Chess Team Trounces Belgrade in Internet Rematch
Nov. 9, 2007
UT Dallas’ chess players triumphed in a rematch Friday, roaring back to win the trans-Atlantic competition that they had lost to the University of Belgrade in a similar Internet competition last year.
Chess enthusiasts around the world monitored the rematch, including hundreds of U.S. Chess Federation scholastic affiliates.
The final match score was 11-5 — eight wins for the UT Dallas team, two losses and six ties.
The Comet cheerleaders got the match off to a rousing start in Davidson Auditorium, where the UT Dallas players huddled over computer screens for the 90-minute game of wits. Team members sported their new, orange jerseys for the event.
A video screen helped spectators follow some of the action from various games in the 16-game competition.
In Serbia, match organizers had hoped to fill a 700-seat amphitheatre for the spectators.
Among UT Dallas fans were four male students who had painted their chests with the letters to spell “Igor” in honor of Igor Shneider, a national master on the home team. They stood in silence, as is necessary during the close concentration demanded by tournament play, then joined the more relaxed play-by-play analysis group in the lobby.
It was the second year in a row that the two teams have squared off. The University of Belgrade is Europe’s best college chess team, and UT Dallas is the top-ranked U.S. team.
The speed and intensity of the match has become legendary among chess aficionados.
“This is the equivalent of the number one football team squaring off against the number two team,” said Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas Chess Team, which since its founding more than a decade ago has finished first or tied for first five times in the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.