Alan Sherman reports that “UMBC advances to Final Four of College Chess, placing 2nd at 2010 Pan-Am Intercollegiate, after losing to arch rival UTD in close, hard-fought match last evening in Milwaukee. 28 teams competed in this six-round team Swiss event, including Stanford, Yale, Univ of Chicago, Univ. of Toronto.” The top four teams are UT Dallas, UMBC, UT Brownsville and Texas Tech. See here for the final standings of all 28 teams.
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.
Congratulations to the UMBC Chess team and their advisor and our colleague, UMBC CSEE Professor Alan Sherman, for a first place tie in the 54th Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.
UMBC tied for first place with University of Texas at Dallas (B Team) in the sixth and final round of the three-day 2008 Pan-Am Championship which was held in Dallas. This year 29 four-person college teams competed in the annual event which is known as the “World Series of College Chess“. UMBC has now won the Pan-Am tournament a record eight times. The final standings are available at swchess.
The two first place winners will meet again with the third and fourth place teams, the University of Texas Brownville and Stanford, in the special Final Four of Chess tournament, which is held in spring 2009.
The UMBC chess team: front row, L to R: WGM Sabina Foisor, GM Timur Gareev, GM Sergey Erenburg, and GM Leonid Kritz, board one, Back row: UMBC coaches GM Sam Palantnik and NM Igor Epshteyn. Photo Alexey Root.