Saint Louis University Wins President's Cup to Claim Collegiate Chess National Championship, Becoming No. 1 Program in the Country

ST. LOUIS, April 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Saint Louis University Chess Team has become the No. 1 collegiate program in the country, winning the 2022 President’s Cup – the Final Four of College Chess ­­– held April 2-3 at Texas Tech University. 

Co-hosted by the United States Chess Federation (USCF), the President’s Cup is an annual invitational team championship ­open to the top four U.S. schools from the most recent Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. SLU won the Pan American championship with a perfect score in January. 

Saint Louis University’s chess program also has scored major victories at the 2021 International Chess Federation (FIDE) World University Online Chess Championships, the 2020 U.S. Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championship and the 2019 Midwest Collegiate Championship, among others.

“We have won every event we can participate in,” said SLU Chess Team Coach Alejandro Ramirez. “The National Champion feather was the last one we were missing on our cap. Now SLU is undoubtedly the No. 1 chess university in the country.” 

SLU’s winning team at the 2022 President’s Cup was comprised of six grandmasters: Dariusz Swiercz, Nikolas Theodorou, Benjamin Bok, Robby Kevlishvili, Akshat Chandra and Cemil Can Ali Marandi

SLU’s chess program currently has 14 members. Coach Ramirez became a chess grandmaster at the age of 15 and gained international recognition playing in multiple Olympiads and World Championships. 

The Saint Louis University Chess Team was established in fall 2016 as a partnership between SLU and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint 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 reputation for academic excellence. SLU recruits undergraduate and graduate students through donor-sponsored competitive chess scholarships, which can include tuition, room and board, and fees. 

The chess team is headquartered in a recently remodeled space on campus that allows members open access to analyze the game using two powerful computers. The chess facility also has four DGT electronic chess boards that enable team members to input plays as they study them. 

For more information on chess scholarships and the chess program at SLU, visit

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