UMBC Watch

"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" Title

January 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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