International Field Competes at UT Dallas Spring FIDE Open

Jim Stallings (left) UT Dallas Chess

Jim Stallings (left), UT Dallas chess program director, awards Grandmaster Bartlomiej Macieja the first place trophy at the fourth annual UT Dallas Spring FIDE Open.

The UT Dallas chess team recently hosted the fourth annual UT Dallas Spring FIDE Open, sponsored by Turner Construction Company.

The tournament featured more than 40 international players, including UT Dallas students and competitors from the likes of Ukraine and India.

The field of competitors included 12 Grandmasters (GM) — the highest chess title possible — and 10 International Masters (IM), the second-highest title.

“We are happy to see that in the fourth year of this tournament the level of play has become increasingly strong. Our team players have an opportunity to match up with some of the best talent in the world,” said Jim Stallings, the UT Dallas chess program director. “We are very grateful for the continuing support of Turner Construction Company who makes the tournament possible.”

After nine rounds over almost a week of play, there was a tie for first place between two Grandmasters, Bartlomiej Macieja and Varuzhan Akobian. Macieja won the trophy based on tiebreaks.

Patrycja Labedz, UT Dallas Chess Team

Patrycja Labedz

Apart from those at the top of the leaderboard, other players achieved personal victories.

UT Dallas senior Patrycja Labedz took one step closer to becoming a Woman International Master (WIM). She achieved a “norm,” satisfying a requirement for the higher chess ranking. Visiting player Kayden Troff also achieved his last norm to become a Grandmaster at the tournament.

Noted participants in the tournament also included three young players who have earned UT Dallas chess scholarships. Ukrainian Illya Nyzhnyk, who won his scholarship to the University at the age of 12 after winning the European Youth Chess Championship in 2008, tied for second. Dallas resident IM Darwin Yang, winner of the 2012 Texas Scholastic Chess Championships, and IM Akshat Chandra, the No. 1 player under the age of 14 in the U.S, both finished in the middle of the pack.

Conrad Holt, UT Dallas Chess Team

Conrad Holt

“UT Dallas hopes to see these promising players back in the future; we want them to play as Comets,” Stallings said. “They are certainly hardworking individuals who have excelled in their play at a very young age.”

The top finishing UT Dallas student was GM Conrad Holt from Kansas.  Holt won four games, drew three and lost two.

“This was a good tournament for our players,” said chess team coach Rade Milovanovic. “Anytime our team can face top competition, it is good for us. It only makes us better.”

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