"We are ecstatic about the chess team's success, which is attracting national and international attention. We also are very proud of these outstanding students."
--President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
UMBC Recaptures "World Series of College Chess" TitleJanuary 15, 1999- Finishing ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, the University of Chicago, and Stanford, UMBC reclaimed its position as the top team in college chess at the 1998 PanAmerican Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship in December. The UMBC team dominated the competition, posting a perfect 60 match score over the threeday event in Dallas. UMBC won its first PanAm championship title in 1996 and placed third in the 1997 tournament.
UMBC's winning team includes the reigning world junior champion, International Grandmaster Tal Shaked, a freshman from Tucson, Arizona; Senior Master Florin Felecan, Jr., from Evanston, Illinois, the toprated U.S. player under age 21; one of the country's best 18yearold players, International Master Eugene Perelshteyn from Massachusetts; and Senior Master William "The Exterminator" Morrison from New York, NY, a graduate student in history. Morrison was a member of UMBCıs 1996 national championship team, and one of four UMBC chess players who faced Garry Kasparov in a demonstration match at UMBC in 1997. Senior Master Erez Klein, a psychology major from Forest Hills, NY, was the teamıs first alternate.
Credit for UMBC's rise as a chess powerhouse goes to team advisor Alan Sherman, associate professor of computer science. In addition to recruiting gifted young chess players from the U.S. and abroad, UMBC awards a full-tuition scholarship to the Maryland Scholastic Chess Champion. UMBC also hosts an annual summer chess camp for students entering grades 1 through 12, and the chess club's outreach activities include teaching chess in area public schools and working with senior citizens.
The chess team is a member of UMBC's Intellectual Sports Council, which also includes the model U.N., quiz bowl, and debate teams.
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