The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College chess team has qualified for the President’s Cup, a tournament to be held in April in Washington that represents the final four of college chess.
The team qualified by tying for second place in a tournament this week in Milwaukee and ranking third from tie-breaking points, the university announced.
The Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship was held from Monday through Thursday in Milwaukee, with the A team from UTB-TSC tying with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for second place.
The finish gave UTB-TSC one of four slots for the President’s Cup competition.
The B team from UTB-TSC was one of six teams that initially tied for fourth in Milwaukee, but it ended up in eighth place, losing matches only to the UTB-TSC A team and Stanford University A team.
The University of Texas at Dallas won the Milwaukee tournament with six points, winning all six of its matches.
â€œI think as a team we were well prepared,â€ said UTB-TSC’s Timur Gareyev, a grand master in chess. â€œWe had the goal in mind to qualify for the final four and we did that. Now we will identify the goals for final four and pursue those. (That) will be the most important thing in the coming months.â€
Gareyev and Max Cornejo, an international master, also received individual honors as top players on the first board and sixth board, respectively.
UTB-TSC Chess Director Russell Harwood said he is proud of the way the teams played.
â€œI am very pleased with both teams. We did what we came to do and that was to qualify for the final four,â€ he said. â€œOur B team did exceptionally well â€” they also played the top three teams and over all it was very good. This is our third year qualifying for the final four and that’s big.â€
In 2009, the team’s first appearance in the final four, they placed second. In 2010, when the university hosted the games, they placed second â€” just a half a point behind the first-place winners, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
â€œNow we get ready for the final four,â€ Harwood said. â€œSome of our students will be going off to individual tournaments and some students will be going home, but once the (school) starts again we will be gearing up for April.â€