RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 30, 2006) – The 2006 version of The University of Texas at Dallas Grandmaster Invitational will again feature an exceptionally strong field of international competitors, solidifying the event’s reputation as perhaps the premier invitational chess tournament held by a U.S. university. This year’s Grandmaster Invitational, the fifth-annual event, will be held Dec. 5-13 in Richardson.
Former UT Dallas chess team captain Yuri Shulman, 31, the 2006 U.S. Open chess champion, will be the highest-rated player among the dozen entrants, with a chess rating of 2614. Shulman holds the title of grandmaster, reserved for the chess world’s top players.
Three other grandmasters will compete in the tournament, as well: Igor Novikov, 44, formerly of the Ukraine, now living in the U.S. (chess rating of 2568); Magesh Chanran Panchanathan, 23, of India, a senior at UT Dallas majoring in computer science (2500); and Alejandro Ramirez, 18, of Costa Rica, a sophomore arts and technology major at UT Dallas (2485).
“UT Dallas is pleased to again be able to bring together such a formidable collection of chess talent in what is truly a rarity in this part of the world – an international tournament rated by the world governing body of chess, FIDE,” said Jim Stallings, director of the university’s chess program. “Chess aficionados would normally expect to have to travel to the east or west coasts of the U.S. or abroad to witness such a high-level competition. We are not aware of any invitational tournament conducted by any university in the U.S. that compares with the UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational.”
Stallings views the Grandmaster Invitational as an opportunity each year for UT Dallas to showcase its highly successful chess team and related activities – one of the top, most innovative collegiate programs in the country – as well as to stimulate interest in the game of chess locally.
As was done last year for the first time, the 2006 tournament will be held off-campus to give the event greater visibility and accessibility among the general public, who are invited to attend free of charge. All 11 rounds in the nine-day round-robin competition will be conducted in the community room of the First Bank of Canyon Creek, 429 Belle Grove Dr., Richardson.
A brief opening ceremony is planned at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, featuring UT Dallas President Dr. David Daniel, Richardson Mayor Gary Slagel and First Bank of Canyon Creek Executive Vice President David Baty. The first round will commence at 5:30 p.m. that evening.
The tournament can be followed over the Internet, Stallings said, thanks to the use for the first time of high-tech wireless devices the size of a cell phone, through which players will record their moves. Interested persons may view the games on the Internet Chess Club web site, www.chessclub.com.
In addition to the four grandmasters, all of the other competitors hold titles commensurate with their chess skill level and accomplishments – international master, FIDE master or national master. Seven of the eight are UT Dallas students: Jacek Stopa, 19, of Poland, a freshman majoring in criminal and justice studies (2465); Marko Zivanic, 21, of Serbia, a junior computer science major (2464); Davorin Kuljasevic, 20, of Croatia, a sophomore majoring in business administration (2448); Drasko Boskovic, 23, of Serbia, a sophomore business administration major (2444); John Bartholomew, 19, of the U.S., a sophomore majoring in business administration (2417); Igor Shneider, 18, of the U.S., a freshman finance major (2367); and Keaton Kiewra, 20, of the U.S., a sophomore majoring in psychology (2262).
The 12th entrant, who will be seeded seventh in the tournament based on his rating of 2451, is 56-year-old Joe Bradford of Texas. Bradford, the 2006 Senior Open champion, has won outright or tied for first in the Texas State Championship 11 times.
The dates and times of tournament rounds are:
- Round 1 – Tuesday, Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m.
- Round 2 – Wednesday, Dec. 6, 3 p.m.
- Round 3 – Thursday, Dec. 7, 3 p.m.
- Round 4 – Friday, Dec. 8, 3 p.m.
- Round 5 – Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m.
- Round 6 – Saturday, Dec. 9, 6:15 p.m.
- Round 7 – Sunday, Dec. 10, 1 p.m.
- Round 8 – Monday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m.
- Round 9 – Monday, Dec. 11, 6:15 p.m.
- Round 10 – Tuesday, Dec. 12, 1 p.m.
- Round 11 – Wednesday, Dec. 13, 12:45 p.m.
For additional information about the Grandmaster Invitational, please contact Luis Salinas of the UT Dallas chess program, who is also serving as the tournament director, at 972-883-2898 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About UT Dallas
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 14,500 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 UT Dallas, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.