University Begins 12th Annual ChessFest This Week
ChessFest is an annual event that allows the chess team members to engage with other students and the public. Here top players participated in last year's event, (from left) Salvijus Bercys, Valentin Yotov and Julio Sadorra.
The 12th annual ChessFest will bring a week of chess-related events and activities to the University and the greater DFW area.
“ChessFest is a special time each year when we invite not only the UT Dallas community but the wider area community to join us in celebrating chess on our campus,” said Jim Stallings, the chess program director.
To kick off the events, UT Dallas chess team members will play blindfolded against any willing challengers. Cristian Chirila and Julio Sadorra, who are both grandmasters – the highest ranking possible in the chess world – will be on Chess Plaza with a set of game pieces Tuesday, March 5, from 11 a.m. to noon. From noon to 1 p.m., the UT Dallas' Pan American Chess Champions will use the pieces to illustrate famous end games in chess history.
Katie Dellamaggiore will receive the Chess Educator of the Year Award.
On Wednesday, March 6, UT Dallas will honor Katie Dellamaggiore with the Chess Educator of the Year Award. Dellamaggiore is a documentary producer and director who created the award-winning film Brooklyn Castle.
“The award recognizes those in chess and education who have made unique contributions. This year’s honoree was able to reach out to many thousands of people across the country with her inspiring chess documentary,” Stallings said.
The film follows an inner-city junior high school chess team that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The documentary shows the challenges the students face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, the sting of their losses and the anticipation of their victories. After recessionary budget cuts came to extracurricular activities at their school, Brooklyn Castle shows how the students’ dedication to chess magnified their belief in what was possible for their lives.
The film will be shown at 2 p.m. in the McDermott Library, room MC 2.524. Dellamaggiore will give a talk about her film at 7 p.m. in the Library’s McDermott Suite, followed by the presentation of her UT Dallas Chess Educator of the Year Award. Past recipients have included chess luminaries such as Dr. Stephen Lipschultz, 2009, Dr. Jonathan Rowson, 2010, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, 2011, and Bruce Pandolfini, 2012.
The public is invited to attend all events. To RSVP, send emails to Jim Stallings, the chess program director, at [email protected] or call 972- 883-4899.
ChessFest is a celebration organized annually by UT Dallas’ Eugene McDermott Library and the UT Dallas Chess Program.
Schedule of Events
11 a.m. to Noon – Blindfolded grandmasters play against any willing challengers. Chess Plaza.
Noon to 1 p.m. – UT Dallas' Pan American Chess Champions will direct oversize chess pieces to illustrate famous end games in chess history. Chess Plaza.
2 p.m. – Showing of Brooklyn Castle, a documentary about chess. McDermott Library MC 2.524
7 p.m. – Presentation by Katie Dellamaggiore, documentary producer and director of award-winning film Brooklyn Castle in McDermott Suite, MC 4.4. Afterward, presentation of the 2013 UT Dallas Chess Educator of the Year Award to Dellamaggiore.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].