News Release

UT Dallas to Compete in Seventh ‘Final Four’ of College Chess

March 24-25 Tournament is Rematch of Last Year’s Contest

RICHARDSON, Texas (March 15, 2007) — In a rare rematch, The University of Texas at Dallas will attempt to retain its standing as the best team in U.S. intercollegiate chess later this month when it again takes on The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Duke University and Miami Dade College in the “Final Four” chess tournament in Dallas.

The same lineup made it to the Final Four last year. The teams earned the right to compete in this year’s competition by finishing among the top four U.S. teams in December at the 2006 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, the most prestigious college chess competition held each year in the Western Hemisphere. UT Dallas won that tournament overwhelmingly.

The winner of the round-robin Final Four, which will be held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the third time in the tournament’s history, will take home the President’s Cup chess trophy. The event is free and open to the public and is scheduled to take place the weekend of March 24-25 in the Centreport Room of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott South Hotel, located at 4151 Centreport Boulevard in Fort Worth. Both Saturday’s and Sunday’s matches will begin at 10 a.m., and Saturday’s second round will start at 6 p.m.

“We knew second-ranked UMBC would not take their devastating defeat at the December Pan-Am lightly,” said Jim Stallings, director of UT Dallas’ chess program. “We now see that a new grandmaster has been enrolled at Maryland in January, and suddenly they have two grandmasters on boards one and two with higher ratings than our two grandmasters. And Miami Dade and Duke may not be favorites, but they can certainly be dangerous spoilers.”

UT Dallas and UMBC will enter this year’s tournament “even,” according to Stallings, who is an expert-rated player and played with the University of Texas at Austin chess teams in 1969-1970.

“UMBC will have the advantage on boards one and two, but UT Dallas will have an edge on boards three and four,” Stallings added.

The UT Dallas team will be represented at the Final Four by two grandmasters on boards one and two — arts and technology major and sophomore Alejandro Ramirez and computer science graduate student Magesh Chandran Panchanathan. On boards three and four will be international masters Marko Zivanic, a junior computer science major and Drasko Boskovic, a junior business administration major. Alternates will be international masters Dmitri Shneider, a senior finance major, and Davorin Kuljasevic, a sophomore business administration major.

Here is the full press release by UTD.

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