The Webster University - SPICE Culture: Hard Work On and Off the Chess Board!


The Webster University - SPICE Culture: Hard Work On and Off the Chess Board!

I am proud to say that once again, the average GPA of members of our Webster University Chess Team last semester was close to 3.7! My students have averaged between 3.5-3.7 every semester since 2007 (in Texas as well as Missouri).

While the College Chess Committee only requires a 2.0 GPA (which I think is absurdly and embarrassingly low), SPICE requires a minimum of 3.0 GPA and our students do even a lot better than that!

Every student understands that if his/her GPA falls under 3.0, or if they do not comply with team rules, their scholarships will be revoked. I am very serious about academic excellence. I do not recruit players who think that going to college is time for drinking and partying.

But this does not effect their performance on the chess board. They have won more National and World Titles, Olympiad Medals, and major events than ALL other chess programs COMBINED!

Here are the numbers:

Since August 2012 when the SPICE program began at Webster University, our students have won 2 World Championships, 5 World Open Championships, 55 Individual and Team National Titles (including 7 consecutive years of winning the PanAm InterCollegiate Championships and Final Four), multiple Olympiad Gold and Silver medals, while maintaining the #1 ranking for well over 350 consecutive weeks (

On top of that, over 95% of our students reach their peak ratings while studying full time. So for those who say that you cannot combine academic studies and chess improvement at the same time, here is the proof.

I do not believe in the idea of having no second career after professional chess. Even chess coaching requires proper communication skill, or writing skill is required for creating good selling chess books. Other important skills include planning, managing, motivating, negotiating, organizing, etc. All of them can be learned through university studies.

And this is the reason why I created SPICE back in 2007. I want more young talented chess players to succeed BOTH ON and OFF the Chess Board!