UTD To Become First University To Hold Intramural Tourney Rated By the World Chess Federation

It would be a stretch for many cities: Holding a chess tournament that merits the official imprimatur of the world governing body of chess, FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs), requires a quality and diversity of players that are difficult to assemble. For a university to do it is unprecedented.

But with its round-robin, intramural UTD Chess Championship scheduled in November, The University of Texas at Dallas is going to do just that – hold a FIDE-rated tournament, the results of which will be counted toward each player’s international rating. (Since it will be classified as a FIDE Category 4 event, players will be able to earn one leg of their international master title if they score six points.)

UTD is able to do the seemingly impossible because it has the top-ranked collegiate chess team in the United States (a team with two grandmasters and one international master) and has players from more than the four countries FIDE requires to sanction an international tournament. In fact, players from seven countries – Croatia, the Netherlands, the U.S., Belarus, Hungary, Sweden and Poland – will participate in the UTD Chess Championship, which will run from Nov. 9 to Nov. 18.

UTD, which earlier this year was named “Chess College of the Year” by the U.S. Chess Federation, will hold the event in Room 4.301 of the Green Building on campus. The public is invited to attend at no charge.

“All we ask is that anyone who wants to attend be very, very quiet,” quipped Dr. Tim Redman, director of the chess program at UTD.

Redman, a professor of literary studies in the university’s School of Arts and Humanities, started the chess program at UTD six years ago. A FIDE International Arbiter must be present in order to hold a FIDE-rated international tournament. In the case of UTD, that will not be a problem: Redman was awarded that title in 1978.

Redman said 10 players will participate in the upcoming round-robin tournament. Grandmaster and UTD team captain Yuri Shulman of Belarus, a senior who is majoring in computer science, is the highest rated player at UTD, with a rating of 2587, and, hence, is a slight favorite to win over the extraordinarily tough competition.

“But the highest-rated player doesn’t always win,” Redman said. “Almost anything can happen in a tournament of this strength.”

Other participants in the competition will be Marcin Kaminski of Poland, a junior majoring in economics and also a grandmaster; Rade Milovanovic of Croatia, the UTD coach; Eelke Wiersma of the Netherlands, a visiting scholar at UTD; Balazs Szuk of Hungary, an international master and a junior majoring in business administration; Dennis Rylander of Sweden, a freshman majoring in business administration; and four players from the U.S., Andrew Whatley, a junior majoring in political economy, Andrie Zaremba, a FIDE master and sophomore majoring in computer science, Jeff Ashton, a sophomore with no declared major, and David John, a sophomore majoring in computer science. The alternate player, who plays if one of the aforementioned players cannot, is Andrey Dokuchayev, a junior accounting major.

The dates and times of the tournament rounds are as follows:

  • Round 1 – Friday, Nov. 9, 5 p.m. Round 6 – Saturday, Nov. 17, 12:30 p.m.
  • Round 2 – Saturday, Nov. 10, 12:30 p.m. Round 7 – Saturday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m.
  • Round 3 – Saturday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. Round 8 – Sunday, Nov. 18, 12:30 p.m.
  • Round 4 – Sunday, Nov. 11, 12:30 p.m. Round 9 – Sunday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m.
  • Round 5 – Sunday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m.

For additional information about the tournament, please contact Luis Salinas of the UTD chess team at 972-883-2898 or [email protected].

About UTD

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 7,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate 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

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