Tuesday, March 9, 2021
  Community, Announcements

By Victoria Brito

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The World Chess Federation (FIDE) and two-time national chess champion UTRGV will cohost the first FIDE World University Online Chess Championship, beginning March 13 and concluding March 21.  

The FIDE World University Championships, one of the most prestigious collegiate chess events in the world, will be held virtually for the first time this year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. About 1,000 students are expected to participate from around the world. 

The event will be held through the chess web platform Tornelo, with four separate individual competitions spanning two weekends March 13-21.

“This is the most important event in the world for college chess,” said UTRGV Chess Coach Bartek Macieja, co-organizer of the tournament. “It is an honor to organize the first-ever online FIDE championship, and a recognition of our great national successes in winning the collegiate Final Four two years in a row, where we are competing again this year.”

Week one of the FIDE championship will consist of an online blitz championship, in which games are played in 10 minutes or less.

Week two will hold the online rapid championship, where game time is more than 10 minutes, but less than 60.  

The winner will be the world champion of collegiate chess.

There also will be a team competition on March 27 and 28 with the highest scoring universities, based on their member’s individual scores.

Directly following the worldwide FIDE tournament, the UTRGV Chess Team is slated to compete in the Final Four of Collegiate Chess in April. The team won back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019, and qualified again this year.

Dr. Douglas Stoves, UTRGV dean of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said the FIDE competition is an opportunity for the chess team to show its impact not only in Texas and the United States, but also around the world.

“The fact that we now have this great opportunity to organize this first-ever, worldwide tournament with FIDE, as a founding partner, continues to solidify the legacy of UTRGV Chess and is representative of UTRGV as a global leader,” Stoves said. “This honor recognizes the hard work and dedication of our players and our coaches at UTRGV.”



The International Chess Federation (FIDE) is the governing body of the sport of chess and regulates all international chess competitions. Founded in 1924 in Paris, FIDE is a non-governmental institution and was one of the first associations of its kind in the world, alongside the governing bodies of the sports of football, cricket, swimming and auto racing. In 1999, FIDE was recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a Global Sporting Organization.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.