[4/12/2010]-- BALTIMORE - Continuing its dominating sweep of collegiate chess tournaments, UMBC’s powerhouse chess team won a record sixth “Final Four of College Chess” April 11 in Brownsville, Texas, at the 2010 President’s Cup.
UMBC defeated University of Texas-Brownsville (UTB) by just half a point to clinch its sixth title in the tournament’s 10-year history. The tournament was hosted by UTB, a newcomer chess powerhouse whom UMBC defeated Dec. 30 to win the 2009 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship (the Pan Am). UMBC has won or tied the Pan Am competition a record nine times in the past 14 years, more than any other college in the tournament's history.
Competition was so fierce, Sherman said, that UTB hired a top grandmaster consultant who in the months before the tournament helped the team prepare an opening trick designed specifically to trip-up Kritz, who is the highest rated college player in the Pan Am. The trap contributed to Kritz's third round defeat, but a victory by Erenburg and a draw by UMBC player Sasha Kaplan clinched the team's victory.
UMBC's chess team players are full-time students first and chess players second, Sherman said. Three team players have earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages and team captain Sergey Erenburg is a candidate for valedictorian this May.
NPR's nationally syndicated Tell Me More interviewed Sherman April 12.
For more information on the tournament: www.collegechess.org.
Alan T. Sherman, director, UMBC Chess Program
shermanumbc [dot] edu
Original Story: http://www.umbc.edu/window/chesschamps10.html