RICHARDSON, Texas (Dec. 30, 2006) – Two teams from The University of Texas at Dallas led from start to finish and tied for first place in the 2006 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship which ended today in Washington, D.C. With the victory, UT Dallas reclaimed the mythical title of best college chess team in the land, an honor it lost to longtime rival University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), at last year's Pan Am.
UT Dallas' “A” and “B” teams had an impressive record of five match wins and one draw each in the four-day event, long considered the most prestigious tournament of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and known as the “World Series of College Chess.” Out of 48 individual games, neither team suffered a loss. In the end, UT Dallas' B team was awarded the tournament trophy on tie-break points.
UMBC's A team placed third in the annual competition, followed by a squad from Miami Dade College in fourth place. Several hundred top players on 24 teams from colleges in the U.S., Canada and Peru took part in the event, held Dec. 27-30 at the Renaissance Hotel in the nation's capital.
“We are very proud of coach Rade Milovanovic and the UT Dallas players on both teams,” said Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas chess program. “Their performance, in an exceptionally talented field, was overpowering and reflects a great deal of hard work in preparing for the tournament and skill in executing their game strategies. Without a doubt, this is the best showing ever by UT Dallas in a major collegiate chess tournament.”
In the past decade, UT Dallas and UMBC have emerged as unquestionably the two best college chess teams in the nation. One or the other has won the Pan Am eight years in a row. In another major annual college chess competition, the Final Four of Chess, no team other than UT Dallas and UMBC has won the event in its six-year history.
However, with UMBC victories last December in the Pan Am and last April in the Final Four, college chess supremacy was claimed, at least temporarily, by the Maryland school.
In order to return the title to Texas, Milovanovic developed a strategy for this year's Pan Am that had UT Dallas field two, equally talented teams, either of which would be capable of beating anyone in the tournament. In fact, it was the university's B team that clinched UT Dallas' victory with a win earlier today over Yale University in the tournament's final round.
UT Dallas' A team was composed of Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez (chess rating of 2566), Grandmaster Magesh Chandran Panchanathan (2526), International Master Drasko Boskovic (2526), FIDE Master John Bartholomew (2454) and FIDE Master Igor Schneider (2428). The B team included International Master Marko Zivanic (2569), International Master Davorin Kuljasevic (2477), International Master Dmitri Schneider (2517), International Master Amon Simutowe (2465) and International Master Jacek Stopa (2436). The A team boasted an average chess rating of 2500, slightly more than the B team's 2492.8.
About UT Dallas
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 14,500 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 UT Dallas, please visit the university's web site at www.utdallas.edu.