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2010 President Cup's Undefeated Champions

April 14, 2010 9:25 AM

[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:

Alan T. Sherman, director, UMBC Chess Program
410-963-4779 (c)
shermanumbc [dot] edu


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