UTD to Co-Sponsor International Chess Conference
Gathering to be Held Dec. 14-16 in Conjunction with K-12 Championship
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and New York’s Chess-in-the-Schools Foundation will co-sponsor the Koltanowski Memorial Conference on Chess and Education, to be held in conjunction with the National K-12 Scholastic Chess Championship Dec. 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion Hotel.
Several hundred people are expected to attend the conference, which is named in memory of the late chess grandmaster George Koltanowski. Nearly 40 scholars, chess teachers, and coaches from around the world – including Dr. Tim Redman, professor of literary studies in UTD’s School of Arts and Humanities who also serves as director of UTD’s chess program and an instructor in the university’s Chess and Education program – will present papers about the effects of chess instruction on the cognitive and academic abilities of youngsters.
Redman, who initiated UTD’s chess program six years ago, said the use of chess in education is an important issue to today’s educators. “Studies in K-12 classrooms have shown a correlation between chess instruction and an increase in reading and other skills,” he said.
While the conference is going on, several thousand students are expected to participate in the national K-12 chess championship in another part of the hotel. UTD will award a four-year, full-tuition-and-fees scholarship to the winner of the 12th grade competition, with the only stipulation being that the winner must meet UTD’s entrance standards upon matriculation.
“We view the scholarship award as a way to recruit top high school talent nationally,” said UTD Associate Provost and Undergraduate Dean Dr. J. Michael Coleman. “To us, competitive chess at this level is a metaphor for excellence, and it’s something for which UTD has become nationally recognized.”
The conference is only the second to be held in this country. The first was at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 1995. Selected proceedings from the conference will be published in a book about chess and education.
Additional sponsors for the conference include the U.S. Chess Federation Charitable Trust and Innovative Solutions for Automation Corporation (ISAO). Jim Eade, chairperson of the newly created UTD Chess Program Advisory Board, is the major individual sponsor of the conference.
The conference will be of particular interest to teachers. Five training hours in the core area of Creativity and Instructional Strategies from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and five Continuing Professional Education hours toward State Board of Educator Certification certificate renewal requirements will be available to educators attending the four conference sessions on Friday, Dec. 14. The fee for teachers to attend Friday-only sessions is $30. The cost to attend the conference all three days is $90.
The conference begins at 9 a.m. in the Reverchon, Pryor, Moreno and Sanger Rooms and will conclude at approximately 5 p.m. each day. The scholastic competition will take place in open areas throughout the hotel and begins with an opening ceremony on Friday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m., with round 1 beginning at 7 p.m. that evening. Rounds 2, 3 and 4 will begin on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and rounds 5 and 6 will take place on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The awards ceremony will be held Sunday, Dec. 16, between approximately 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
UTD, which earlier this year was named “Chess College of the Year” by the U.S. Chess Federation, is active in bringing chess education to schools, particularly via its online Chess and Education courses for teachers. The courses are targeted toward K-12 educators seeking new methodologies for incorporating chess into their classroom curricula. No other university in the country offers this type of program.
Chess, in addition to debate and creative problem solving, has afforded UTD the opportunity to become nationally known for various “cerebral” forms of competition. UTD’s chess team is ranked first in the nation.
For additional information about the conference, please visit the UTD Chess Program Web site at http://chessweb.utdallas.edu/.
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 www.utdallas.edu.