Chess Team Defeats Rivals for Title at Texas Collegiate Super Finals
UT Dallas chess program director Jim Stallings (third from right) receives the Texas Collegiate Super Finals trophy from Rebecca Gadson, UT Rio Grande Valley dean of students. UT Dallas team members include (from left) Denis Kadric, Anton Kovalyov, Eylon Nakar, coach Rade Milovanovic, Angel Arribas and Gil Popilski.
The University of Texas at Dallas chess team reasserted its claim to being the top program in the Lone Star State, earning a narrow victory over UT Rio Grande Valley and Texas Tech University at the second annual Texas Collegiate Super Finals in Brownsville, Texas, last weekend.
“We are very proud of the results of the UTD chess team,” said Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas chess program. “This competition for bragging rights as state champion was extremely hard-fought and required contributions from all our team members.”
“We are very proud of the results of the UTD chess team. This competition for bragging rights as state champion was extremely hard-fought and required contributions from all our team members.”
In a battle between the three evenly matched elite chess programs in Texas, it was the depth of UT Dallas that decided the match. After the A teams all drew each other, the UT Dallas B team’s 3-1 victories over the B teams from Texas Tech and UTRGV broke the three-way tie.
In the tournament, each school fielded a four-player A team and a four-player B team. Each of the six teams played both of the other schools’ teams once.
Graduate student Anton Kovalyov and junior Gil Popilski claimed three points each from four matches for the UT Dallas A team.
The matches between the three A teams were all evenly split, with sophomore Angel Arribas grabbing a crucial point in the clash with UTRGV’s A team.
During the fourth and final round, UT Dallas A fought to a draw with Texas Tech A, leaving the result up to the B team. Junior Dani Raznikov and graduate student Prasanna Rao obliged, with each claiming a timely point in their final matches against the UTRGV B team.
Stallings said the win bodes well for the team’s hopes of reaching the President’s Cup — the collegiate chess equivalent of the NCAA’s Final Four — that will be held in New York City next spring. Texas Tech finished second in 2017 at the annual championships, and UTRGV was national runner-up in 2016.
“This victory is an early season indicator that the program’s expectations are on target,” Stallings said. “We’re hoping to go to New York in March.”
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].