Chess Team Takes Message of Hope to China
June 12, 2008
UT Dallas’ chess champions recently returned from China, where the team delivered a message of sympathy in the wake of the country’s devastating earthquake, before playing a scheduled match against Nankai University.
“As we join in this contest of good sportsmanship and intellectual competition, our thoughts are also with the people of China and especially those in the Sichuan province,” read the statement, prepared by UT Dallas President David E. Daniel and read by chess program director Jim Stallings.
“We are deeply saddened by the destruction caused by the earthquake and wish to express our sincere condolences to those affected,” the statement said.
The Nankai players bested their UT Dallas guests 6.5-3.5 in two rounds of play.
The UT Dallas chess team left for Beijing via San Francisco the morning of May 12, which was the day of the earthquake. Representatives from Nankai University and the Chinese Chess Association met the team at the airport, concerned that the UT Dallas team might not come.
The players toured famous sights, such as the Forbidden City, before meeting their rivals in competition.
Chinese grandmaster Wang Yue, with a rating of 2689, proved a fierce competitor, finishing ½-½ and 1-0 against UT Dallas grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez.
International masters, Marko Zivanic and Davorin Kuljasevic, held the other two Nankai grandmasters to four draws. UT Dallas yielded another two points on boards 4 and 5.
Director Jim Stallings stated that he looks forward to a better result in the 2009 return match to be held in Dallas.
The match was part of a wider cooperation with Nankai University and UT Dallas’ Confucius Institute and an emphasis on international competition, which also includes a yearly trans-Atlantic match against players at the University of Belgrade.