UMBC Chess Team Beats Harvard

October 24, 1996-UMBC defeated Harvard University 5 to 1 in an intercollegiate chess match held October 12 at the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery. For both teams, the match served as a warm-up for the 1996 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Championship, which UMBC will host December 27-30 in Baltimore. Harvard has won the Pan-American championship five times, most recently in 1990. For UMBC, the winning team against Harvard included:

William "The Exterminator" Morrison (leading on board 1), the 1995 Maryland Chess Champion and a senior history major from New York, who was the basis, in part, for the park chess player in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer.

Gregory Shahade (board 2), the 1996 National High School Chess Co-Champion and a freshman from Philadelphia who is considering computer science as a major.

Erez Klein (board 3), a Senior Master from New York and a student of Bobby Fischer's former mentor, Jack Collins. Klein is a freshman psychology major.

Ishan Weerakoon (board 4), the former national chess champion of Sri Lanka and a doctoral student in computer science.

Pavel Pasmanik (board 5), a chess expert from Moscow and master's student in computer science, who is pursuing a research project in computer chess.

Oxana Tarassova (board 6), one of the top women chess players in the U.S. and a freshman computer science major from Kazan, capital city of the Tatarstan republic in western Russia.

Before the match, and funded in part by the Abell Foundation, members of the UMBC team taught chess to over 50 children as part of MindFest, UMBC's annual celebration of the power of ideas and information.

"We're extremely proud of the UMBC Chess Team and wish them the best in the upcoming Pan-American Championship."

-Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President

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