Team Aims for Third Straight Win at Pan-American
Nov. 16, 2012
Grandmasters Cristian Chirila, Valentin Yotov and Julio Sadorra are preparing for the competition.
The UT Dallas chess team is gearing up for one of the season’s biggest tournaments: The Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, known as “The World Series of Chess.” The tournament is Dec. 27-30 at Princeton University. Since 2000, the chess team has won the championship or tied for first nine times. Last year, the team went undefeated to claim the top spot for a second-straight year.
“In the 66-year history of the tournament, only the University of Toronto was able to win three consecutive years outright. This was in the early ’80s. Today, collegiate chess is much more competitive. We expect to be challenged from both our traditional rivals like Texas Tech and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and from Ivy League teams,” said Jim Stallings, the chess program director.
To prepare for the big tournament, UT Dallas players will compete in the ninth annual UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational. From Nov. 16 to 20, the Comets will face a distinguished visitor, Grandmaster (GM) Alexander Onischuk, the third-highest-ranked grandmaster in the United States.
“Our players need to face a world-caliber opponent like GM Onischuk. They will face more GMs at this year’s Pan-American than ever before,” said Rade Milovanovic, the chess team coach.
Other honorees, who will also be making ceremonial first moves at the Grandmaster Invitational, are Dr. Abby Kratz, UT Dallas associate provost; Laura Maczka, Richardson mayor pro tem; and John Jacobs, senior vice president for economic development at the Richardson Chamber of Commerce.
UT Dallas Wins Recent Texas Collegiate Championship
The UT Dallas chess team took first place in both the individual and team competition during the recent 16th annual Texas Collegiate Team Championship in Houston.
The first five positions on the leaderboard belonged to UT Dallas students. FIDE Master (FM) Alec Getz, a freshman, and International Master (IM) Milos Pavlovic, a graduate student in molecular and cell biology, tied for first in individual competition. Grandmaster (GM) Julio Sadorra, GM Conrad Holt and FM Tyler Hughes finished third through fifth. The team has won outright or tied for first at the tournament 10 times since 2000.
The win at Houston comes after UT Dallas suffered a loss to The University of Belgrade in the annual Gligoric Transatlantic Cup, an online tournament played against a Serbian University team.
“We bounced back after a loss and showed our true colors. We are a resilient team and we will only get better going into December,” added Stallings.
Grandmaster Conrad Holt was one of the top finishers in the Texas Collegiate Team Championship.