Pan-Ams Heat Up as UMBC Beats UTD A
December 30, 2008
The UMBC chess team: front row, L to R: WGM Sabina Foisor, GM Timur Gareev, GM Sergey Erenburg, and GM Leonid Kritz, board one, Back row: UMBC Associate Director GM Sam Palatnik and coach NM Igor Epshteyn. Photo Alexey Root.

At the Pan-American Championships (Dec.27-30, Dallas, Texas) top ranked University of Baltimore Country beat host University of Texas at Dallas's "A" team in a much awaited face off. Wins with White by GMs Gareev and Kritz secured the 2.5-1.5 match victory.  Update: UTD's "B" team and UMBC drew their final round game and tied for first with 5/6 match points each. More details coming soon.

UTD senior and first board GM Alejandro Ramirez tried the Alekhine against GM Leonid Kritz on board one but found his king under fierce attack. How did Kritz force the win in this position?

Position after 30...Kf7, White to Move and Win

Show Solution


Gareev's victory was more positional- he traded queens into a materially equal endgame that was actually totally lost for Black due to his imprisoned light squared bishop.


UTD earned some measure of revenge on board four, with solid attacking win by Marko Zivanic over WGM Sabina Foisor.


After this key victory, UMBC should not relax too fully. In the sixth and final round, they play the also fearsome UTD B. Check out live games on Monroi or ICC and standings/pairings. Also look for an upcoming Chess Life Magazine report by WIM Dr. Alexey Root.