leon Hoyos, Webster freshman, ranked No. 1 in Mexico and reigning U.S. Open Champion

Webster's "B" team members include:

Grandmaster Anatoly Byhkovsky, Webster junior, ranked No. 21 in IsraelGrandmaster Denes Boros, Webster junior, ranked No. 28 in HungaryGrandmaster Andre Diamant, Webster sophomore, ranked No. 12 in BrazilInternational Master Vitaly Neimer, Webster sophomore, ranked 46 in Israel

Forty-four top college chess teams competed for the prestigious national title, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, University of Chicago, NYU, Penn State, University of Texas (Dallas), University of Texas (Austin), University of Texas (Brownsville), Texas Tech, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Arizona State, Washington University in St. Louis and Lindenwood University.

The first PanAm Intercollegiate Chess Championship took place in New York in 1946. Webster University was the first team in history to enter the World Series of College Chess as the No. 1 seed in the first year competing in this event.

Webster will enter the Final Four as the No. 1 seed. The other three universities that also earned a berth in the Final Four include the University of Illinois, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and University of Texas in Dallas.

About Susan Polgar and SPICE

Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar, World and Olympiad Champion, and her Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) relocated to Webster University from Texas Tech University on June 1, 2012. In addition, all key members of the reigning national collegiate champion Texas Tech "A" chess team transferred to Webster and are now enrolled at the University. Webster's No. 1-ranked chess team includes eight Grandmasters and two International Masters.

Polgar, who is one of the strongest female chess players in history, is the winner of four world championships and the only world champion in history – male or female – to win the Triple-Crown (Rapid, Blitz and Classical Chess world championships). She is the first woman to break the gender barrier to qualify for the Men's World Championship Cycle, earn the Men's Grandmaster title, and to receive the Grandmaster of the Year Award. At Webster, SPICE and Polgar are leaders in promoting chess as a vehicle for global diversity and academic excellence, for enriching the education of children and for promoting women's chess. In 2011, Polgar became the first female head coach to lead a men's collegiate Division 1 chess team (Texas Tech University) to the national title, a feat she repeated in 2012.

About Webster University

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.