Chess team heads to Final Four

Published 03/13 2013 09:48PM

Updated 03/18 2013 04:01PM

CHAMPAIGN -- The Illini men's basketball team hopes to make it to the Final Four later this month, but another UI team already has. The chess team is headed to the President's Cup. It's known as the Final Four in college chess.

The Illini were ranked 14th in the Pan-American Championship. They upset the number 6 team to tie for first and qualify for the cup.

The orange and blue were considered the underdog with no grand masters on their team. They don't even have a coach.

"All of the players we're competing against, they're pretty well-known chess players," Freshman Eric Rosen said. "Hopefully our preparation will be good enough to maybe score a few wins or even a few draws."

The UI last played in the Pan-American Championship 20 years ago. The team won then as well.

This year's team will take on teams from the University of Texas-Dallas, Webster University in St. Louis and University of Maryland, Baltimore County at the President's Cup. It's held April 6-7 in Rockville, Maryland.

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