Collegiate Chess League Season 4: Finals


The fourth season of the Collegiate Chess League came to a dramatic finish this weekend with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley completing their perfect season 10-0 to win the championship title along with $5,000. They took down last season’s defending champions UChicago in a close 9-7 victory. This is the final recap of the fourth season along with the full prize breakdown of all 14 divisions.

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Finals Highlights

The defending champions UChicago made it all the way back to the finals after narrowly defeating Yale in the semifinals the week before. Now they were up against the undefeated University of Texas Rio Grande Valley team who beat the all-star Mizzou team to make it to the final round.

This was the first finals appearance for the Texas team, but not the first finals appearance for their coach GM Barlomiej Macieja who made it to the finals last year as a player in the University of Warsaw team. His experience from last season certainly helped in their preparation against the strong Chicago team whose top two players GM Awonder Liang and GM Praveen Balakrishnan were held to only two points each.

Here is a good example of a game where Texas took down Liang thanks to a strong performance from IM Irakli Beradze.

Irakli had an impressive 3/4 score coming in second on his team only behind their top board GM Kamil Dragun, who scored 3.5/4 by drawing just his game against Balakrishnan. These huge performances along with crucial points from both GM Arman Mikaelyan and IM Viktor Gazik earned UTRGV their first ever championship along with $5,000 to end their perfect 10-0 season.

Game of the Week

Throughout the season there have been many games highlighted for their brilliant display of chess skills in the highest division. These games include tactics and mates played by talented masters that inspire chess fans from across the world. The final game of the week of this season goes to a more unusual game played by Yousif Alhajji from Boston University’s D team in Division 13. This amazing game started with the Stafford gambit surely inspired by IM Eric Rosen’s commentary over the match.

Yousif is one of Boston’s captains and was recently accepted into Chess.com’s new ambassador program. As an ambassador, he will be sharing the game of chess and inspiring others to play by making chess fun and exciting. Even if the Stafford Gambit isn’t the most reputable chess opening, it sure makes for a fun and exciting game which has won the hearts of many, including Rosen and his fans.

Clip of the Week

This week’s clip comes from Rosen’s call of a blunder in true Eric Rosen fashion.

Live broadcast of the Collegiate Chess League is available at twitch.tv/collegiatechessleague; commentary provided by Joe Lee and IM Eric Rosen.

Prize Breakdown

Every season the competition keeps getting stronger, so making it to the final four of the division is already quite impressive. Congratulations to all the teams that made it this far, especially to the champions of each division. These are the final standings for the top four teams of each division along with their hard-earned prizes.

Division 1:

  1. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: $5,000
  2. University of Chicago: $2,000
  3. University of Missouri: $1,000
  4. Yale University: $750

Division 2:

  1. Duke University: $2,500
  2. Temple University: $1,000
  3. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: $500
  4. CentraleSupelec-Universite Paris-Saclay: $300

Division 3:

  1. Northeastern University: $1,500
  2. Indian Institute of Technology BHU: $750
  3. Duke University B: $500
  4. Boston University: $300

Division 4:

  1. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign B: $1,000
  2. Universite de Franche-Comte: $500
  3. University of Toronto: $300
  4. Duke University C: $200

Division 5:

  1. Asia Pacific University: $750
  2. Yale University C: $500
  3. University of Illinois at Chicago: $250
  4. George Mason University: $100

Division 6:

  1. University at Buffalo: $500
  2. American University of Armenia: $300
  3. University of Waterloo C: $200
  4. University of Ottawa: four one-year diamond memberships

Division 7:

  1. UC Santa Barbara B: $400
  2. Santa Clara University: $200
  3. UC San Diego C: $100
  4. University of Florida B: four one-year diamond memberships

Division 8:

  1. University of Manchester: $300
  2. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology: $200
  3. California Institute of Technology: four one-year diamond memberships
  4. University of Illinois at Chicago B: $100

Division 9:

  1. UC Berkeley F: $250
  2. Washington University in St. Louis C: $150
  3. Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology: $100
  4. University of Chicago D: four one-year diamond memberships

Division 10:

  1. Indiana University B: $200
  2. University of Arizona B: $150
  3. University of Mississippi: four one-year diamond memberships
  4. University of Florida C: four six-month diamond memberships

Division 11:

  1. University of Missouri B: $200
  2. Georgia Institute of Technology C: $100
  3. Louisiana State University: four one-year diamond memberships
  4. Baylor University B: four six-month diamond memberships

Division 12:

  1. University of Texas at Austin C: $150
  2. University of Waterloo D: $100
  3. Wilfrid Laurier University C: four one-year diamond memberships
  4. Northeastern University C: four six-month diamond memberships

Division 13:

  1. Boston University D: $100
  2. Baylor University C: 4 one-year diamond memberships
  3. PDPM Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Jabalpur B: four six-month diamond memberships
  4. UCLA E: four three-month diamond memberships

Division 14:

  1. University of Nevada Las Vegas C: four one-year diamond memberships
  2. Northeastern University D: four six-month diamond memberships
  3. George Mason University D: four three-month diamond memberships
  4. Baylor University D: four one-month diamond memberships

Additional Prizes:

  • $500 for the club with the most multi-club arena first place finishes goes to UChicago with 5/9
  • $500 to the club with the most hours streamed on Twitch goes to the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. You can find their channel on twitch.tv/buetchessclub
  • $500 to the club with the most viewed twitch clip goes to the University of Waterloo thanks to their streamer Alyssa Zhu who streams on twitch.tv/alyssazhu

The full list of division standings and playoff brackets are available here after you navigate to Collegiate Chess.

Finally, if you are interested in becoming a college ambassador for Chess.com, check out our article on what it means to be an ambassador and how to apply. We’ve already started accepting the inaugural class of ambassadors in the program, and applications for the summer program will close on June 1.

For any league-related questions, please email Commissioner Joe Lee at ccl@chess.com.


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