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March 26, 1998

BATTLE OF COLLEGE CHESS CHAMPIONS PITS UMBC AGAINST BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Baltimore, MD. The Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships, known as the "World Series of College Chess," is the most prestigious college team chess championship in the Americas. On April 4, UMBC -- the 1996 champions -- will go head-to-head with the 1997 champions from the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The six-board match will begin at 1 p.m. at the Richard Harris Terrace on the BMCC campus, 199 Chambers Street, New York. Spectators are welcome.

Alan Sherman, UMBC's chess director and an associate professor of computer science, has built a powerhouse team in the last few years by recruiting outstanding players from around the world. UMBC players challenging BMCC include William "The Exterminator" Morrison, the 1995 Maryland Chess Champion and a senior history major from New York, who was the basis, in part, for the park chess player in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer; and Oxana Tarassova, one of the top women chess players in the U.S. and a sophomore computer science major from Kazan, capital city of the Tatarstan republic in western Russia.

UMBC's team has outperformed some of the strongest in the country, and captured the 1996 Pan-Am championship by besting MIT, Harvard and Penn. "Chess has given UMBC a unique identity," explains Sherman in a profile on UMBC's dream team in the current issue of Lingua Franca. "What other school values chess more than football? At how many schools can you find chess team players proudly walking around campus wearing colorful chess team jackets?"

Future UMBC Chess Club events:

Smithsonian lecture by Alan Sherman on the history of chess (Saturday, June 13) Sherman will be among the guest speakers during a day-long seminar at the Smithsonian Institution featuring lectures, a "UMBC player vs. computer" exhibition match, free chess play and instruction by members of UMBC's team.

UMBC Chess Camp (June 15-19, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) William "The Exterminator" Morrison and other members of UMBC's team will provide instruction to students entering grades 5-12. No prior experience in chess is required. To register, call UMBC Continuing Education at (410) 455-2336.

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Posted by dwinds1 at March 26, 1998 12:00 AM