Two incoming freshmen at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) took the top two places in the Denker tournament of high school champions, a prestigious annual competition among high school state chess champions from across the country. Nelson Lopez II of North Carolina and Alexander Chua of Texas finished first and second respectively at the competition, held August 6-11 in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Both Lopez and Chua plan to compete this fall for UTD’s chess team, perennially one of the top collegiate chess teams in the country.
The Denker, which this year drew 46 of the top young chess players in the country, is named after the late grandmaster and U.S. champion Arnold Denker, who founded the tournament in 1984 and supported the event throughout his life.
Each year, UTD awards a full, four-year scholarship to the Denker’s top high school junior or younger. This year, the scholarship was awarded to Tyler Hughes of Colorado, who finished fourth overall.