Blind Ambitions:  Chess Champs Play Exhibition Without Looking
Outdoor Challenge Gives Team an Opportunity to Give Plaza's New Lifesize Board a Workout

Blue skies, cool breezes and temperatures in the mid-60s created  perfect conditions for an outdoor chess match last week at Chess Plaza. Members of the championship-holding UT Dallas Chess Team invited students, faculty and members of the community to play them – while the team members were blindfolded.

International Master Julio Sadorra, a sophomore majoring in applied mathematics, began the event by taking on freshman Grandmaster Cristian Chirila, an international political economy major. After that game ended in a draw, freshmen Charles Jang, JC Norwood and Peter Rangel each challenged Sadorra to a match. Despite their valiant attempt, Sadorra prevailed.

Outdoor Chess Match 2011 Outdoor Chess Match 2011 Outdoor Chess Match 2011
Outdoor Chess Match 2011

Players used a new wooden chess set selected because it matched the scale of Chess Plaza perfectly.

“The pieces represent a classic chess design that will never go out of style,” said Jim Stallings, chess program director.

Chess Plaza, which opened in fall 2010 as part of the Campus Enhancement project, consists of four human-scale chessboards each measuring 256 square feet. The exhibition was  held in conjunction with the 10th annual ChessFest, a celebration of chess as competition, recreation and education at UT Dallas. ChessFest was created and co-presented by the UT Dallas Chess Program and the Eugene McDermott Library.

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Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].