Photo by Susan Polgar
Professor Alan Sherman reports that UMBC has won the “Final Four of College Chess” for 2010:
“Undefeated, UMBC finished the President’s Cup (Final Four of College Chess) 1/2 point above the field, winning its 6th national chess title since the championship began ten years ago. The large President’s Cup perpetual trophy will return to campus for another year.
- 8.0 UMBC [avg USCF rating 2588)
- 7.5 UTB (Brownsville) 
- 4.5 TT (Texas Tech) 
- 4.0 UTD (Dallas) 
In the first two rounds, UMBC gained a 1/2 point lead over UTB by defeating UTD and TT 3-1 each, whereas UTB beat UTD 3-1 but UTB beat TT only by 2.5-1.5.
Entering Round 3 with a 1/2 point lead, UMBC needed only two points to secure clear victory. In Round 3, UMBC tied UTB 2-2. Kritz lost on Board 1, Erenburg won on Board 2, and Margvelashvili and Kaplan drew on Boards 3-4. As part of its preparation, UTB hired a top Grandmaster consultant who in the months before the event helped prepare an opening trick against Kritz that contributed to Kritz’s third round defeat. Seeing that Erenburg was winning, Kaplan in a better position safely steered his game to a draw, clinching the team victory.
This weekend’s event was the strongest Final Four ever: there were seven International Grandmasters, one International Woman Grandmaster, at least ten International Masters, and 15 players rated over 2500. The event was intensely fought and played at an extremely high level of chess.
UMBC’s success was due to playing better than the opponents. The UMBC delegation included five Grandmasters, anchored by Kritz and Erenburg – each rated over 2600. At 2667, Kritz is the highest rated college player in Pan-America.
Three of the four UMBC players have perfect 4.0 GPAs (taking at least 19 credit hours per semester), and Team Captain Erenburg is a candidate for Valedictorian.”
For more details, see UMBC Wins Record “Final Four of College Chess” Against Strongest Field Yet.