Over-the-Board College Chess, 2024


Since 1946, the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship (Pan-Am) has attracted college chess teams from North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Since 2001, the top four U.S. schools at the immediately previous Pan-Am qualify for the President’s Cup, also known as the “Final Four of College Chess,” to determine the best U.S. chess college.

2024 Pan-Am

Although the Pan-Am used to be held between Christmas and New Year’s Day, in recent years it has occurred at the start of January. The 2024 Pan-Am is scheduled for January 4–7 in Texas, at the McAllen Convention Center. Chess rates at nearby hotels must be reserved by mid-December, according to the organizer’s website.

For both the Pan-Am and the President’s Cup, the time control is Game in 90 minutes plus a 30-second increment per move (90m + 30s). Each competition features teams of four players, with up to two alternates per team.

2024 President’s Cup

The location of the President’s Cup often depends on which schools qualify for it. For example, the 2023 President’s Cup was hosted by Webster University, which was one of the qualifying schools. Two of the other qualifying schools were from Missouri: Saint Louis University and the University of Missouri, nicknamed “Mizzou.” Only The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley team had to travel from another state to the President’s Cup. The President’s Cup usually happens on the same weekend as the Final Four of College Basketball, which in 2024 is scheduled for April 6 and 8.

2023 President’s Cup

In the last round of the 2023 President’s Cup, Webster faced Mizzou. As reported by JJ Lang on Chess Life Online, “A win would secure victory for Webster, but a loss could lead to a traffic jam atop the standings. Chaos appeared to be on the way when Gledura lost to GM Grigoriy Oparin on the top board.” 

Benjamin Gledura (left) vs Gregoriy Oparin (right)
 Benjamin Gledura (left) vs Gregoriy Oparin (right)
from a previous encounter, Pan-Am 2023
Photo by Maximilian Mihaylov

Oparin played on Board 1 for Mizzou, while GM Benjamin Gledura led Webster.

Aram Hakobyan vs Mikhail Antipov
Aram Hakobyan vs Mikhail Antipov
photo by Michael Clubb

On Board 2, GM Aram Hakobyan from Webster won against GM Mikhail Antipov from Mizzou.

Record Tied

With its Board 3 winning and Board 4 drawing, Webster won the match 2.5 to 1.5 over Mizzou. By winning the 2023 President’s Cup, Webster University tied the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s record of six President’s Cup victories.

WIM Alexey Root, PhD

Alexey Root is a Woman International Master and the 1989 U.S. Women's chess champion. Her peak US Chess rating was 2260. She has a PhD in education from UCLA. You can find her books on chess on Amazon.com.

About the players

One Response

  1. GardaOrId
    GardaOrId at

    Fascinating article! I’m truly impressed with the comprehensive coverage of this year’s over-the-board college chess championship. With in-depth details and careful analysis, this article successfully conveys the excitement and competitive spirit within the world of chess.

    The emphasis on strategies and tactics from top players provides valuable insights for chess enthusiasts. I highly appreciate how this article not only focuses on the end results but also delves into the journey of each game, giving us a better understanding of the fascinating chess gameplay process.

    Moreover, the coverage of the competition atmosphere at the tournament truly revives the intense spirit of competition among talented students. It’s not only entertaining but also inspiring readers to get more involved in the world of chess.

    Overall, this article presents a rich and in-depth view of this year’s over-the-board college chess championship. It’s amazing to see chess becoming a stage for intelligence, strategy, and competitive spirit. Thanks for this outstanding coverage!

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