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Thursday, March 24, 2011

UT Dallas hosts super chess event, earns a grandmaster!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Remember our earlier post about the UT Dallas Chess Team?
UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational Welcomes Best Chess Players in the World

Well, here is complete news of the event.

During the invitational week, the UT Dallas chess team played an exhibition game against visiting Grandmasters on the lifesize mall chess plaza.

Tournament Gives Chess Team Tough Competition

Amid Invitational Loss, Sophomore Sadorra Becomes Grandmaster-Elect

The books are closed on the first sponsored chess tournament in UT Dallas history, and the visiting Grandmasters proved worthy of their titles. The opponents took the UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational Underwritten by Turner Construction Company with an overall score of 42.5 points to UT Dallas’ 29.5.

(Right) Sophomore business administration major Julio Sadorra achieved the rank of Grandmaster, a goal he has been working toward since seventh grade.

UT Dallas Heading
to the Chess Final Four
The team will end the season with an appearance at the Final Four of Chess, scheduled for April 1-3 at Booz Allen Hamilton headquarters in Washington, D.C. Opponents include the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Texas Tech University; and UT Brownsville. Games can be viewed online; a free account is required to see the matches.

Pep Rally
The UT Dallas Cheerleaders will send the team off with a rally on the chess plaza.
What: Pep Rally and Ginormous Chess
When: Tuesday, March 29, noon to 2 p.m.
Where: Student Union and Chess Plaza

“While we did not prevail, our team met its objective,” Chess Program Director Jim Stallings said. “We were there to prepare for the Final Four of Chess, and we did that effectively.

“I congratulate the visiting Grandmasters on a hard-fought tournament.”

Early on in the competition, the University’s two Grandmasters (GMs) and four International Masters (IMs) kept pace with their higher-rated opponents.

“Our team was doing well until the rest day,” said Coach Rade Milovanovic. “We were in a dead heat.”

The visitors rallied during the second half of tournament play to take the event. Full results are available on the tournament web page.

The GM Invitational also marked the first time UT Dallas held a Scheveningen-style event, named for the town in Holland where the style of play was born nearly a century ago. The Scheveningen rarely is seen in U.S. competitions. Each player on one team plays each member of the opposing team, rather than a round-robin style where players face all others in a tournament. The University’s tournament tweaked the Scheveningen slightly, allowing the six chess team players to meet each visiting GM twice over 12 rounds.

“Twelve straight games against grandmasters is not the norm for college chess,” Stallings said. “There’s no substitute for rigorous competition to be in top condition, and we can’t thank Turner Construction Company, Masters & Associates, Walker Engineering and Corgan Associates enough for their tremendous support.”

Sophomore business administration major Julio Sadorra proved he was on top of his game when he achieved the correct combination of added rating points and victories over GMs to qualify for the Grandmaster player title in chess. Sadorra called the achievement “a dream come true.”

“I’ve been working toward this since I was in the seventh grade, when I wrote in my yearbook, ‘I will become a grandmaster in the next 10 years,’” he said.

The World Chess Federation is scheduled to make Sadorra’s title official in June.

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