Yermo's Travelogue: the 2017 Spice Cup
by Alex Yermolinsky
Recently, the 2017 Spice Cup was held in St. Louis, Missouri, and won by Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Yunieska Quesada, and Dariusz Swiercz. This traditional event is organised by Webster University, also home to the strongest collegiate team in the US. It brought players from around the globe, including a field rich in titled players. Among them was our correspondent Alex Yermolinsky, who performed well, and brings his report with some fantastic games and notes. Not to be missed!
The 11th Annual Spice Cup attracted 61 players from 19 countries, including 21 Grandmasters, 6 International Masters and one Women Grandmaster. The traditional event is sponsored by Webster University, the host of the strongest program in American Collegiate chess. Headed by Susan Polgar, the Webster Team boasts international stars from all over the world and they have won the National Championship seven years in a row.
Things aren't looking to be easier for the competition in the upcoming years, as Webster has recently added Peruvian stars Jorge Cori, Emilio Cordova, and Hungary's Peter Prohaszka, with more talent still on the waiting list.
There is no question that for many a young chessplayer coming to St. Louis to pursue college education while honing their chess skills not only represents an attractive option but is also a great opportunity. I wish the best of luck to all future applicants, but, <disclaimer> please, do not contact the author of this article with inquiries, as I am not in any shape or form associated with the Webster University Chess Program.
I really like playing in the Spice Cup. There are many advantages: a restricted number of players, therefore no overcrowding; a strong field to provide challenging competition; a comfortable game in 90 minutes time control, and a very nice location.