Chess Team Foiled by University of Belgrade
UT Dallas Relinquishes Transatlantic Cup After 3 Straight Years of Victory

The UT Dallas Chess Team fell to opponents from the University of Belgrade last Friday, bringing the Comets’ three-year winning streak in the annual Transatlantic Cup match to an end. The game ended with a final point tally of 11.5-4.5, in favor of Belgrade’s team.

Belgrade  Chess Match 2010

State Representative Jerry Madden (standing, right) joined the UT Dallas chess team for the opening ceremony at the School of Management Davidson Auditorium.

The stateside portion of the Internet-based match was played in the School of Management Davidson Auditorium. The 16 UT Dallas team members, whose chess ratings ranged from the highest possible designation of Grandmaster (GM) to unrated status, played for about an hour and a half in a rapid-style competition.

“There were different expectations this year,” said International Master (IM) Sal Bercys, a senior majoring in accounting. “In other years we were the favorites to win, but not this year.”

IM Julio Sadorra, Bercys and National Candidate Master Courtney Jamison won their games outright. Three other games resulted in a draw. Bercys said that preparation was key to his individual victory, while Jamison said the turning point in her game came halfway through, on move 27.

“My opponent and I had traded pawns on the queenside, but my two bishops worked together to protect my last pawn on that side while his pawn, on a3, was too weak to keep,” she said. “Eventually, he lost that pawn, ran his time down, and other factors led up to him losing a rook. He resigned shortly after.”

Coach Milovanovic said, “IM Bercys and IM Sadorra demonstrated with their wins that they are in good shape. Courtney also produced a good win against her opponent.”

Jamison, a freshman majoring in biology, considered the large team format an exciting part of the competition.

“I’ve played in matches against individual people, but the team component really makes things interesting,” she said. “To be on stage with 15 other players, competing with another team across the globe, is definitely an honor.”

Chess Program Director Jim Stallings cited the disparity in competition levels in the lower half of the UT Dallas team roster as one reason for the loss.

“Going into this year’s match, we knew we were at a ratings’ disadvantage on the lower half of the roster,” he said. “However, when one looks at the final score, one realizes that the University of Belgrade deserves credit for playing well throughout their roster. Congratulations to them.”

Stallings also thanked the Internet Chess Club for helping make the match possible.

The European Chess Union formed a partnership with UT Dallas in 2006.


European Chess Union Presents MedalRecognizing UT Dallas’ Contributions

Earlier this fall, the European Chess Union (ECU) awarded its Silver Medal to The University of Texas at Dallas for the University's “invaluable contribution to European chess.” It was the only medal awarded by the ECU this year.

The ECU, comprised of 54 federations, formed an international partnership with UT Dallas after the 2006 Transatlantic Cup contest between the University and the University of Belgrade. The partnership pledges scholarship support from UT Dallas for young master-level chess champs at the European Youth Championships of the Boys Under-16 and Girls Under-16 sections.

Chess Program Director Jim Stallings looks forward to the continuation of the ECU partnership.

“Enthusiasm for the partnership was there on both sides, from Day One,” he recalled. “We view it as an international recruiting tool to reach some of the best young minds abroad, who both excel in chess and who possess insatiable intellectual curiosity.”

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

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