The College Chess Club Greats

Why Chess is Such a Great Game

Chess may be one of the most important games in humanity.

It has taken geniuses and robots to master, has lasted through centuries of sporting, permeated across the globe and found its way onto almost every college campus in the country. Yet despite its prodigious back story, it is still one of the most democratic games, funneling down to just two individuals and their wits. 

The College Chess Championship

The illustrious President’s Chess Cup is the ultimate competition for college chess teams, and in the last few decades it hasn't been Yale, Harvard or Princeton that's taken home the trophy, but rather four much less prestigious schools: Webster University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Maryland Baltimore College and Texas Tech.

And while they’re not Ivy league, these schools play chess like Ohio State plays Football, University of Kentucky plays basketball or Stanford plays Silicon Valley startup—proving that you can find clever and talented kids at any college in the country.

Let’s look at the squads:

We’ll start with the most recently crowned school: Webster University. These masterful chess ballers have come out of nowhere (Webster Grove, Missouri to be exact) to beat out the University of Texas, Harvard and Stanford teams to win the President’s Cup for the past three years. These students take the game seriously, and may have a shot at breaking the national winning-streak record. That’s pretty huge for a school with under 3,000 enrolled undergrads.

 

The University of Texas at Dallas also have a very impressive chess team, having won the President’s Cup in 2008, 2007, 2002 and coming in second many times between, before and after. They take chess to heart, not just using their expertise to win trophies, but to create awareness for the sport and bring students, teachers and Dallas locals together.

 

University of Maryland Baltimore College represents Maryland hard--bringing in more trophies than the Terps basketball team or Hopkins Lacrosse teams combined. They’ve won six championships in past fifteen years, but more importantly they’ve built a popular chess community at the school. The club holds outdoor tournaments on their beautiful campus, has expert professors leading their team and devotes plenty of campus space chess play.

http://umbcchess.tumblr.com/
 

Last but not least, the Texas Tech Knight Raiders won the Cup in 2011 and 2012 and were in the championship the last two years. While the school is known for it’s football and basketball teams, it’s this small coterie of chess champs that keep competing at the national level, making chess skills something to be proud of at their school. 

At Academbot we honor these chess phenoms, and encourage students at all schools to take a stab at the crown. If you don’t think you’ve got what it takes to be one of the national greats, then just try to be a campus great, or a dorm great. Whatever level you want to compete at, just know that chess legends can be built at any campus in the country.

 
College Life College Search What to Expect

A party school is usually a party school because it’s big and has a lot of money. Solo-cups aside there are a lot of good reasons to go to a big school with a lot of money. 

These schools tend to have good sports teams, good housing, good food, beautiful campuses, great teachers, tons of school pride and a lot of chances to make long lasting professional connections. And a plethora of good friends too, of course.

You know what’s more important than knowing the school you’re applying to? Knowing yourself. Because the reality is, you don't need to have heard of the school for it to be a good fit. The best boyfriends or girlfriends aren’t always the popular ones. They're just the ones you haven't gotten to know yet. 

There is more than one way to give a grade. When Forbes comes up with their 50 Top American Colleges, like they have for the past seven years, you must understand that their opinion isn’t absolute.

If you pay attention you’ll see that the list starts with no scaling system to support their choices and that even in the description of the colleges, popular statistics such as Graduation Rates and Student Diversity aren’t mentioned (at least not consistatnly). Neither, as you’ll notice, are tuition rates.

Okay, here’s my intro for the day—Free Stuff. Do I have your attention? Do I?

What kind of free stuff? Free summer stuff! Because everyone knows that the only way to close out a Summer is to drape yourself in an oversized sunhat and sip Starbucks Ice Tea until you levitate.

Every day between now and July 31st at 5 p.m. you can enter the Starbucks Brew Your Own Summer contest to win prizes from three different Summer Survival Kits: Summer Entertaining, Summer Fun, and Summer Style.

There are several things that change instantly from high school to college, like a caterpillar to a winged fairy insect. One of those things is that people stop judging you for taking school seriously. No one is a nerd in college. No one is a suck up in college. No one has to be told to stop messing around during class, because nobody ever is messing around during class.

Any good writer (or any writer trying to get a good grade) will know that the researching process makes or breaks a paper. You chop through an Amazon of online readings, collecting and jotting down game changing facts, stats and quotes in order to support your awesome ideas and tug at your teachers rubric heart strings.

The nightmarish ending to this journey is one we all know. 

Freshmen make mistakes. Lots of them. But other people's experiences can help you avoid a few. 

Ask an upperclassman or college graduate what words they associate with “freshman” and we guarantee you that “clueless” shows up near the top of the list. It’s not the freshman’s fault. For the most part, going to college is a totally new experience. And having new experiences means making a whole bunch of new mistakes.

The year was 1776 and the American colonists were too busy fighting a war against the imperialist nation of England to be going to college. There was no American History gen-ed at the time—they had to make it first. 

Every summer break from college I made sure to go to at least one music festival. This time last year I was driving up to Michigan to the Electric Forest Festival where egos disappear and people are quite truly transformed.

Traveling to a festival and camping on the grounds is a part of the experience, but it's also kind of the worst part of the experience. But what if you lived close enough to be able to go home each night or head home during the show to shower and refresh? Would be pretty nice right? 

We think it would. And we think attending some of these schools that are mere miles from some of the most popular festival stages in the country, would make a lot of sense for someone into that scene. 

As an intern you’re not expected to do great things. You’re overlooked, slightly taken advantage of, and quickly forget. You may not even have a last name—just [insert first name] The Intern.

But the secret is—they need you. They need you and they want you there, and there’s a lot of room to be great.

So how do you do it, you ask?

Future anthropologists will mine the internet and find countless seconds of audio files called podcasts. They will add up to be much longer than a person's lifetime. These anthropologists will wonder why we burdened ourselves with so much information and how we consumed thought provoking content so consistently while working, studying and or socializing throughout the day.

Like a spoiled kid on his birthday, when you're inundated with so many toys you realize you don't have the time to play with them all, despite how entertaining and enlightening they may be.

Having something you wrote with your name attached to it on a website that you didn’t create is resume gold.

Guest blogging shows initiative, skill, and business cunning. And although it seems like everyone’s doing it, trust me, it’ll still make you stand out.

The easiest thing for college students to write about is, of course, college. Using smart phone apps in college, going to parties in college, going on spring break in college. Just look at the advice pieces written by Academbot’s recent college grads.

Making a class schedule is like a digital jigsaw puzzle.

One class lets you sleep till 11 p.m.—another follows that class directly after and at the same spot on campus—but another has a better teacher and ends earlier while another is being taken by your suitemate. As far as puzzles go this one’s pretty fun. It’s a power trip in which you’re constantly treating yourself with better classes at more flexible times. But for a first timer, it can be troubling putting so much trust into yourself and the machine.

1. Elizabeth Banks- Hi my name is Elizabeth and I'm a Communications major at the University of Pennsylvania.

2. Rachel McAdams- Hi my name is Rachel and I'm getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University.

3. Brad Pitt- Hi my name is Brad and I'm a journalism major with a focus in adveritsing at the University of Missouri.

4. Debra Messing- Hi my name is Brenda and I study theater arts at Brandies University.

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