Chess Team Challenges Campus to Blindfolded Match

UT Dallas Chess Team playing chess blind-folded.

UT Dallas Grandmasters will compete blindfolded against all challengers from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Eugene McDermott Library lobby.

How good are UT Dallas chess team players? Good enough to play blindfolded.

In conjunction with the 13th annual ChessFest, the chess team welcomes anyone to a match. And, to make it more challenging, the team members will play without looking at the board.

On Wednesday, Grandmasters George Margvelashvili and David Berczes, both University students, will welcome all challengers from noon to 2 p.m. in the Eugene McDermott Library lobby. This free event features the chess program’s giant chess set called “Chess Grande.”

“Each year at ChessFest, we are able to first showcase the impressive skills of team members as they play blindfolded chess against members of the public. It’s also a fun way to bring chess to the University community,” said Jim Stallings, chess program director.

Also part of ChessFest, the chess program named this year’s Chess Educator of the Year. 

Elizabeth Tejada, commissioner of the Florida Scholastic Chess League (FSCL), Chess Coordinator of Title I and International Chess Coordinator for FIDE (World Chess Federation), received the 2014 award.

Elizabeth Tejada

Elizabeth Tejada

“This award recognizes contributions made in chess and education by individuals both nationally and internationally,” Stallings said. “For over 15 years, Elizabeth Tejada has been the driving force behind the Title I schools chess program in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The program has had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of school children and now includes over 170 public schools.”

At a ceremony Tuesday night, Tejada spoke about her role as a Title I chess coordinator, and how to use Title I funds and chess to boost academic excellence.

“My son, Erick, was part of a chess team, which gave me the drive to immediately start working with local resources in the community and to participate in different chess tournaments.  It was the start of a great passion that has led me here,” Tejada said.

ChessFest is a celebration of chess organized annually by UT Dallas’ McDermott Library and the UT Dallas Chess Program.

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