Claudia Muñoz on the Southwest Collegiate: Hard Work Pays Off

Every year in the month of February, the Southwest Collegiate Championship, a one-day rapid tournament showcases the region’s universities and chess programs. The tournament rotates annually, and this year it was hosted at the University of Texas at Dallas. With its beautiful glass windows and comfortable couches, the Davidson Gundy Alumni Center set a relaxing environment for the event. A total of twenty-four teams participated, up from the previous year. Although the event is open to all southwestern universities, all participating teams hailed from Texas this year. We look forward to the participation of more universities in the region including more all women’s teams. The Texas Tech B team, also known as the women’s team, had its best tournament yet, scoring a total of 3 match points and finishing in 9th place. The Texas State University Chess Club also brought a women's team under faculty advisor Dr. Suzana Villanueva, former Texas Tech student and chess player. This is an improvement for women’s chess, as we are seeing more women participate in collegiate events. The president of the TSU Chess Club, Johnny Rochell, stated, "The women's team competed great and showed the improvement we have been working on in and outside of the club. I see [everyone] pushing forward and doing better the next tournament."
Texas State University Chess Club
As the tournament went along, there were a few major upsets including a 1400 rated player defeating a Grand Master after remarkably missing a checkmate in two. I was even blessed to score a draw against an International Master. Overall, the tournament was successfully run.  FIDE Arbiter Francisco Guadalupe and FIDE Arbiter Luis Salinas were well-organized. In the end, the University of Rio Grande Valley and Texas Tech University tied for first place with a total of 4.5 match points. To avoid shared first place, tournament rules dictate that the teams tied select one player from each team to play a two-minute Armageddon game. UTRGV selected IM Guillermo Vasquez, and Texas Tech selected GM-Elect Sergei Matsenko. The odds fell in our favor as GM-elect Matsenko played black, only needing a draw to secure first place. Emotions surged as the two battled for gold. Coach of the Texas Tech team, (and new US HOF inductee) Alexander Onischuk, stated, “I wasn't watching the game. It was too stressful! I had a good feeling about it, but with this time control, anything can happen.” Ultimately, GM-Elect Matsenko drew the match, earning Texas Tech the championship title. Here is the video of this historic moment:
Andrii Baryshpolets, Sergey Matsenko, Pavlo Vorontsov  
 Being a part of the Texas Tech Chess family has been a blessing. I have the privilege of seeing my teammates on and off the chessboard, and I am proud to say that they are very hardworking and passionate about chess. They spend countless hours studying, practicing, and discussing chess apart from their normal day-to-day schoolwork and activities. Hard work is paying off! Here is an annotated game by GM Andrii Baryshpolets:

[Event "South West Collegiate 2018"]
[Site "Dallas"]
[Date "2018.02.24"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Raznikov, Dani"]
[Black "Baryshpolets, Andrey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D00"]
[Annotator "Andrey"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2018.02.24"]
[EventType "team-swiss (rapid)"]
[EventRounds "5"]
[EventCountry "USA"]

1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nd2 Bf5 6. Ngf3 Qb6 7. dxc5 {the
right decision} (7. Qb3 c4 8. Qxb6 axb6 {seems more promising for Black}) 7...
Qxb2 8. Nd4 e5 $5 {Here Black had other options} (8... Bg4 9. f3 e5 10. Nb5 Rc8
11. Rb1 Qxa2 12. Ra1 $11) ({And even} 8... Ne4 $5) 9. Bxe5 {the best move.
Otherwise White is in trouble} (9. Nxf5 exf4 $17) 9... Bg4 10. Rb1 Qa3 11. f3 (
{safer option was} 11. Rb3 Bxd1 12. Rxa3 Nxe5 13. Kxd1 Bxc5 14. Rb3 Bb6 {
with slightly better position for Black}) 11... Nxe5 12. fxg4 a6 $1 {I like
this move very much. I felt that prophylaxis against Nb5 or Bb5+ is more more
important than development of the Kingside.} ({However, the engine suggests a
"desperado" line} 12... Bxc5 13. Nb5 Qxa2 (13... Qa5 14. Nb3 Qb6 15. Nxc5 Qxc5
16. Qd4 $16) 14. Nc7+ ({White can make a draw if he wants} 14. Ra1 Qb2 15. Rb1)
14... Kd7 15. Nxa8 Bxe3 16. Rxb7+ Kc6 $1 17. Rb4 Rxa8 {with an unclear position})
13. Rxb7 $2 {In this unbalanced positon White simply has no time for greed.} ({
Probably the best was} 13. N2b3 Qa4 $1 $13 {with mutual chances}) (13. g5) ({and
} 13. Be2 {were also better than the move in the game}) 13... Bxc5 14. N2b3 (
14. Be2 O-O $15) (14. g5 Nfg4 $1 $17) 14... O-O $1 {At that point I had
already anticipated my 16th move.} (14... Nexg4 $5 $17) 15. Nc2 Qb2 16. Qd2 Ra7
$1 $19 17. Rxa7 (17. Nxc5 Rxb7 18. Nxb7 Ne4 $19) 17... Bxa7 18. Ncd4 Qb1+ 19.
Qd1 Qe4 20. Be2 Nfxg4 21. Bxg4 Nxg4 22. Qf3 Qb1+ 23. Kd2 Qxa2+ 24. Kc1 Bxd4 25.
Nxd4 Qa1+ (25... Rb8 26. Nc2 Rb2 {wins immediately}) 26. Kd2 Qxh1 27. Qxg4 Qxh2
28. Nf5 {Setting the last trap} g6 (28... Qe5 $4 29. Nh6+ Kh8 30. Nxf7+ Rxf7
31. Qc8+ $18) 29. Qg5 f6 30. Ne7+ Kf7 31. Qxd5+ Kxe7 32. Qb7+ Ke8 33. Qc6+ Kf7
34. Qc7+ Qxc7 0-1[/pgn]

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