Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory

Chess Team Finishes in Top Four Nationwide

Saint Louis University’s Chess team finished fourth in the nation, competing with the nation’s collegiate chess elite at the Final Four of College Chess over the Easter weekend in New York City.

SLU's chess team

SLU's chess team has racked up a score of strong performances and garnered national attention. SLU photo

The tournament began on Friday, March 30, at the historic Marshall Chess Club, and the University of Texas-Rio Grande eventually took home the tourney’s top honors.

The tournament was another key match in a year of strong performances in both the individual and team settings. Two players, alumnus Alexander Ipatov and junior Dariusz Swiercz, now both sit in the top-100 players in the world.

The team has garnered significant national attention. Freshman grandmaster Dorsa Derakhshani, grabbed headlines around the world, not only for her play, but also for her decision to play internationally without wearing the hijab, a requirement in her native Iran. She went on to write about her experience in a column published by the New York Times.

Established in the fall of 2015 as a partnership between SLU and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, with support from SLU alumnus, University trustee and chess enthusiast Rex Sinquefield, the team is not just a club activity but rather a strategic effort by administrators and alumni to recruit promising players and build on the University's excellent academic reputation. 

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place. For more information, visit