ChessFest Making Some New Moves This Year

Expanded Schedule Includes Seminar and Supersize ‘Grande’ Demos

Feb. 5, 2009

This year’s expanded ChessFest schedule includes the debut of a Chess and Education seminar as well as “Chess Grande” demonstrations of games and moves using a supersized board and pieces.

The festival, which will also feature a lecture and presentation of the annual Chess Educator of the Year Award, is Feb. 24 and 25 on the UT Dallas campus.

ChessFest was created seven years ago by the university’s McDermott Library and the UT Dallas Chess Program.



Public Events

  Tuesday, Feb. 24
McDermott Suite,
4th Level, McDermott Library
    6:15 p.m. - Reception honoring Dr. Stephen Lipschultz
7 p.m. - Presentation by Dr. Lipschultz - "Making Chess a Success at School: What Schools Need to Win the Game” - followed by presentation of the UT Dallas Chess Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Lipschultz.

  Wednesday, Feb. 25 McDermott Library Lobby  
    Noon-1 p.m. - Blindfold Chess & Chess Grande: Giant chess pieces will be moved over the Chess Grande board as a UT Dallas chess champion plays challengers blindfolded.
1-2 p.m. – A UT Dallas chess champion will direct moves on the Chess Grande board illustrating famous end games.



Pardon Our Progress

Directions to McDermott Library

“We helped create ChessFest so that people on our campus and in the community could meet the talented players who’ve brought fame to the university through intellectual skills and mental toughness,” said Larry D. Sall, dean of libraries.

“This is a good match this year having Steve Lipschultz with his top-ranked chess software giving a presentation at our university with its top-ranked chess team,” said Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas Chess Program.

ChessFest will debut Feb. 24 with the first Chess and Education Seminar for North Texas school district officials and administrators. The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Galaxy Room of the UT Dallas Student Union.

Presenters include Alexey Root of the Chess Program; special guest Stephen Lipschultz, M.D.; Cynthia Ledbetter of the UT Dallas faculty; and Kristin Kuhne of the Texas Schools Project.

The seminar will be followed by the national Chess Educator of the Year Award and Lecture honoring Dr. Lipschultz, president of Food for Thought Software Inc. and creator of the Think Like A King software system, the official scholastic software of the U.S. Chess Federation. The public reception begins at 6:15 p.m., followed by Lipschultz’s presentation, “Making Chess a Success at School: What Schools Need to Win the Game.”

Lipschultz is a Chicago-area physician who specializes in clinical nutrition and internal medicine. He is a clinical associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University and a senior attending physician at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

He developed Think Like A King to enable schools to offer chess programs. In 1999 he received a U.S. Department of Education Small Business Innovation and Research grant award for his chess project. Think Like A King is used in more than 1,600 schools nationwide.

On Wednesday, Feb. 25, at noon, the Chess Program will debut “Chess Grande” in McDermott Library lobby. UT Dallas grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez will play challengers while blindfolded, forcing him to recall all of the moves. Chess Team members will move the huge chess pieces over an equally large rank and file during the demonstration. Another demonstration by one of the Chess Team members will showcase brilliant and sometimes fatal moves in famous chess end games.

More Information: Jim Stallings, UT Chess Program, (972) 883-2829, [email protected]
Media Contact: Tom Koch, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4951, [email protected]

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Dr. Stephen Lipschultz

Dr. Stephen Lipschultz, creator of the Think Like A King school chess software system, is this year’s ChessFest honoree.

Chaitanya Vaidya holding "grande" chess pieces

Chaitanya Vaidya holds two of the “grande” chess pieces that will be used for ChessFest demonstrations.

Alejandro Ramirez

Alejandro Ramirez, a grandmaster and UT Dallas chess team member, will play challengers blindfolded in the “Chess Grande” event.

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February 25, 2021