HERNDON, VA. – The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College Chess Program finished in third place at the 2011 President’s Cup, the “Final Four of College Chess” that ended Sunday.
“The result is not what we hoped for but the finish is incredibly respectful,” said UTB-TSC Chess Coach Ronen Har-Zvi. “The level has substantially become stronger than last year. It could have gone either way.”
Texas Tech University won its first President’s Cup with 7 points. The University of Texas at Dallas placed second with 6.5 points. UTB-TSC finished in third place with 6 points and defending President’s Cup champion the University of Maryland, Baltimore County placed fourth with 4.5 points.
Davorin Kuljasevic, captain of Texas Tech’s chess team and a graduate student in finance, wore an “I (heart) Vegas” T-shirt under his black team hoodie. The T-shirt symbolized the reward the team would get if it won the tournament: a trip to Las Vegas after spring semester ends in May.
“We didn’t expect to win,” said Kuljasevic. “We just wanted to do our best. We only lost one individual game in the tournament.”
In the deciding third match played at technology and management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton in Herndon Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., UTB-TSC tied UT-Dallas 2-2 and Texas Tech defeated UMBC 2.5 to 1.5.
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– GM Susan Polgar