EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The UTRGV Chess Team has advanced to the Final Four yet again.

On Jan. 5-8, the team competed in the 2023 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.

UTRGV competed against 44 universities and earned a spot in the Final Four. Both teams placed in the top four with Team A placing third and Team B placing fourth.

Webster University took first place, followed by the University of Missouri, UTRGV and St. Louis University. Due to rules prohibiting two teams from the same university to play against each other, UTRGV was required to choose one team to represent the school. Team A will move forward to represent UTRGV in the Final Four.

“We have qualified four times,” Chess Coach Bartek Macieja said. “We’re the only team from South Texas, and it’s more difficult for us to qualify to the Final Four tournament than to win it. I hope this will be true for us this year.”

Kamil Dragun, a UTRGV graduate student from Poland, is the most veteran player on the team. Dragun is a key player to the team and has contributed to three President’s Cup wins.

“It’s not easy to qualify,” Dragun said. “A year ago we played very well, but it wasn’t enough to qualify. But this time, everything was under our control.”

The team will continue to prepare for the Final Four or President’s Cup, which takes place in April.