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April 3, 2005

UMBC Chess Team Captures Third Consecutive Presidential Cup

Retrievers Take Down Arch-Rivals UT-Dallas in Chess Final Four

Contact: Chip Rose

(Lindsborg, KS) The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) team won its third consecutive Final Four of College Chess in convincing fashion Sunday afternoon by defeating its arch-rival the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) by a score of 2.5 to 1.5.

As expected, UMBC and UTD climaxed the round robin tournament of the nation's top four college chess programs in a hard-fought final match. The rivalry between the two universities had grown even sharper in the past two years after UTD twice upset UMBC in the "Super Bowl of College Chess", the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Tournament, by a half-point margin each time.

UMBC never lost a game in the 2005 Final Four, dominating Stanford 4 to 0 in the first round and following with a solid 3.5 to 0.5 win over Miami Dade College in the second. The 2005 Final Four was held at the Karpov School of Chess in Lindsborg, Kansas.

"Our players went into this tournament focused on the here and now, and we are elated to have won the Final Four three years in a row," said UMBC Chess Program Director and computer science professor Alan Sherman. "I'm very proud of how this team bounced back strongly from a disappointing second place finish at the 2004 Pan Am."

The UMBC team will have a chance to improve its skills later this week, as former world chess champion Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov visits campus Wednesday and Thursday to give some private pointers to the UMBC players.

Karpov will also lead some public events during his UMBC visit. He will simultaneously challenge up to 60 scholastic chess enthusiasts (grades 1 through 12, bring your own regulation chess set) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the UMBC Commons. On Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m., Karpov will explain some of his best games, including recent encounters with Grandmaster Garry Kasparov. The talk will be held in Lecture Hall 8 of UMBC's Information Technology and Engineering Building.

UMBC will host the 2006 Pan American Chess Championships, to be held December 27-30 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC.

Posted by crose at April 3, 2005 1:15 PM