The UTRGV Chess Team ended 2017 on a high note, qualifying once again for the President's Cup, the Final Four of College Chess.

Universities advance to the national championship competition by ranking as one of the top four schools at the Pan-Am Intercollegiate Chess Championship. That competition was held on the last weekend in December in Columbus, Ohio.

This is not the first time the UTRGV Chess Team has reached the national Final Four.

In 2016, the team finished in second place, just one point behind Webster University.

The U.S. Chess Federation reports that 58 teams participated in the 2017 tournament. The more than 200 players included 15 grandmasters and 29 international masters. Players earn the titles based on skill levels, with Grandmaster the highest awarded. UTRGV’s Team A is made up of grandmasters, and all Team B members are international masters.

UTRGV’s Team A


· Kamil Dragun, grandmaster.


· Andry Stukopin, grandmaster.


· Vladimir Belous, grandmaster.


· Carlos Hevia Alejano, grandmaster.

UTRGV’s Team B


· Guillermo Vazquez, international master.


· Felix Ynojosa Aponte, international master.


· Joshua D. Ruiz, international master.


· Yannick Kambrath, FIDE master.

At the Pan-Am Intercollegiate competition, Team A finished in fourth place, with Team B in seventh.

The other three schools advancing to the Final Four are Webster University, St. Louis University and Texas Tech University.