UT Dallas Unable to Fend Off Fierce Competition
Chess Team Fails to Overcome Round 1 Setbacks in Final Four Tournament
Apr. 12, 2010
The University of Texas at Dallas chess team came up short Sunday at the 2010 Final Four, ending two days of play and the season in fourth place.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) claimed victory for the second year in a row.
The Final Four of Chess, which determines the winner of the President’s Cup, brings together the top four U.S. collegiate chess teams every year for a season-ending tournament.
This year’s competition was held at the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) on April 10 & 11.
UT Dallas drew white at the Friday evening dinner and played UMBC Saturday morning. The team was on black against UTB Saturday evening; and finished on white against Texas Tech on Sunday.
“This was the strongest Final Four ever,” team captain Marko Zivanic said. “We did not play so well. We missed many chances.
“In Round 1 against UMBC, after three hours we had good chances to win the match, which would have completely changed the flow of the tournament. After the loss, it was more difficult.”
Coach Rade Milovanovic praised UT Dallas' Salvius Bercys, an international master, who finished the tournament with two personal wins and no losses. “Both IM (Julio) Sadorra and IM (Daniel) Ludwig had winning positions in games, but you have to win them,” Milovanovic said.
Program Director Jim Stallings saw the 2010 Final Four as a watershed moment for the team.
“We will use this experience to build upon for successes in the future,” he said. “We’ll go back to basics and work as never before to reclaim chess supremacy, rebuilding our team’s mental toughness and stamina. As golfer Bobby Jones once said, ‘Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch court - the space between your ears.’ ”
UT Dallas’ chess team is part of a broader chess program that includes an inclusive chess club, on-line chess courses for academic credit and summer chess camps for children.