UT Dallas Ties for 1st in Championship Games
By Jim Stallings   
UT Dallas fought a grueling sixth-round battle to hold its chief rival to a first-place tie in the intercollegiate chess championship games that ended Tuesday in Dallas.

Down a pawn in the last endgame, UT Dallas graduating senior and tournament veteran Drasko Boskovic refused to give in and set up an impregnable defense.

His University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) opponent, Sergey Erenburg, who was rated 132 points higher than Boskovic, eventually agreed to a draw.

The final game lasted five hours.

Overall, UT Dallas played to four wins and two draws for a final score of 5-1 and a dead-heat finish with UMBC. The teams are considered co-winners, but under a complex tie-break system, UT Dallas edged out UMBC to take home the first-place trophy.

“Once again Coach Rade Milovanovic had all of our teams well prepared, mentally sharp, and ready to rumble,” said UT Dallas Chess Program Director Jim Stallings. “I am very proud of everyone’s performance this year.”

The Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship drew the top players from 29 universities. UT Dallas won the championship outright in 2006 and 2007.

Salvijus Bercys won the prize for Board 4 with a score of 5.5 points in 6 games. A UT Dallas all-woman team won the Division II Trophy for teams rated 2000-2199.

The tournament, known as the “World Series of College Chess,” was held Dec. 27-30 at the Dallas Fort Worth Marriott Hotel. Hosts were the Dallas Chess Club and UT Dallas.

UT Dallas had one grandmaster and seven international masters for the tournament The UMBC team had the tournament’s three highest-rated players, all of whom are grandmasters.

The two teams will face off again in another major annual college chess competition, the Final Four of Chess to be played on the UT Dallas campus April 4-5. No team other than UT Dallas or UMBC has won the event in that competition’s eight-year history. Stanford and the University of Texas at Brownsville will round out the field.