U of I Chess Team Finishes Fourth In Tourney
The University of Connecticut may be celebrating a basketball championship, but Webster University in suburban St. Louis is celebrating back-to-back titles - in chess. The University of Illinois finished fourth.
The Webster Groves, Mo.-based university took first place, earning the President's Cup, in a national championship tournament over the weekend in New York. Webster University won with 9.5 points.
The University of Maryland-Baltimore County was second with 7 points, followed by Texas Tech with 6.5 points and the U of I with 1 point.
It was the fourth title in four years for Webster coach Susan Polgar. She led Texas Tech to two championships before coaching at Webster for the past two years.
Webster was undefeated in matches this season, going 9-0.
In late December, the University of Illinois chess team qualified for the Final Four for the second consecutive year. U of I junior Michael Auger is a big part of the reason why and is one of 4 team members who will be going to the tournament in April. Auger recruited Eric Rosen, the most accomplished and highest-ranked member of the team, away from top chess schools, like te University of Texas-Dallas, Texas Tech and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
This hour on Focus, host Jeff Bossert talks with Auger about the team’s success and where he thinks they're headed next. We’ll also hear from Al Lawrence who is the director of Texas Tech’s chess program and former executive director of the United States Chess Federation, the largest chess governing body in the United States. He'll tell us more about the world of collegiate chess is like across the country, and gives us a better sense of what the U of I chess team is up against in April.
During this hour, we want to know from you how chess plays a role in your life. Did you grow up playing it? What do you like about it? We're on Twitter during the show @Focus580.