Each year, various teams face attrition with players transferring from one school to another, however, it’s not often that an ENTIRE team transfers schools–especially after two straight national championships. Yet in this case, that is precisely what happened with the reigning champion Texas Tech University chess team.
Just hours after capturing their second national crown, Texas Tech head coach Susan Polgar resigned from the school, leaving for Webster University and taking all of her players with her.
Yes, all of them.
Weber University, located in St. Louis, MS (the home of the National Chess Hall of Fame), promised Polgar and her chessmasters more funding and gave all seven team members chess scholarships. The city is also also the Chess Club and Scholastic Center, an impressive 6,000 square foot learning center and shrine to the game, to which she and her players will have access.
Polgar, a self-taught prodigy from Hungary, became the top female chess player in the world at the age of 15 and holds several world records. She arrived at Texas Tech in 2007, created the chess program, and quickly turned them into a national powerhouse. If you’ve ever been to Tech, located in Lubbock, TX (the middle of nowhere really), then you wouldn’t understand how impressive a feat that truly is.
Polgar claims that the program grew so rapidly that Tech was unable to keep up. There was simply not enough funding, and she felt that she had to put her players’ interests first.
Therefore she–along with her team members–feel that St. Louis is “the center of chess in America,” and therefore the “perfect fit” for her and her entire team.