USCF Home Chess Life Online 2014 December Webster and UTD Lead Pan-Ams
|Webster and UTD Lead Pan-Ams|
|By Al Lawrence|
|December 29, 2013|
Round four of the six-round 2013 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship in Lubbock, Texas, began at 10 a.m. on Sunday, pitting number-one seed Webster University against number-two Texas Tech. The Gorlocks took the match over the Red Raiders with two draws and two wins, leaving only Webster and the University of Texas-Dallas at the top with perfect scores. So the first- and third-ranked teams will face off at round five at 5 p.m.
Complete results, pairings and live games can be viewed here.
Most of the 41 competing teams, which included 45 internationally-titled players, traveled the day after Christmas to the Texas central-plains city of Lubbock to take part in the historic 60th Pan-Ams, hosted by Texas Tech University.
Ivy league schools Yale, Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia, joined traditional chess powerhouses like Webster University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas-Dallas, University of Texas-Brownsville, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (ranked 1-5, respectively by top-team average), as well as other schools from around the U.S. Teams from the University of Toronto (Hart House) and the University of West Indies-Mona made it an international event.
Of the 176 individual entries, 23 were grandmasters, four WGMs, 12, IMs, six WIMs and a number of "IM-elects." Forty-three teams had preregistered, but one team from the University of Chicago and one from Yale ultimately ran into last-minute pull-outs.
Before the first round on Friday, December 27th, the teams enjoyed fellowship and food at the opening ceremony, complete with a precision color-guard flag presentation and masterful singing of the national anthem, and a bountiful buffet. University and City officials welcomed the competitors. Dozens of University and private sponsors made the reception and tournament possible.
But at 6 p.m., National TD and FIDE Zonal President Franc Guadalupe started the action.
"The Pan-Ams" are open to all post-secondary schools in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The championship is rich in college tradition. The first Pan-Ams took place in 1946 (but the championship traces its heritage to a U.S. university championship going back even further) and was held biennially until 1962, when the event was made annual and has indeed been held every year since then.
The top four qualifying schools from the Pan-Ams go on to compete in the Final Four of college chess, held in the spring. The winner is considered national champion and takes home the President's Cup.