Halloween Tournament to be a Treat for Chess Fans

UT Dallas to Square Off Against Belgrade in Trans-Atlantic Title Rematch

Oct. 29, 2008

The Halloween rematch of chess teams from The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Belgrade will be a treat of chess tricks for the participants and spectators in attendance.

It is the third consecutive year the two teams have squared off for the Internet-based Trans-Atlantic Cup contest. UT Dallas is the top-ranked U.S. team, and the University of Belgrade is Europe’s best collegiate chess team. 

The match — scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. local time (8 p.m. in Belgrade) in the Davidson Auditorium of the School of Management Building — will feature 16 individual games played simultaneously.  An opening ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m.

Spectators may also go to the ground floor of the McDermott Library (Room 2.524) for “master” commentary on the matches from FIDE Master John Jacobs, senior vice president of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce; and Rodney Thomas, president of the University’s Chess Program Advisory Board.

The entire event is expected to last approximately two hours.

According to Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas chess program, since each team currently has a Trans-Atlantic Cup win under its belt, the margin of victory doesn’t matter.

“Just as in football, all that counts is whether your team scores a win or a loss,” Stallings said.  “Right now, UT Dallas and the University of Belgrade are square at one win each.  UT Dallas won decisively 11-5 in 2007, but we know Belgrade will be out for revenge in 2008.”

During the contest, UT Dallas players will make their moves from laptop computers connected to the Internet.  A large video screen will help spectators follow some of the action from select games. 

As they did last year, the Comet cheerleaders are expected to be in attendance to boost team spirits.

Even though the games will take place on Halloween, Rade Milovanovic, coach of the UT Dallas team, said players will not be allowed to wear costumes.  But, he pointed out that “the ‘Igorites’ and others may wear whatever they choose.”
Among UT Dallas fans last year were four male students who painted their chests with letters to spell “I-G-O-R” in honor of Igor Shneider, a national master on the home team.

Since its founding more than 11 years ago, the UT Dallas chess team has finished first or tied for first six times in the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.  The University of Belgrade is one of the largest universities in the Balkans region with an enrollment of nearly 80,000 students.   

In years’ past, chess enthusiasts around the world monitored the Trans-Atlantic Cup, including hundreds of U.S. Chess Federation scholastic affiliates.  Last year’s final score of 11-5 included eight wins for the UT Dallas team, two losses and six ties.

Members of the campus community and the general public are invited to attend the event free of charge.  The games may also be viewed live on the Internet.

For additional information about the competition, contact Stallings at james.stallings@utdallas.edu or (972) 883-2898.


Media Contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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