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April 25, 2003

UMBC Champs to Challenge Ivy League Rivals in Speed Chess Spectacular

UMBC's top chess brains will shift their sport into high gear as they challenge elite players from MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and Duke for $2,000 in prize money in the 2003 UMBC Speed Chess Spectacular from 11 am to 2 pm on May 1 on Main Street inside the UMBC Commons.

The speed chess, 16-player, knockout event format promises a dramatic contrast to the slower, quieter pace of traditional tournament chess, where players agonize for minutes between each move and the atmosphere is as tense and silent at the 18th hole at the Masters.

"Speed chess is a really exciting format since each player has just five minutes to complete the entire game," says Alan Sherman, UMBC Chess Team faculty advisor and a professor of computer science at UMBC. "There's often more than five minutes between single moves in traditional tournaments, so this will be some fast and furious chess," says Sherman.

The UMBC Speed Chess Spectacular will be made even more exciting by move-by-move sports commentary by "Those Sports Guys," Paul Mittermeier and Steve Stofberg of WJFK 1300 AM "The Jock," the hosts of Baltimore's top sports radio show.

In addition to the inevitable trash talking, spectators can also enjoy entertainment by members of the UMBC Dance Team and will be able to see each move computer-projected onto the Commons' big-screen TV.

Selected by invitation, the competitors include top chess players from the UMBC Chess Teams, other universities, and the Mid-Atlantic region. UMBC players include International Grandmasters Alex "The Great" Wojtkiewicz, Pawel "The Polish Magician" Blehm, Alex "The Surgeon" Sherzer, as well as Pascal "The Frenchman" Charbonneau,William "The Exterminator" Morrison, John "The Maryland Malice" Rouleau,and Battsetseg "The Mongolian Terror" Tsagaan. A small number of "wildcard" slots will be available at the event to the highest-rated playerswho show up by 10:45am.

In addition to bragging rights, prize money is up for grabs as the final four players will receive $1,000, $500, $250, and $250, respectively.

For more information: See, email,or call (410) 455-8499. Players seeking invitations must contact Dr.Alan T. Sherman,, (410) 455-2666.

Posted by dwinds1 at April 25, 2003 12:00 AM