Our community at Webster University believes transformative academic experiences begin with prioritizing research, technology, and accessibility. At Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), we believe college chess is the critical component that merges these necessary components with skill.

By working and assisting one another, we have become a premier center for chess education and outreach.


SPICE's Mission

Our mission is to be a leader in promoting chess as a vehicle for enriching the education of children; be a leader in promoting women’s chess; recruit outstanding students to the University; earn national and international recognition for the University; support and promote competitive chess at the college level; and to support our nation’s most elite chess program.

Additional Resources & Support

Lazaro Bruzon Batista
Roman Kozelov
John Burke Yuriy Krykun
Ezra Chambers Alexander Lenderman
Emilio Cordova Daza Jakob Michelizzi 

Brian Escalante

Illia Nyzhnyk
Joshua Figueroa Peter Prohaszka
Wendy Garcia Alonso Yuniesky Quesada Perez
Benjamin Gledura Tom Shutzman
Aaron Grabinsky

Leeam Shutzman

Aram Hakobyan  

Chess Accomplishments

  • Winner of 4 Women's World Championships (Under 16, Blitz, Rapid, and Classical)
  • The only World Champion in history to win the Triple-Crown (Rapid, Blitz, and Classical World Championships)
  • 5-time Olympic Champion with 10 overall medals (5 Gold, 4 Silver, and 1 Bronze)
  • 2006 Women's Chess Cup Champion

Previously Held Five World Records:

  • 56 consecutive Olympiad game Scoring Streak* (A record of 31 wins, 25 draws, 0 loss [77.7%] over 4 Chess Olympiads from 1988 - 2004, all on board 1)
  • Most Simultaneous Games Played (326 players: 309 wins, 14 draws and 3 losses = 96.93% in 16 hours and 30 minutes)
  • Most Games Won Simultaneously (309)
  • Highest Simultaneous Winning Percentage (96.93%, beating the old record of 95.64%)
  • Most Consecutive Games Played* (1,131 games against 551 opponents: 1,112 wins, 16 draws and 3 losses = 99.03% - Previous record: 1,102 games)
    *still unbroken

First Woman in History to:

  • Break the gender barrier to qualify for the Men's World Championship Cycle (1986)
  • Earn the Men's Grandmaster title (1991) through traditional FIDE requirements
  • Receive the Grandmaster of the Year Award (2003)
  • Win the U.S. Open (Men) Blitz Championship (2003, 2005, 2006)
  • Coach a Collegiate Men's Division I team to win the National Championship (2011)
  • Coach a Collegiate Men's Division I team to win 5 straight National Championships (2011-present)
  • Coach the #1 ranked Collegiate Men's Division I team in the nation (2011-present)

Other Notable Accomplishments

  • Won the Girls' Budapest Championship under 11 at the age of 4 with a perfect 10-0 score!
    #1 ranked woman chess player in the world at the age of 15 (remained rated in the top 3 in the world for nearly 25 straight years)
  • Still currently rated as the #1 female in the United States
  • Award-winning and best-selling chess author in numerous languages
  • Winner of the prestigious Cramer Award for "Best Chess Column of the Year" (2003)
  • 3-time winner of the Chess Journalists of America Award for Best Magazine Column and Best Endgame Analysis
  • First ever recipient of the “Chess Educator of the Year” award (2003)
  • First ever recipient of the “US Scholastic Chess Ambassador” award (2006)
  • Ambassador and final torch bearer for the Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany in 2008
  • Chess for Peace Ambassador with former World Champion Anatoly Karpov and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev
  • A pioneer in women's chess and a true role model to millions of young people worldwide
  • Founder of the Susan Polgar Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to promote chess, with all its educational, social and competitive benefits throughout the U.S., for young people of all ages, especially girls. The foundation has awarded around $3 million in chess prizes/scholarships to young chess players on behalf of various supporters/sponsors
  • Sponsor and organizer of the prestigious annual SPICE Cup, SPICE Spring Invitational, NY City Mayor's Cup, Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational Championship, Susan Polgar World Open and Susan Polgar National Open for Girls and Boys, etc.
  • Founder and Managing Director of www.ChessDailyNews.com, the world's most popular and respected chess blog
  • Head Coach of the Texas Tech #1 ranked and National Championship teams (6/2007-6/2012), which captured 15 national, 2 state, and 2 regional titles in 4 years, and Webster University #1 ranked and National Championship teams (6/2012 - present), which captured 33 national and 2 world titles in 3 years.
  • Director of SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) at Texas Tech University (2007-2012)
  • Director of SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) at Webster University (June 2012-present)
  • Head Coach of the Webster University #1 ranked chess team in the nation (June 2012-present)

Discover chess using Susan’s comprehensive training guide; download here for free .

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Susan Polgar

Chess Excellence Scholarship Applications

At Webster, we welcome those students interested in competing in local, national, and international chess tournaments to apply for our scholarships. Those students wanting to apply must be at the main campus (Webster Groves/St. Louis, USA) and should do so by the Friday before the term begins.

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