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November 29, 1998


BALTIMORE--Today, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County claimed its second national chess championship in three years by beating the University of Texas, Dallas in the sixth and final round of the 1998 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship in Dallas, Texas.

UMBC won the 1996 Pan-Am in Baltimore, and finished third in last year's event in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Completing this year's competition with six wins and no losses, UMBC's winning team included International Grandmaster Tal Shaked, reigning world junior champion from Tuscon, AZ (board 1); Senior Master Florin Felecan Jr., the top rated player under 21 in the the U.S. from Evanston, IL, and Rumania (board 2); International Master Eugene Perelshteyn from Massachusetts and Russia (board 3); and Senior Master William Morrison, a member of UMBC's 1996 national championship team from New York, NY (board 4). Senior Master Erez Klein from Forest Hills, NY was the first alternate.

In addition to beating UT, Dallas--which hosted this year's competition--UMBC beat New York University (round 5), University of Chicago (round 4), Stanford University (round 3), Catholic University of Peru (round 2) and Rhode Island College (round 1).

The University of Pennsylvania finished in second place, followed by Havard University in third place, the University of Chicago in fourth place, and Stanford University in fifth place.

"We were the top-ranked team going in to the competition, but we played like champions all three days," says Alan Sherman, associate professor of computer science and faculty advisor to the UMBC Chess Club ( "We're very pleased to have played so well and won."

"We're ecstatic about this national achievement for the chess team and the university," adds UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. "The success of our chess team reflects the high achievement of our students across the campus."

For more information, contact Alan Sherman at 410.455.2666 (W), 410.997.3979 (H) or, or the UMBC Chess Club at

Upcoming UMBC chess events:

  • February 5----Campus victory celebration and "blitz" tournament, 4-6 p.m., ECS Atrium (open to all)
  • February 20--International Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov (highest rated player in USA) will simultaneously play all challengers.
  • April 17--Free chess instruction to students ages 9-12 at "MindFest," UMBC's annual "brain fair."
  • June/July--Summer Chess Camps at UMBC (Camp I: grades 1-5; Camp II: grades 6-12). Learn the moves from UMBC Champions.
  • Intellectual Sports Council

    Chess is one of several organizations that make up the UMBC Intellectual Sports Council.

    Microsoft Word97 version of this file.

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    Posted by dwinds1 at November 29, 1998 12:00 AM