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UTD Chess Team Reclaims Number 1 Ranking By Winning the Top College Tournament Held Each Year in the Western Hemisphere
Team Doesn't Lose a Match and Qualifies
MIAMI, Florida (Dec. 30, 2003) - The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Tuesday reclaimed its Number 1 ranking in college chess by winning the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, the top tournament of its kind held each year in the Western Hemisphere.
UTD previously had tied for first place in the prestigious tournament twice (in 2000 and 2001), but it never had won the Pan Am outright until Tuesday.
The UTD “A” team did not lose a single match and amassed 5 ½ points in winning the four-day tournament, which was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel near Miami International Airport Saturday through Tuesday (Dec. 27-30). In the process, it defeated two teams from arch-rival and tournament favorite the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) -- by scores of 2 ½-1 ½ and 4-0, respectively — as well as teams from academic powerhouse Stanford University and Brooklyn College, which has two grandmasters on its team.
“This is the pinnacle for the UTD chess team,” said Dr. Tim Redman, director of the university's seven-year-old chess program and professor of literary studies in UTD's School of Arts and Humanities. “Winning the Pan Am -- the oldest tournament of its kind in the world -- outright after coming here as underdogs is a tremendous accomplishment for Coach Rade Milovanovic and all of the players. They just outplayed everybody else by working hard and exhibiting great skill and spirit. I am extremely proud of them.”
UTD completed its domination of this year's Pan Am when its “B” team later in the day tied for second place in the tournament with the UMBC “A” team. Both registered five points.
UTD now has won or tied for first place in three of the last four Pan Am tournaments and has won two of the three “Final Four” of Chess competitions since that tournament's inaugural event in 2001.
More than 30 teams from Canada, the United States, Central America and South America competed in the 49th Pan Am Tournament. Among the schools represented were Stanford University, Princeton, the University of Chicago, Catholic University of Peru, MIT, the University of Toronto and the University of Puerto Rico . The Pan Am began in 1946 as a biannual tournament and became an annual event in 1965.
UTD's “A” team won the first five of its matches and then tied the sixth against Miami (Dade) Community College. With five points going into Tuesday morning's final match with Miami-Dade, the UTD “A” team needed only a draw to ensure victory in the tournament.
UMBC's “B” Team won the Pan Am tournament in Miami last year, and in 2000 in Milwaukee and again in 2001 in Providence, R. I., the UTD and UMBC “A” teams tied for first place.
The top four U.S. finishers in the Pan Am qualify for the “Final Four” of Chess competition, which is held in the spring. UTD won that tournament in 2001 and 2002, and UMBC won last year. UTD, UMBC and two other schools will participate in the 2004 event, which is expected to be held in either Wichita or Miami .
In recent years, UTD and UMBC have emerged as unquestionably the two best college chess teams in the United States and have developed a rivalry that is as competitive as any in intercollegiate competition.
UTD is the only American university ever to hold an international chess tournament sanctioned by the world governing body of chess, FIDE ( Federation Internationale des Echecs ), and in 2001 UTD was named “Chess College of the Year” by the U.S. Chess Federation.
The team is part of a much broader chess program at UTD that includes, among other things, on-line chess instruction for teachers and studies on the use of chess in the classroom as an educational tool.
The players representing UTD's “A” Team at the Pan Am in Miami were Grandmaster (GM) and Team Captain Marcin Kaminski of Poland, 26, a senior majoring in computer science and software engineering; International Master (IM) Dmitry Schneider of New York, 18, a freshman business administration major; IM Magesh Chandran Panchanathan of India, 20, a freshman majoring in telecommunications; IM Amon Simutowe of Zambia, 21, a freshman majoring in economics and finance; and FIDE Master (FM) Andrew Whatley of Alabama, 22, a graduate student in public affairs.
The UTD “B” team was composed of FM Andrei Zaremba of Michigan, 21, a senior majoring in electrical engineering; FM Dennis Rylander of Sweden, 24, a junior majoring in business administration; FM Daniel Fernandez of Florida, 18, a freshman majoring in economics; FM Michal Kujovic of Slovakia, 21, a junior majoring in mathematics; and FM Ali Morshedi of Texas, 20, a junior majoring in electrical engineering.
UTD Coach Rade Milovanovic is an international master.
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This page last updated June 07, 2012