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April 2, 2012

UMBC Chess Team Ties for Second Place in “Final Four" of College Chess

Contact: Nicole Ruediger, Communications Manager
phone: 410-455-5791

The UMBC chess team tied with the University of Texas at Dallas for second place 2012 President's Cup, behind Texas Tech and ahead of New York University. The competition, known informally as the Final Four, was held March 30 to April 1 in Herndon, Va., at the Westin Dulles Hotel.

Teams qualified for the match back in December, during the 2011 Pan-Am Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. In that match UMBC came in second, ahead of Texas Tech and New York University and behind the University of Texas at Dallas. All four teams advanced to the Final Four. In that event, UMBC and UTD both earned 7.5 points, with Texas Tech scoring 8 and NYU 1.

Since 2001, when the Final Four began, UMBC has captured the title six out of eleven times. "This year’s Final Four had a very close and exciting finish,” says Alan Sherman, UMBC chess director.

The players, all on chess scholarships at UMBC, not only have exceptional chess skills, but also sport strong academic records. UMBC requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA to maintain chess scholarships.

For more information on the UMBC team, contact Alan T. Sherman, director, UMBC Chess Program at 410-963-4779 or

The UMBC Final 4 Team – Average Rating USCF 2519

Board 1: GM Leonid "Chief" Kritz (USCF 2659, FIDE 2611)
• Germany
• World Champion under 16 years, Spain 1999.
• Best performance 2748, Holland 2007.
• Participant in 2004 FIDE World Championship in Libya
• Senior majoring in financial economics

Board 2: GM Giorgi Margvelashvili (USCF 2577, FIDE 2547)
• Republic of Georgia
• Enjoys Soccer
• 8th Place, World Junior Championship, 2009
• 1st Place, European Championship Under 14, 2004
• Sophomore majoring in financial economics

Board 3: IM Sasha Kaplan (USCF 2440, FIDE 2405)
• Israel
• Enjoys music, soccer and tennis
• Israel Junior champion under 20, 2007
• Israeli Army champion, 2008
• Second place, Herzeliya International Round Robin
• Junior majoring in mathematics
Board 4: WGM Sabina “Sunshine” Foisor (USCF 2402, FIDE 2361)
• Member USA Olympic team
• Finalist of the USA Women Chess Championships
• Enjoys music, football, tennis and linguistic.
• Senior majoring in modern languages and linguistics

Alternate 1: LM Adithya Balasubramanian, (USCF 2357, FIDE 2233)
Alternate 2: Benjamin Krause, (USCF 2258, FIDE 2209)

Dr. Alan T. Sherman, Director
GM Sam Palatnik, Associate Director
Igor Epshteyn, Coach

About the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
UMBC combines the emphasis on teaching found at the best liberal arts colleges with the innovation of a research university. The university’s 13,000 students come from more than 150 countries and take full advantage of the educational, business, cultural and recreational resources of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The Carnegie Foundation ranks UMBC in the category of universities with high research activity. UMBC is a member of the University System of Maryland and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. To learn more, visit

Posted by nruedige at April 2, 2012 1:47 PM