Tournament to Give Chess Players a Spring Workout

UT Dallas Team Will Compete in Grandmaster Invitational Ahead of Final Four

Mar. 10, 2011

Members of the UT Dallas Chess Team will spend spring break squaring off against other top-rated chess players.

From March 12-19 they will play a group of visiting Grandmasters (GMs) in the new UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational Underwritten by Turner Construction Company at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas/Richardson. The tournament provides an intense warm-up before the Final Four of Chess, scheduled for April 1-3 in Washington, D.C., where the team will compete to regain the President’s Cup.

Grandmaster Invitational

“When one plays strong opponents like those in the upcoming invitational, he needs to spend several hours on preparation for each game,” said team captain and doctoral student Marko Zivanic (BS ’09). “With that much time spent on chess, I am sure we will maximize our chances to win the Final Four.”

The Grandmaster Invitational marks the first spring chess tournament underwritten by Turner, which has led the construction of several UT Dallas buildings and facilities. Turner partnered with Corgan, Walker Engineering and Masters & Associates to provide funding for the event.

Team Captain Marko Zivanic says the tournament's grueling schedule will prepare UT Dallas players for the Final Four match.

“We’re so proud to sponsor such a significant event that continues to spotlight UT Dallas as it moves toward Tier One status, and bring a new level of recognition to their exemplary chess program,” said Glenn Anderson, executive director of Turner Construction Company. “We’ve been watching UT Dallas grow into a chess powerhouse for a while now, and are pleased that this invitational gives the University – and its students – a chance to shine.”

The tournament will employ the Scheveningen format, named for the town in Holland where the style of play was born nearly a century ago. Each player on one team plays each member of the opposing team. The team with the most games won is the winner.

In recent years, the Scheveningen has been popular in hard-fought matches between Russian and Chinese teams but is rarely seen in U.S. competitions. The UT Dallas tournament tweaks the Scheveningen slightly, allowing the six chess team players to meet each visiting GM twice over 12 rounds.

“This is a very exciting moment for the UT Dallas Chess Team,” said Jim Stallings, chess program director. “In our team’s quest for excellence at the Final Four, being recognized and financially supported by such high-caliber business partners is a real vote of confidence, not only for the team but for the entire University community. Partnerships like this one are important in achieving our collective goals.”

The event is free for the public and can be viewed online on the MonRoi website. Sign up in advance for a free MonRoi account to see all the moves.


Media Contact: Karah Womack, UT Dallas, (972) 883-5890, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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