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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

News Release

For immediate release

News contact: Jon Senderling, UTD, (972) 883-2565, [email protected]

While San Antonio Enjoys the Noise and Hoopla,
Kansas Town Will Host Quieter Kind of 'Final Four'

Chess Powerhouse UTD Will Take on UMBC,
Two Other Schools for the President's Cup

RICHARDSON, Texas (March. 8, 2004) - On the first weekend in April, while thousands of fans crowd into San Antonio's Alamodome and many millions more watch on television to see who will emerge as the undisputed champion of college hoops (Duke? St. Joe's? Stanford? A dark horse?), another Final Four tournament - equally intense but without the glitter and breathtaking excitement of basketball's slam dunks, alley-oop passes and threes from "downtown" exploding at the buzzer, simultaneously provoking sweet delirium and stone-cold shock -- will be played out with little fanfare and an unremitting absence of scalpers, far from the maddening crowds three states to the south, in the ballroom of Brunswick Plaza, an orange brick former hotel on South Main Street in Lindsborg, a Central Kansas town of 3,300 that is nestled along the Smoky Hill River, bills itself as "A Bit of Sweden in the Heartland" and is located 20 miles south of Salina and 15 miles north of McPherson.


The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will be there - right in the thick of things.

UTD, winner of two of the first three Final Four of Chess tourneys ever held and reigning "King of the Squareboards" by virtue of last December in Miami having won the most prestigious college chess tournament held each year in the Western Hemisphere -- the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship -- will take on three of the top U.S. runners-up in the Pan Am -- UTD's longtime arch-rival, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Miami (Dade) Community College. While the winning combatant in the cerebral competition in Lindsborg may not make the cover of Sports Illustrated, the way the NCAA basketball champs no doubt will, it will get to take home the President's Cup emblematic of college chess supremacy.

The outcome almost inevitably will come down to UTD and UMBC playing head-to-head on the final day of the event. It almost always does. In both 2001 and 2002, UTD came from behind in dramatic fashion in the final game of the final match to beat UMBC and win the Final Four. But last year, the roles were reversed. UMBC trailed going into its Sunday match against the two-time winners but played almost flawlessly against UTD and dashed the team from Texas' hopes for a "three-peat."

No college basketball squad, at least not since the nonpareil UCLA teams of Coach John Wooden several decades ago, has compiled the kind of winning records that UTD and UMBC have in chess in recent years. UMBC has either won or tied for first place in five of the last seven Pan Am tournaments. UTD has either won or tied for first in three of the last four Pan Am events and, as previously noted, has won outright two of the three Final Four competitions. In fact, the two teams are such sure bets that office pools are not permitted in chess.

"This one will probably be the same and come down to another hard-fought battle between the two best teams in college chess," said Dr. Tim Redman, director of UTD's chess program. "UMBC is statistically the favorite, but they were last December in Miami and we beat them anyway. Our coach, International Master Rade Milovanovic, has the team ready, but for us to win, our players have to want it more."

UTD will be represented at this year's Final Four, which is being hosted by the Anatoly Karpov School of Chess in Lindsborg, by Grandmaster (GM) Marcin Kaminski of Poland, 26, a senior majoring in computer science and software engineering; International Master (IM) Dmitry Scheider of New York, 18, a freshman business administration major; IM Magesh Chandran Panchanathan of India, 20, a freshman majoring in telecommunications; and IM Amon Simutowe of Zambia, 21, a freshman majoring in economics and finance. FIDE Master (FM) Daniel Fernandez of Florida, 18, a freshman majoring in economics, will serve as alternate. 

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 13,700 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's web site at www.utdallas.edu.

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