Webster University wins record 5th National Championship in Chess

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WEBSTER GROVES, MO (KPLR) – They are some of the kings of campus at Webster University and Susan Polgar might be the queen of the castle inside the Luhr Library.  The hallowed space at Eden Seminary is quickly amassing a collection of trophies.

'The library you see here we get access to all these books to this building and train any time we want,' says Priyadharshan Kannappan, Grandmaster.  'The resources we get are top notch.'

'We`re a team and great coaches gives you a lot of opportunities to develop yourself in chess and academics as well,' says Alex Shimanov, Grandmaster.

Making their way around the board these grandmasters have become five-time national champion's in a program that just began five years ago when Susan Polgar came to Webster from Texas Tech.

'Before I came to Webster I won two titles for Texas Tech,' says Susan Polgar, Head Coach.  'But it`s also a record national record that no collegiate team has won five in a row.'

'Even though it is individual we are preparing together so we are sharing our ideas with each other,' says Vasif Durarbayli, Grandmaster.  'I think it is really helpful and we need this kind of environment even though we are playing individual.'

'We take some classes together, we play sports together so I think that builds something more than just the game,' says Manuel Leon Hoyos.  'That eventually helps us to perform better because we know each other better and we know how to encourage each other.'

That encouragement is what`s lead to their fifth straight year as National collegiate champions.