RICHARDSON, Texas (May 25, 2005) – To the victors go the spoils – as The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) college chess team learned to its delight this past weekend at the most lucrative open chess tournament in history, held in Minneapolis.
UTD’s “A” Team, which includes some of the best collegiate chess players in the country, won the top college chess team award and a total of $3,500 in prize money at the first-ever HB Global Chess Challenge, which concluded on Sunday. Most of the prize money, $2,500, will be directed to the UTD chess program, while $1,000 will be donated to the university’s chess club.
The tournament, which drew about 2,000 participants from 30 countries including scores of grandmasters from around the world, boasted a $50,000 top prize for individual players and a $500,000 total purse – said to be the highest ever in an open chess tournament.
“Our players certainly rose to the challenge in an historic event,” said Dr. Tim Redman, a professor of literary studies in UTD's School of Arts & Humanities and founder and director of the university's chess program. “It was without question the strongest open tournament with the largest prize fund ever.”
According to Redman, the cash award won by UTD was the largest team purse in the history of collegiate chess.
The event was sponsored by the HB Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Eagan, Minnesota, whose aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of chess for children. The foundation provides stipends to chess coaches and teachers and buys chess sets for schools in Minnesota that incorporate the game into their curriculum.
Competing for UTD were members of the university’s top team -- Michal Kujovic, a senior majoring in statistics, Magesh Chandran Panchanathan, a junior majoring in computer science , Dimitry Schneider, a sophomore business administration major, Amon Simutowe, a sophomore majoring in economics and finance and Peter Vavrak, a senior majoring in business administration. The team was coached by International Master Rade Milovanovic.
UTD, which doesn’t have a football team, annually competes for top honors in collegiate chess. Last December, it won the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, the top tournament of its kind held each year in the Western Hemisphere, for the second consecutive year. Last month, the university finished second in the annual Final Four of Chess, another major college competition.
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 14,000 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.