Mizzou Chess Team wins 2024 Pan-American Intercollegiate Championship

Left to right: Josiah Stearman, Grigory Oparin, Harshit Raja, Cristian Chirila (head coach), Mikhail Antipov, Luka Budisavljevic

Jan. 10, 2024

The University of Missouri Chess Team recently took top honors at the 2024 Pan-American Intercollegiate Championship for the first time in the event's 78-year history. The competition is considered the most prestigious collegiate chess event in the Americas.

“Our team has been preparing rigorously throughout the semester, and our players' resilience and level of professionalism has been commendable, "said Grandmaster Cristian Chirila, the team’s head coach and manager. “I am very proud of what we achieved this season, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for our program.”

Josiah Stearman, M.Ed. ’23, showed his skills at the event. Stearman, who graduated in December 2023, was undefeated as he secured important victories against the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Chicago. 

“Playing in my last National Championship was truly a bittersweet moment with the Mizzou Chess Team,” Stearman said. “This team has been very special to me, and I know they will continue to do great things, starting with the Final Four this Spring.” 

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