Checkmate! Champion chess coach poaches entire TEAM of players to new collegeBy David Gardner In Los Angeles
Poached: Chess champion Susan Polgar brought an entire chess team to a new university
But even the New York Yankees couldn’t match the check-mate move that has shocked the genteel world of chess.
For just days after winning their second consecutive national college chess title the entire Knights Raiders team has jumped ship, poached by another university.
America’s reigning chess queen, four-time world champion and five-time Olympic gold medallist Susan Polgar, masterminded the unprecedented switch.
The team coach is taking all seven of her players with her from Texas Tech to the private Webster University in St Louis, Missouri.
Brains: America¿s reigning chess queen, four-time world champion and five-time Olympic gold medallist Susan Polgar, masterminded the unprecedented switch
Her team, all chess masters, were offered full scholarships by their new college, an offer that Texas Tech couldn’t match.
The Midwest city is also hosting the US chess championships next month and is home to a brand new 6,000 square foot chess club.
Switch: The team coach is taking all seven of her players with her from Texas Tech to the private Webster University in St Louis, Missouri
‘They all are international students and it is part of my job to ensure that they find a home away from home. I am very proud and very happy for them,’ she added.
Her team consists of players from around the world, including Germany, Iran, Israel, Brazil, Hungary and Aberbaiijan
Provost Julian Schuster, a native of the former Yugoslavia who calls himself 'a very strong fan and casual player,' helped broker the deal after learning of Ms Polgar's interest through mutual friends.
Game on: Webster University provost Julian Schuster is looking forward to his new chess team
Commitment: Schuster was instrumental in bringing the defending national champion chess team from Texas Tech to little-known Webster University near St. Louis
Neither Ms Polgar nor Schuster would discuss the specifics of the financial commitment to attract the program.
About 30 schools nationwide have competitive chess teams, from Yale and Princeton to Miami-Dade College and the University of West Indies.
And while college chess remains a niche activity, Ms Polgar's unprecedented move has given the game a brief moment in the spotlight