RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 16, 2004) – The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will hold a rare international chess tournament next month that is rated by the world governing body of chess, FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs), and the competition, called the UTD Grandmaster Invitational, is expected to be the strongest held in Texas in more than three decades.
In the last three years, there have been only four chess tournaments at this level held in the United States – two in 2003 (in New York City and Los Angeles), one in 2002 (in San Francisco) and one in 2001 (in New York City). The last chess tournament of this caliber held in the U. S. but not on either the East Coast or West Coast was in San Antonio in 1972.
Four grandmasters, including former UTD Chess Team Captain Yuri Shulman, will participate in the event, said Dr. Tim Redman, professor of literary studies in the university’s School of Arts & Humanities and director of the UTD Chess program. Shulman, 29, who is originally from Belarus but now lives in New York, won the two previous FIDE-sanctioned international tournaments held at UTD, in 2001 and 2002, but those competitions were limited to coaches and players from the UTD team. Shulman currently holds a FIDE rating of 2549.
The three other grandmasters entered in this year’s competition at UTD are Alexander Moiseenko, 24, of the Ukraine (with a rating of 2653), Igor Novikov, 42, of the United States (2588) and Alejandro Ramirez, 16, of Costa Rica (2519).
This year’s tournament, to be held Dec. 7 to 15 in the Green Commons and Student Union on campus, also will feature six members of UTD’s reigning Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship team. They are International Masters Magesh Chanran Panchanathan, 21, of India (2482), a junior majoring in telecommunications engineering; Dmitry Schneider, 19, of New York (2453), a junior majoring in business administration; Amon Simutowe, 22, of Zambia (2424), a sophomore majoring in economics and finance; and Peter Vavrak, 22, of Slovakia, also known as the Slovak Republic, (2388), a senior majoring in business administration; FIDE Master Daniel Fernandez, 19, of Boca Raton, Fla., (2391), a freshman majoring in economics; and Michal Kujovic, 22, of Slovakia (2370), a senior majoring in statistics.
Each of the 10 players will face each of the others once in the round-robin competition, and the international masters will be able to earn “norms” toward elevation to grandmaster status if they perform exceptionally well in the tournament. The competition is free and open to the public, but seating will be limited. Redman, a two-time past president of the U. S. Chess Federation, will serve as FIDE arbiter for the tournament along with Luis Salinas, assistant director of the UTD Chess Program and president of the Dallas Chess Club.
“This may be the strongest chess tournament held in the United States this year, and we are delighted to host such a major international event at UTD,” Redman said. “It will provide excellent training for the members of our ‘A’ team as they prepare to defend their Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship during the last week of December. Especially noteworthy, I think, is the participation of Alejandro Ramirez, at 16 the youngest grandmaster in the Western Hemisphere.”
All the matches will begin at 1 p.m.The dates and locations of the tournament rounds are as follows:
Round 1 – Tuesday, Dec. 7, Green Commons
Round 2 – Wednesday, Dec. 8., Green Commons
Round 3 – Thursday, Dec. 9., Gemini Room, Student Union
Round 4 – Friday, Dec. 10, Green Commons
Round 5 – Saturday, Dec. 11, Green Commons
Round 6 – Sunday, Dec. 12, Gemini Room, Student Union
Round 7 – Monday, Dec. 13, Green Commons
Round 8 – Tuesday, Dec. 14, Green Commons
Round 9 – Wednesday, Dec. 15, Green Commons
For additional information about the tournament, please contact Salinas at 972-883-2898 or [email protected].
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.