RICHARDSON, Texas (April 11, 2005) — The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) awarded three separate full-tuition-and-fees, four-year scholarships to the top performers at the “SuperNationals” of chess competition held in Nashville over the weekend.
The winners of the scholarships, each of which has a cash value of about $48,000 to non-Texas residents, were Joel Banawa, a 15-year-old from Los Angles, Ray Robson, a 10-year-old from Largo, Fla., and Xiao Cheng, a 15-year-old from Alpharetta, Ga. The only stipulation is that the winners must meet UTD’s rigorous entrance requirements at matriculation.
More than 5,200 students participated in the SuperNationals, making it one of the largest chess tournaments ever held in the United States. For the contest, the three scholastic levels of play — elementary, junior high and high school — were combined into one event.
Cheng, with six points, tied for first with nine other strong players. He won the National High School scholarship on tiebreak points. Three players tied for first — also with six points each — in the National Junior High School Championship. Banawa won the scholarship on tiebreak points. Robson, with a perfect score of seven points, was the clear winner of the National Elementary School Championship.
Jim Stallings, associate director for chess and education at UTD, presented the scholarships to the winners. Four members of the UTD chess team also were on hand, to present information about UTD and its championship-winning chess program.
“We view these scholarships as a way for us to nationally recruit tomorrow’s top chess players,” Stallings said. “Chess is a competitive sport — a sport for thinkers — and often these young players are serious about their academic endeavors. In short, they are just the kind of talented student UTD strives to attract. Being a top chess player is a bonus.”
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.