Susan Polgar Leaving Texas Tech

  • SonofPearl
  • on 2/8/12, 2:59 PM.

The Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) is moving from from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas to Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri in June this year.

Susan Polgar (pictured) confirmed the move, adding that 8 leading members of the Texas Tech chess team will transfer with her to Webster University for the 2012/13 academic year.

The move is further evidence of St. Louis' growing reputation as a center of chess excellence in the United States.

The motivation for the move is to use the greater resources being made available at Webster University to continue to grow the SPICE program.

The Texas Tech chess team are the reigning national collegiate champions and will defend their title in Washington DC from 31 March to 1 April, before moving to St. Louis in June.

Polgar blogged a special thank you to Texas Tech:

A BIG thank you to Texas Tech University

I would like to thank Texas Tech University for their incredible support for chess and SPICE in the past five years. I would also like to thank all the donors and supporters, without whom, SPICE could have never achieved this kind of success.

Chess will continue at Texas Tech and I will do everything possible to make sure that the transition with the new Director / Coach will be super smooth. My job is not finished yet as we still have a National Championship to defend in the end of March.

I am very proud to be a part of the Texas Tech family for the past 5 years. We have made a lot of history together. It has been an incredible experience and I will never forget all the wonderful memories.

As someone who has constantly looking to raise the bar and breaking through barriers in chess for nearly 40 years, I could not pass up the opportunity to work with Webster University on a global level. But it was one of the most difficult decisions because my family and I love Lubbock and Texas Tech.

I want to see Texas Tech continue the winning trend. That is why I made the offer to Texas Tech to maintain the SPICE program. I am even willing to come back to Texas Tech 2-3 times each semester for 2-3 days to help train the remaining players of SPICE and to help Tech recruit additional talents. I hope to have a positive answer soon. The ball is on Tech’s court.

There will be more SPICE programs in other universities in the near future. But my base operation will be in St. Louis. Once again, thank you for everything. This is not the end of an amazing chapter. It is just the beginning of something even more magnificent.

Best wishes,
Susan Polgar
Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE)


More details here.

10124 reads 27 comments
3 votes


  • 13 months ago



  • 4 years ago


    way to stay strong n do whats best for your dreams

  • 5 years ago


    Interesting, I wonder if this will lead to any healing between Polgar and the USCF?  Her presence right down the street from the new USCF complex has to be a real thumb in the eye. 

    Yet another dagger in the heart of Crossville.

  • 5 years ago


    This is awesome news for the St. Louis area. We have a great club, and now we'll soon have a large influx of great players.  I was there when all this was just an idea, and now to see it unfold is wonderful. Thanks to all for making it work right in the heart of the USA!

  • 5 years ago



    Like I said, we are excited so many top players are coming to St. Louis and that the city is getting such great international attention, but I can assure you Rex didn't have any involvement in bringing SPICE here. I can tell you that both Webster and Lindenwood are well-funded schools that have exhibited a long history of success and growth both locally and in international markets. Here's an excerpt from the TM Daily Post: 

    Because of SPICE, world-class players from around the world enrolled in Tech, making the it the first school in the history of college chess to make the Final Four every year of its existence.


    But according to Tiffany Pelt of KCBD, the club never had more than $30,000 total available for scholarships.

    Polgar’s husband, Paul Truong, a coach and SPICE’s director of marketing and public relations, told Summer Chandler of the Daily Toreador that Webster offered a more international presence (it has campuses in Austria, China, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom), as well as more money for scholarships: 

    “We are, in a way, the enemy of our own success. I don’t think anybody — us or the administrators of the university — could ever expect how fast the program grew,” he said. “And, unfortunately, when you are a state institution, you know, the president, or let’s say the provost or the chancellor, cannot just make a decision that, ‘OK, tomorrow I am going to give you a million dollar budget for chess.’ It doesn’t work that way.”

  • 5 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    amazing woman and amazing family.


    i can not be more proud

  • 5 years ago


    Mike, if Rex and his money are not behind this, then how does Webster suddenly have more money for chess than Texas Tech, the reigning national champs? 

  • 5 years ago


    Another local university, Lindenwood U, approached us last year and expressed interest in chess. We enlightened them about the college chess scene, and university officials immediately started fleshing out an extensive chess program with scholarship opportunities. They'll be recruiting 25-30 players for the coming school year. GMs and IMs hopefully for the A team, but they are also interested in bringing players that are not necessarily upper-echelon but who would like to get there. GM Ben Finegold has been retained as coach. They are very committed to establishing a rich chess culture there, and they've laid the groundwork to prove it. It's great to see two local universities responding to the hard work we've been doing in St. Louis.

  • 5 years ago



    Neither Rex nor the Chess Club had anything to do with bringing Polgar to St. Louis other than establishing and developing a rich and growing chess culture here. That being said, we are excited to have so many top players moving to town. 

    I'm quoted in an excerpt from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about it: Mike Wilmering, a chess club spokesman, said the club wasn't involved in discussions to bring Polgar to St. Louis but was thrilled with the development.

    "We are really excited," Wilmering said. "For us, it means a lot of top players are coming to St. Louis."

    Read more:
  • 5 years ago

    IM pfren

    It seems that all chess wholesale merchants have gathered to Missouri. That's good for the rest of US.

  • 5 years ago


    Saint Louis is very excited to have you here! *BIG* Welcome !!

  • 5 years ago



    I'm with open_book on this one. Try speaking to an average native Brit :) In comparison I found the SP comments a model of clarity and good grammar.

  • 5 years ago



    Unless you are bilingual with native fluency in your second language, I suggest you withhold criticisms. A few misplaced articles are nothing compared to the extent of proficiency, especially the use of common idiomatic phrases, in the above letter. Learning a second language to fluency is a very difficult task. Mastery is a life-long pursuit.

  • 5 years ago


    Why was mike2aces' comment deleted? On this site articles such as the following can be found:

    mike2aces' said nothing that wasn't mentioned in that article, as far as I remember... having his post to hand would of course make this easier to prove/disprove.

    ET to change enb to mike2aces

  • 5 years ago


    Wow! Rex is buying everything chess related in the USA. Is the USCF next? 

  • 5 years ago


    Welcome to St. Louis.

  • 5 years ago


    her English is surprisingly bad

  • 5 years ago


    She' s pretty.
  • 5 years ago


    Wow...huge props to St. Louis.

Back to Top

Post your reply: