Jon Senderling, UTD, (972) 883-2565, [email protected]
U. T. Dallas Takes Second Place
Rival UMBC, With Three Grandmasters, Wins
RICHARDSON, Texas (April 7, 2003) - The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), dramatic, come-from-behind winners of the first two "Final Four" of Chess competitions, finished in second place in this year's tournament, held over the weekend in Miami at the World Chess Hall of Fame and Sidney Samole Museum.
This year, the roles were reversed for UTD and its arch-rival, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County. UTD went into the final day of the two-day event leading the field by ½ point, but lost its head-to-head match Sunday against UMBC, 3-1. It was the first time since 1998 that UMBC had beaten UTD in a match. UTD's loss made the final score UMBC, 10 ½; UTD, 9; Miami (Dade) Community College, 2 ½; and the University of Chicago, 2.
For winning the "Final Four," UMBC was awarded the President's Cup emblematic of college chess supremacy. UMBC, with three grandmasters, is the highest rated team in the history of U.S. collegiate chess. Except for world champion, grandmaster is the highest ranking in chess, and only about 40 players in the United States hold grandmaster status. UTD has two grandmasters, Yury Shulman and Marcin Kaminski.
Dr. Tim Redman, professor of literary studies and director of the chess program at UTD, said the UTD players had "trained hard, physically as well as mentally for the tournament" and that International Master Rade Milovanovic had done "a superb job of coaching them and developing a strategy."
"The Final Four of chess has been played only three years. UTD has won it twice and finished second once. I couldn't be any prouder of the team," Redman said. "At the same time, I take my hat off to UMBC and to Dr. Alan Sherman, director of the UMBC chess program. They are a great team, and they played brilliantly in Miami. We look forward to meeting them again."
Redman also praised Shulman, UTD's team captain, who is finishing up his graduate work at UTD and, as a result, probably has played his last match for UTD.
"He, as much as anyone, was instrumental in putting UTD chess on the map. And in the process, he got his bachelor's degree and now is finishing up his work on a master's," Redman said. "Yury has been our strongest player, and we will miss him. Fortunately, we have several excellent younger players coming up."
The UTD team in Miami was composed of Shulman, 27, of Belarus, a graduate student in the School of Management who received his B.A. in computer science at UTD; Kaminski, 26, of Poland, a senior majoring in computer science and software engineering; International Master Dmitry Schneider, 18, of New York, a freshman majoring in business administration; and International Master Magesh Chandran Panchanathan, 19, of India, a freshman majoring in telecommunications engineering. International Master Amon Simutowe, 21, of Zambia, a freshman majoring in economics and finance, and FIDE Master Andrei Zaremba, 20, of Michigan, a junior majoring in electrical engineering, served as alternates.
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