Monday, October 22, 2012

SPICE Cup photos and results

Former US Ambassador to Hungary George Herbert Walker and Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch welcome the SPICE Cup participants.

SPICE Cup photos:

SPICE Cup Invitational Results:

SPICE Cup Open results:



Sweeping the top 3 spots

Webster University students swept the the top three spots in the 2012 SPICE Cup Open, held Oct. 12 – 21 in St. Louis.

Forty-two players — 22 from countries outside the U.S. — answered the invitation to participate in one of the strongest open tournaments in the United States this year.

After nine grueling rounds, students from Webster University pulled off another improbable feat by sweeping the top three spots.

Ray Robson, 17-year-old freshman grandmaster, former U.S. Junior Champion and member of the U.S. National Team, finished with an undefeated 7-2 score (5 wins, 4 draws, 0 loss) to capture the SPICE Cup Open title. This is an impressive score for the young phenom in an incredibly strong event. Since coming to Webster just a few months ago, his chess rating has reached a new career high.


Another freshman, grandmaster Fidel Corrales Jimenez, the 3rd-ranked player from Cuba, finished in 2nd place with a 6.5-2.5 score (4 wins, 5 draw, 0 loss). Fidel recently captured two big titles, the Missouri State Rapid and Blitz Championships. He is also the 3rd ranked player on the Webster University Chess Team.

International master Vitaly Neimer (Israel), a sophomore, was a member of the national collegiate championship team from Texas Tech last year. He transferred to Webster University to continue with the SPICE program. He finished in third place.
Neimer’s Inspiring Story
Neimer actually tied for third with grandmasters Alejandro Ramirez (Costa Rica) and Victor Mikhalevski (Israel) but edged them out on tiebreaks.

“As a young talented junior player from Israel, Neimer’s chess career was slowed down because he had to take a break to fulfill his military service requirement,” says Paul Truong, SPICE marketing director. “After transferring to Webster University, Neimer is determined to take his chess to the next level.”

“Each day after completing his daily homework and assignments, Neimer is off to the SPICE office at midnight by himself to use our professional chess library and super computer loaded with the latest chess database (over 6 million top level games), and the most powerful commercial chess software. He sometimes spent five to six hours a night analyzing countless positions and building up his opening repertoire.”

Neimer’s hard work paid off as he scored 6-3 (3 wins, 6 draws, 0 loss) against the toughest schedule at the SPICE Cup (facing eight grandmasters in nine games) to earn his 1st grandmaster norm. He now needs two more grandmaster norms to become a grandmaster.

Video, Standings, Photos
In the in the, six-player, double round-robin SPICE Cup Invitational tournament — the highest-rated chess tournament of its kind in U.S. history, which opened festivities at Webster last week — former World Junior Champion and French top player Maxime Vachier-Lagrave took first place.

Find the final SPICE Cup Open standings here.
Peruse photos from the SPICE Cup here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Webster co-captain leads SPICE Cup after 3

Round 3 results

Ding Liren 1/2 Le Quang Liem

Balogh Csaba 1/2 Meier Georg
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 1/2 So Wesley

Standings after 3 rounds

1. Meier 2.0
2-5. Vachier-Lagrave, Le,  So, Balogh 1.5
6. Ding 1.0 
SPICE Cup photos:



SPICE Cup round 2 video

Interview with Webster University co-captain GM Georg Meier, the leader of the SPICE Cup after 3 rounds.

Friday, October 12, 2012

SPICE Cup photos

SPICE Cup photos:

SPICE Cup 2012 Pairings

1. Georg Meier (Germany) 2646
2. Ding Liren (China) 2702
3. Csaba Balogh (Hungary) 2664
4. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 2705
5. Wesley So (Philippines) 2677
6. Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) 2703 

Round 1

Meier - Le
Ding - So
Balogh - Vachier-Lagrave 

Round 2
Le - Vachier-Lagrave
So - Balogh
Meier - Ding 

Round 3
Ding - Le
Balogh - Meier
Vachier-Lagrave - So 

Round 4
Balogh - Le
Vachier-Lagrave - Ding
So - Meier 

Round 5
Le - So
Meier - Vachier-Lagrave
Ding - Balogh 

Round 6
Le - Meier
So - Ding
Vachier-Lagrave - Balogh 

Round 7
Vachier-Lagrave - Le
Balogh - So
Ding - Meier 

Round 8
Le - Ding
Meier - Balogh
So - Vachier-Lagrave 

Round 9
Le - Balogh
Ding - Vachier-Lagrave
Meier - So 

Round 10
So - Le
Vachier-Lagrave - Meier
Balogh - Ding

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The beginning of the 2012 SPICE Cup

The 2012 SPICE Cup reception was held at my home tonight. After dinner, we had the official drawing of lots. 6 balls (1-6) were hidden in 6 pockets of the pool table. By random order, the players picked a pocket of their choice. Here is the order:

Order by lot drawing

1. GM Georg Meier (Germany)
2. GM Ding Liren (China)
3. GM Csaba Balogh (Hungary)
4. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France)
5. GM Wesley So (Philippines)
6. GM Le Quang Liem (Vietnam)

Round 1 matchup

Georg Meier vs Le Quang Liem
Ding Liren vs Wesley So
Csaba Balogh vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

The time control is 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment, then g/30 + 30 seconds increment. 

Fighting chess is expected. No draw offer is allowed (unless it is approved).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SPICE Cup 2012

SPICE Cup: Oct. 12-21

This month Webster University and the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) will bring six of the best chess players in the world — including two Webster students — to Webster’s home campus. They’ll be competing in the 2012 SPICE Cup Invitational, the highest-rated chess tournament of its kind in U.S. history.

The tourney kicks off with a free and open-to-the-public Welcome Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, in Room 102 of Webster’s East Academic Building, 545 Garden Ave. in Webster Groves, Mo.

For full details and to learn about the competitors, see the full text of the University press release below: 

Webster University and Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) to Host the Prestigious 2012 SPICE CUP Invitational Oct. 12-21 

Event is the Highest-Rated International Round Robin Chess Tournament in U.S. History

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 8, 2012 – Six of the best chess players in the world – two of them members of the new Webster University chess team – will compete in the 2012 SPICE CUP Invitational tournament, to be held Oct. 12-21 on the Webster University campus. This historic tournament is a FIDE (International Chess Federation) category 18 event, making it the highest-rated chess tournament of its kind in U.S. history.

All six players are multiple-time Olympians. They include:

  • Grandmaster LeQuang Liem (Vietnam), the defending SPICE CUP Invitational champion, Vietnamese champion and No. 1 player in Vietnam.
  • Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), former World Junior champion and French champion and No. 1 player in France.
  • Grandmaster Ding Liren (China), three-time and reigning champion of China, and the No.3 Junior in the world.
  • Grandmaster Csaba Balogh (Hungary), member of the Hungarian National chess team and top-notch chess author.
  • Grandmaster Wesley So (Philippines), national champion, No. 1 player in the Philippines and a Webster University freshman.
  • Grandmaster Georg Meier (Germany), European team champion and Webster University sophomore and co-captain of the Webster University chess team.

The SPICE CUP Invitational tournament kicks off with a free and open-to-the-public Welcome Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, in Room 102 of Webster’s East Academic Building, 545 Garden Ave. in Webster Groves. During tournament play, the six competitors will face one another twice, once with black chess pieces and once with white pieces.

* * * 
About Susan Polgar and SPICE

Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar, World and Olympiad Champion, and her Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) relocated to Webster University from Texas Tech University on June 1 2012. In addition, all key members of the reigning national collegiate champion Texas Tech “A” chess team transferred to Webster and are now enrolled at the University. Webster’s No. 1-ranked chess team includes eight Grandmasters and two International Masters.

Polgar, who is one of the strongest female chess players in history, is the winner of four world championships and the only world champion in history – male or female – to win the Triple-Crown (Rapid, Blitz and Classical Chess world championships). She is the first woman to break the gender barrier to qualify for the Men’s World Championship Cycle, earn the Men’s Grandmaster title, and to receive the Grandmaster of the Year Award.

At Webster, SPICE and Polgar are leaders in promoting chess as a vehicle for global diversity and academic excellence, for enriching the education of children and for promoting women’s chess. In 2011, Polgar became the first female head coach to lead a men’s collegiate Division 1 chess team (Texas Tech University) to the national title, a feat she repeated in 2012.
About Webster University
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University ( is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University’s campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.