Chess Team Heads Toward Showdown with Archrival
Day One Was Full of Surprises in Final Four Tournament Hosted by UT Dallas
April 4, 2009
Surprises were a major part of day one of the Final Four of Chess tournament.
Round 1 produced two major upsets. Both UT Dallas and The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) handily defeated their respective opponents, UT Brownsville and Stanford, by 3-1 margins. Surprising coaches and spectators, in each case the single loss came on Board 1 to the lower rated team. GM Alejandro Ramirez (2619) lost to FM Elliot Liu (2398), while GM Leonid Kritz (2668) was defeated by IM Mauricio Flores (2487).
"No one remembers the two top boards ever getting rolled under in the first round," said Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas chess program.
In Round 2, the Stanford team faced off against UT Dallas. It was another 3-1 win for UT Dallas, with GM Ramirez avenging his prior loss. IM Puchen Wang also registered a win; other UT Dallas team members recorded two draws.
UT Brownsville met the University of Maryland Baltimore County, ending in a 2-2 draw. One of UTB's two wins came again on Board 1 by IM Mauricio Flores as he handed the tournament top-rated GM Kritz his second straight loss. UT Brownsville IM Daniel Fernandez also defeated UMBC GM Sergey Erenburg.
Moving into Sunday's third and deciding last round, the UT Dallas team has a full one point advantage 6-2 over archrival University of Maryland Baltimore County team 5-3; UT Brownsville 3-5 will play Stanford 2-6.
"The matter is hardly decided for us," said Stallings.
Play continues at 9 a.m. Sunday, April 5, the Galaxy Rooms of the Student Union. The public is welcome to attend.