Our community at Webster University believes transformative academic experiences begin with prioritizing research, technology, and accessibility. At Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), we believe college chess is the critical component that merges these necessary components with skill.

By working and assisting one another, we have become a premier center for chess education and outreach.


SPICE's Mission

Our mission is to be a leader in promoting chess as a vehicle for enriching the education of children; be a leader in promoting women’s chess; recruit outstanding students to the University; earn national and international recognition for the University; support and promote competitive chess at the college level; and to support our nation’s most elite chess program.


Upcoming Classes and Events

U.S. Chess Junior Grand Prix!

U.S. Chess Grand Prix Points: 200 (Enhanced)

Dec. 18–23, 2022


For further information, email Annastasia Wyzywany at chess@webster.edu or call 314-246-8075.


Webster University Chess Team


Lazaro Bruzon Batista


Aram Hakobyan


John Burke


Jose Martinez


Ezra Chambers


Yuniesky Quesada Perez


Joshua Figueroa


Jonathon Singler


Benjamin Gledura





CoachCoach Liem Le is considered the youngest collegiate grandmaster head coach in the U.S.

A Chesterfield resident, Le is originally from Vietnam, where he was honored by Forbes Vietnam as 30 under 30 (2015). Le became a Chess Grandmaster at 15 years old and has been the No. 1 ranked chess player in Vietnam and Southeast Asia since 2009. He is currently the No. 20 ranked chess player worldwide.

Le previously served as captain of the top-ranked Webster chess team (2015 to 2017), coached by retired Susan Polgar who founded the SPICE Institute.


Chess Accomplishments:

  • Chess Grandmaster at 15 years old
  • No. 1 ranked chess player in Vietnam and Southeast Asia since 2009
  • No. 20 ranked chess player worldwide
  • Winner of World Blitz Championship 2013
  • Winner of World Youth Championship Under 14 2005
  • Winner of Asian Continential Championship 2019
  • Winner of World Open 2019
  • Winner of Saint Louis Summer Classic 2019
  • Winner of ACP Tour 2019
  • Winner of Bay Area International Open 2019
  • Winner of 2 SPICE Cups (2011, 2015)
  • Winner of 4 HD Bank Open Tournaments (2013, 2015, 2017)
  • Winner of 2 Aeroflot Opens (2010, 2011)
  • Winner of 2 Zone 3.3 FIDE World Chess Championships (2007, 2015)
  • Winner of Kolkata Open 2009
  • Winner of Lishui Open 2009
  • Winner of 2 Dragon Capital Open Tournaments (2008, 2009)
  • Team Gold Medal of Olympiad 2008 Group B
  • Frequent participant in various top level competitions including many World Cups, Olympiads
  • Captain of Webster University Chess Team from 2015 to 2017. Won four consecutive Pan Ams Championships and Final Four Championships with Webster from 2013-2017
  • Coached more than 100 students, including many Grandmasters

Notable Recognition: 

  • Awarded three Labor Orders by the President of Vietnam (2006, 2011, 2013)
  • Awarded the title Blitz Player of the Year by Asian Chess Federation (2013)
  • Forbes Vietnam 30 Under 30 (2015)


Discover chess using Susan Polgar’s comprehensive free training guide.

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Chess Excellence Scholarship Applications

At Webster, we welcome those students interested in competing in local, national, and international chess tournaments to apply for our scholarships. Those students wanting to apply must be at the main campus (Webster Groves/St. Louis, USA) and should do so by the Friday before the term begins.

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