CASNR students part of USCF’s ‘2020 Chess College of the Year’ team
By: Norman Martin
Last month Texas Tech was named the '2020 Chess College of the Year,' a top national collegiate honor presented by the U.S. Chess Federation. Ticking off the academic interests of the team's standout members you will see engineering, mathematics, computer science, finance and physics.
But you'll also find two international champions from Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
International Grandmaster Andrii Baryshpolets is a doctoral candidate in Tech's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, while Women's International Master Iryna Andrenko graduated in May with a master's degree in horticulture science from Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science.
Baryshpolets joined Tech's chess team in 2015. Honors for the Kyiv, Ukraine native include Ukrainian Champion Under 18 (2008), along with winning the Delhi International Open (2015), Golden State Open (2017), and Pan-American Championship (2015, 2019).
Away from high-level chess competitions, Baryshpolets has served as a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. His research interests have broadly focused on the world's sunflower oil trade. Baryshpolets' advisor is Associate Professor Olga Murova.
Meanwhile, Andrenko joined Tech's Women's Chess Team in 2015. She was a three-time winner of the all-female team trophy at the Pan-American Chess Championship (2016, 2017, 2019). At the U.S. Collegiate Championships last year, she won both the Women's Blitz Championship and the Women's Rapid Championship, becoming the first woman to accomplish that feat.
In addition to dueling with chess challengers, the Simferopol, Ukraine native has worked as a teaching and research assistant, as well as a lab instructor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science. Andrenko's advisor was Thayne Montague, an associate professor of horticulture with joint appointment with Texas AgriLife Research. Her thesis was devoted to analyzing salinity tolerance of selected Texas wildflowers in a hydroponic setting.
Established in 2007, the Texas Tech Chess Program – known as the Knight Raiders – is led by Grandmaster Alex Onischuk, who serves as head coach and program director. The university has a strong history of success, including winning the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships in 2015 and in 2019 with a 6-0 perfect score. The team also qualified for the President's Cup nine of the last 11 years. Texas Tech previously was named 'Chess College of the Year' in 2014.
"The members of the Texas Tech Chess Program have been a source of pride and inspiration for students at Texas Tech and in communities across the state," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0626NM20 / For more information on Texas Tech University's Chess Program, please click here
Editor's Note: A new online, video-orientated Red Raider Orientation is now available for our Fall 2020 incoming students. The microsite features a 'Meet the Deans' introduction, six CASNR department videos, three 'How To' videos, four 'Helpful Links' and a FAQ section.
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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