STUDENTS AT THE U.S. CHESS CENTER PLAY STUDENTS IN MONTENEGRO VIA INTERNET
By Catherine Sevcenko   
January 23, 2012
USChessCntr.jpgU.S. AMBASSADOR SUE BROWN AND MONTENEGRIN AMBASSADOR SRDJAN DARMANOVIC MAKE THE CEREMONIAL FIRST MOVES

Washington DC, Jan. 22, 2012 – Ten students from the U.S. Chess Center played games against ten students from Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.  Before the match began, Ambassador Sue Brown expressed her excitement at being with the Montenegrin students and recognizing the power of chess to bring people together.  She also praised chess as a way of teaching young people to persevere because, even in a difficult situation, “there is always another move.”  Ambassador Srdjan Darmanović, himself a master chess player, then spoke about the importance of chess not only as a forum for rivalry, but as a medium for developing friendship.  He looks forward to welcoming the American students in Montenegro this June for a planned visit, which will allow the students to play face-to-face and to get to know each other through homestays and excursions through the country.

Ambassador Darmanović is a political scientist who is taking a leave from academia to represent his country in the United States.  During the week he devotes himself to international politics and promoting policies important to his country, such as NATO accession.  On the weekends, however, he finds time for chess and plays in professional tournaments as his schedule allows.  He has joined the Black Knights chess team, which so far is undefeated.  Most important, he periodically gives lessons at the U.S. Chess Center; the results of today’s match show that he is a skilled teacher as well as player.

The Americans won the match 6½ - 3½.  This was the second international match played by U.S. Chess Center students recently.  In December, the young players defeated a team from Tromso, Norway (the site of the 2014 Chess Olympiad) by the score of 5½ - 4½. U.S. Chess Center President David Mehler praised the performance of both his students and the Montenegrin students, characterizing them as excellent adversaries who can learn a lot from each other.

The spectators agreed that the best game of the match was played on fourth board, where American 9-year-old Jennifer Yu, playing the black pieces, faced 13-year-old Slaven Minic.