UTD Chess Team Ties For Second Place In Pan-American Intercollegiate Tournament
Qualifies for 'Final Four' of Chess Competition in April
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) tied for second place Monday in the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, the top college chess tournament held in the Western Hemisphere.
In an unexpected development, the four-day tournament, which was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel near Miami International Airport, was won by the “B” team from UTD’s long-time chess rival, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The two favorites, UTD’s “A” team and UMBC’s “A” team, tied for second place. Miami Dade Community College finished fourth, and the UTD “B” team tied for fifth with Catholic University of Peru and Brooklyn College.
UTD’s “A” team did not lose any of its six matches, but it had two draws, giving the team a total of 5 points (out of a possible 6). UMBC’s “B” team amassed 5 ½ points – by winning five matches and drawing only the match with UTD’s “A” team.
Thirty teams from Canada, the United States, Central America and South America competed in the 48th Pan Am Tournament. Among the schools represented were Stanford University, Princeton, Chicago, MIT, the University of Toronto and the University of Puerto Rico. The Pan Am began in 1946 as a biannual tournament and became an annual event in 1965.
This was the first time since 1999 that the tournament produced a single winner. In 2000 in Milwaukee and in 2001 in Providence, R. I., the UTD and UMBC “A” teams tied for first place.
The top four finishers in the Pan Am qualify for the “Final Four” of Chess competition, which is held in early April. UTD has won that tournament the two years it has been played. UTD, UMBC, Miami Dade Community College and Catholic University of Peru are expected to participate in the 2003 event, which will be held in Miami.
“Even though we didn’t finish first this year, I am very pleased with our performance in the Pan Am,” said UTD coach and international master Rade Milovanovic. “We qualified for the Final Four, and we kept our great rivalry with UMBC going. It couldn’t have been much closer. We very nearly won the tournament.”
In recent years, UTD and UMBC have emerged as unquestionably the two best college chess teams in the United States and have developed a rivalry that is as competitive as any in intercollegiate competition.
UTD is the only American university ever to hold an international chess tournament sanctioned by the world governing body of chess, FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs), and in 2001 UTD was named “Chess College of the Year” by the U.S. Chess Federation.
The team is part of a much broader chess program at UTD that includes, among other things, on-line chess instruction for teachers and studies on the use of chess in the classroom as an educational tool.
The players representing UTD’s “A” Team at the Pan Am in Miami were Yuri Shulman, Marcin Kaminski, Dimitry Schneider, Andrei Zaremba, Dennis Rylander and Andrew Whatley. The UTD B team was composed of Amon Simutowe, Andrei Dokochuaev, Jeff Ashton, Ali Morshedi and Enrique Rios.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 13,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].