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UTRGV Chess Team makes Final Four, qualifies for President's Cup in 2016

UTRGV chess team members, front row, left to right: GM Holden Hernandez (USA), IM Felix Ynojosa (VEN), GM Anton Kovalyov (CAN), Armando Cortez (MEX), Simon Vasquez (USA) and Mkhitar Hobosyan (ARM). Back row, left to right: IM Joshua Ruiz (COL), IM Guillermo Vazquez (PAR), GM Andrey Stukopin (RUS), UTRGV Chess Coach GM Bartek Macieja (POL) and Jeffrey Serna (USA).

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – DEC. 31, 2015 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Chess Team, under the direction of Grandmaster and Coach Bartek Macieja, has qualified for the Final Four of Chess and the President’s Cup, after participation in the 2015 Pan-Am Intercollegiate Chess Championship, held Dec. 28-30 in Cleveland, Ohio.

In addition, UTRGV student Holden Hernandez, grandmaster, won classification on Board 3 of the competition.

The team tied for first, and placed second after consideration of tie-break points. Their placement in the Final Four seats them for participation in the 2016 President’s Cup.

The final four teams are, in order of placement:

  • Texas Tech University.
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
  • Webster University.
  • Columbia University.

UTRGV Chess Senior Program Coordinator Alfonso Almeida said the goal for the Pan Am tournament was to qualify for the President’s Cup.

“And we did it!” he said. “We are so proud of our team and their success, and we will all help them be ready to play in the President’s Cup in 2016.”

The Pam American Intercollegiate Chess Championship is a six-round, four-person team event open to any university, college, technical college, or community college from North and South America and the Caribbean. The President’s Cup is a four-team round robin event that determines the college team chess champion.

UTRGV legacy institution UT Brownsville/Texas Southmost College qualified for Final Four in 2010 in the same competition.

Earlier this month, the Texas Senate and the House of Representatives passed resolutions, congratulating the UTRGV Chess Program and Chess Team for their many achievements in 2015. (See resolutions, attached.)

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