Dallas Defeats Belgrade
By WIM Alexey Root   
November 10, 2007
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Did the cheerleaders have something to do with UTD's crushing victory over the University of Belgrade?
On November 9, University of Texas at Dallas defeated University of Belgrade 11-5 in the 2nd Transatlantic Cup. The opening ceremony featured a live video feed from each campus to the other, speeches by dignitaries, and the UTD cheerleaders. After opening moves for white on board one by UTD Associate Provost Michael Coleman and on board two by Serbian Minister of Sports Snezana Samardzic-Markovic, the match was officially underway. Dean Coleman confided that he told GM Alejandro Ramirez, "I'll just touch your elbow. You do whatever you think is best." Ramirez chose 1. d4, and, 27 moves later, scored the first victory of the match. In the end, UTD won 8, drew 6, and lost 2, avenging last year's one point loss (8.5 to 7.5). Complete results and all the game scores are available on the Internet Chess Club (ICC)   ("fi UTD-Belgrade07")

GM Alejandro Ramirez commented on his win on first board over GM Veljko Jeremic immediately after its completion in the VIP room, which was staffed by UTD graduate student GM Magesh Panchanathan and FM John Jacobs.



Ramirez noted that the first nine moves are all book. On move 10, he noted that most players play Rb1. But, following Alexandrov of Belorussia, Ramirez chose 10. Re1. Black's response, 10….Qe7, was a new move according to Ramirez. Ramirez felt 11. d5 to close the center was a natural response. He also liked that the black N on c6 cannot retreat to e7. His long-range plan was "to move the pawns forward on the kingside because I'm crippled on the queenside." He will attempt Rb1-f3-Rf2-f4. Ramirez felt that Black's 17…f5 showed a lack of patience.

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Position after 17...f5



 He also thought that his 18. f4 was a strong response, though he considered also taking on f5. 19. Rf2 best; "I wanted all the pieces there [on the kingside] before I release the tension." 21. Bxd6 is a "shocking move. If Black recaptured with the N on d6, then I would play e5." Although Ramirez gave up a piece, he said, "I have two pawns for the piece and he can't stop f6. All my chips are on the fact that his pieces are not coordinated. For example, if 22….Ne5 23. f6. 22….Ne8 was black's most solid move. On move 23, I considered Nh5. If 26….Qxd6 then 27. Bxh7+ wins the queen. 28. Nh7 was "a little flourish at the end. I am very happy with this game. I haven't played this well in a while."


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WIM Alexey Root is the author of Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators.