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April 5, 2009

UMBC Wins "Final Four of College Chess" With Rally on Final Day

Tradition of Razor-Thin Margins Continues in Rivalry with University of Texas at Dallas

Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262

April 5, 2009

BALTIMORE -- With a strong rally on the final day of competition April 5, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) chess team, a national powerhouse, defeated arch-rival University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to win the 2009 President's Cup -- the "Final Four of College Chess."

As millions of sports fans focused on the 2009 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Final Four in Detroit this weekend, an equally intense sporting competition resumed in Dallas on the chessboard.

In the final round, UMBC beat UTD 2.5-1.5, giving each squad 7.5. points. Continuing a tradition of national competitions decided by the thinnest of margins, UMBC won a tiebreaker on the basis of its head-to-head superiority in Round 3.

UTD and UMBC are the undisputed top two teams in the nation -- the chess equivalent of the Final Four basketball fixtures University of North Carolina and Michigan State, who were preparing to meet in the national championship game April 6.

At the December 2008 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championships (Pan Am), UMBC and UTD tied for first place. The University of Texas at Brownsville and Stanford University took the other two top spots, automatically qualifying for this weekend’s Final Four.

The UMBC chess program is proud of its tradition of engaging Maryland’s young people in the intellectual benefits of chess.

Its Grandmasters have tutored participants in the chess club at Arbutus Middle School, which borders the UMBC campus near Baltimore-Washington Marshall International Airport. UMBC will host the Maryland Scholastic Chess Spectacular May 10, a scholastic chess tournament open to any students in grades 1-12.

UMBC features four Grandmasters: Leonid “the Chief” Kritz (Russia), Sergey “the Stealth” Erenburg (Israel), Timur “the Uzbek Dragon” Gareyev (Uzbekistan) and Sasha Kaplan (Israel). Sabina “Sunshine” Foisor (Romania) is an alternate.

UMBC Chess Club:


Posted by mlurie at April 5, 2009 6:58 PM