RICHARDSON, Texas (May 13, 2004) — The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), home to one of the nation’s top college chess teams, will host the Dallas Area Chess in Schools (DACIS) sixth-grade chess championship on Saturday, May 22, in the Galaxy Room of the Student Union on campus.
The day-long tournament, scheduled to start at 9 a.m., is expected to draw more than 50 chess-playing youths from across the Metroplex, and the top player at the event will receive a scholarship to UTD worth up to $2,000 per year. The only stipulations are that the winner must meet UTD’s rigorous academic entrance requirements, participate in chess events and maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in order to renew the scholarship.
Chess, which is part of UTD’s emphasis on cerebral intercollegiate competition, has been shown to help youngsters develop reading and mathematical ability, strengthen analytical thinking and build character and self-esteem.
“We look forward to hosting the sixth grade chess tournament this year, and we are proud to have a long relationship with DACIS, including providing UTD scholarships for winners,” said Dr. Tim Redman, a professor of literary studies who also serves as director of the UTD Chess Program. “Chess is proven to help academic performance and critical thinking, and I can not think of a better way for youngsters to learn life lessons — win, lose or draw — than through playing chess.”
The very first DACIS UTD scholarship winner, Elaine Weatherall of Dallas, who won the contest in 1998, has been invited to recognize this year’s winner.
DACIS was started 12 years ago as a subsidiary of the well-known Chess in the Schools Foundation of New York, which utilizes volunteers and paid tutors to teach chess at inner-city elementary schools. UTD has provided a scholarship for the DACIS tournament for the past seven years.
The UTD chess team has won or tied for first place in three of the last four Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Tournaments, and this week was recognized by the Texas State Legislature for its most recent win last December. The team also has won two of the four Final Four of college chess matches ever played. In June, the university’s chess program will offer two week-long chess camps for youngsters aged 7–15 taught by members of the UTD team.
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 13,700 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.