Monday, April 21, 2008


The strong annual "Texas Masters" chess tournament was held this past weekend in the DCC (dallas chess club).

Personally this is the third year I play this tournament, and it holds very dear memories for me, but my results have been far from impressive!

Thanks to JG burger for sponsoring the event!

This year saw a mix of very strong players and young talents from the Dallas area. Many of the players have qualified for a spot in the upcoming WYCC (world youth chess championship) to be held later this year in Vietnam.

Darwin Yang is not even 12, but already a FM and 2200 player

Lithuanian FM Tautvydas Vedrickas was second seed of the tournament

Keaton Kiewra came in second after playing a spectacular game against FM Tautvydas

The top standings at the end of the tournament:

# Name Rating St Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total Prize
1 GM Alejandro Ramirez 2593 TX W15 W11 W7 W3 D2 4.5 1500.00
2 FM Keaton Kiewra 2312 NE W9 D8 W20 W7 D1 4.0 750.00
3 FM Michael Langer 2299 TX W10 D6 W4 L1 W8 3.5 250.00
4 FM Darwin Yang 2160 TX W18 D12 L3 W20 W10 3.5 250.00
5 FM Andrew W Whatley 2317 TX H--- U--- W17 W16 W6 3.5

Thanks again to the DCC and JG for making this tournament possible. It was very unfortunate that it coincided with final exams for most of the UTD and UTB (university of texas at brownsville) team members, and did not see the amount of IMs that this tournament normally attracts.

All info for the tournament, more photos and full standings can be found at

Alejandro Ramirez

Monday, April 7, 2008


The final round saw very exciting chess! Let's go over the games individually:

1/2 - 1/2

The game saw a very solid 'Meran Defense' which led to a certain amount of complications in the middle game. 3 hours later the game was very hard to be evaluated, with white having slightly more material (2 bishops vs a rook and a pawn) but black's activity could not be underestimated.

After a very interesting struggle the game eventually finished with Sergey trying to chase my bishop away from guarding a very important square, b1, where he wanted to promote his passed pawn into a new queen. The bishop kept finding shelter and the game ended in a draw.

1 - 0

Magesh saw himself in a slight disadvantage early in the game after falling for a very cunning trap by the Uzbek Grand Master, Timur Gareev. Despite putting up an amazing resistance, white was able to convert his advantage after using very fancy tactics and great technique. Magesh's resilience was fantastic, making the task of winning very difficult for Gareev who proved why he is one of the top world junior players and the highest rated player in the event.

As a quick side note our team captain, Magesh Panchanathan, will be graduating this semester with his Masters in CS and has successfully represented UTD in 6 (!) Final Fours. Thanks Magesh, congratulations for the degree and best of luck!

1 - 0

Our player, Davorin 'Kul-J' Kuljasevic chose a slightly passive which apparently let Pawel equalize. However Kul-J outplayed Pawel with a magnificent style, not allowing the Polish to ever breathe or seek counterplay of any sort. Kul-J has been on a rise lately, making two GM norms and breaking the 2500 FIDE rating mark in the past few months.

Kul-Js excellent style was evidenced in this game, where it is impossible to say where Pawel went wrong. Davorin simply played too well! Davorin's game was the last to finish, and he needed but a draw to clinch the title, however being in a position where losing was really not in the picture, he pushed for a win that he got in a crushing Knight vs Bishop endgame, where his Knight restricted any possible activity by the bishop and allowed him to push his passed pawns into new queens.

As a side note this is Pawel's last final four, just like our team captain Magesh this is his 6th (!) President's Cup and he will be graduating this upcoming May.



Marko was simply implacable in this tournament: despite the fact that he played 3 black games he won all of them! Rohonyan started the game very strongly, gaining a clear advantage. However she failed to find the decisive Nd7, where Zivanic's queen and rook would be under fire, giving white a huge advantage. Marko recovered flawlessly and outplayed Rohonyan giving UTD the first win of the match, and giving us much needed confidence in our boards.

At the end UTD prevailed 2.5-1.5, winning the tournament outright in both match points and individual points! Congratulations!

Come back soon for pictures and report on the closing ceremony, trip home and links to the articles published about the most recent success of the strongest chess team in the Western Hemisphere.


Round 2 was not played by your dear blogger, so I have little info except what is provided by the boards:


UTD continued with a demolishing pace winning 3.5-0.5 against a very resilient New York University. The results as follows:

Molner McKenzie [NYU] 0 - 1 Magesh Panchanathan [UTD]
Drasko Boskovic [UTD] 1/2 - 1/2 - Evan 'the Trompowsky Master' Rosenber [NYU]
Sean Finn [NYU]0 - 1 Marko Zivanic [UTD]
John Bartholomew [UTD] 1 -0 Jake Vogel [NYU]

Dropping only half a point, the team again managed to finish all their games before the other match had a single decisive board.


This was easily the closest match in the tournament, with Miami seeming to be completely losing in most boards to making a virtual draw against the Maryland powerhouse. Katja 'the Kiev Killer' Rohonyan crushed her opponent Javier Gonzalez with ease, but Charlos Galofre managed to lock down the position against Timur Gareev, Erenburg surprisingly lost an easily darwn endgame against Gonzalez and Sinclair was holding against UMBC's 3rd GM Pawel Blehm. At the end it was Timur that grinded out a win in a very drawn position to give UMBC the victory 2.5-1.5. At the end this happened:

Renier Gonzalez [MIAMI] 1 - 0 Sergey Erenburg [UMBC]
Timur Gareev [UMBC] 1 -0 Charles Galofre [MIAMI]
Devling Sinclair [MIAMI] 1/2 - 1/2 Pawel Blehm [UMBC]
Kateryna Rohonyan [UMBC] 1 - 0 Javier Gonzalez [MIAMI]

With this results UTD is leading by half a point and needs only half a point to clinch the title! The climatic match was played at 9:00 am, April 06th

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Round 1!

And so the moment of truth has arrived!

The tournament started a little late after the technical team finished setting up the Monrois (electronic scoresheets) and dgt boards (electronic boards!) which we are using.

The opening ceremony was short, and it importantly introduced the brand new "real" President's Cup! I couldn't help myself but to stare at the beauty:


Most of the games lasted for more than three and a half hours, with no easy games being played. The first game of the tournament to finish was a convincing victory by UTD's Marko Zivanic against Miami's Ernesto Alvarez

Zivanic (right) posing for the camera prior to the game

all of the UTD vs Miami games finished before any of the UMBC vs NYU games finished.  These were the results:

Your trusty blogger enjoying a smile with his victim

Alejandro Ramirez [UTD] 1 - 0 Reinier Gonzalez [MIAMI]
Charles Galofre [MIAMI] 1/2 - 1/2 Davorin Kuljasevic [UTD]
Drasko Boskovic        [UTD] 1 - 0 Javie Gonzalez [MIAMI]
Ernesto Alvarez [MIAMI] 0 - 1 Marko Zivanic [UTD]

So we won the match 3.5-0.5!  However our dear Kuljasevic had a tougher time than expected against Miami's second board, and they went for a 5 hour marathon that made the game go all the way to the last few pieces!

Kuljasevic being surprized!


The UMBC squad seemed to not be convincingly better in any board against NYU (except the second board), but managed to outplay their opponents in excellent fashion, wiping out NYU by 4-0


The results:

Sergey Erenburg [UMBC] 1 - 0 Molner Mckenzie [NYU]
Evan "the revolutionizer" Rosenberg [NYU] 0 - 1 Timur Gareev [UMBC]
Pawel Blehm [UMBC] 1 - 0 Sean Finn [NYU]
Jake Vogel [NYU] 0 - 1 Katerina Rohonian [UMBC]

It seems that UMBC also brought their cheerleaders for the match!  Actually this is Sergey Erenbug's girlfriend who faithfully supported her team all throughout the match

Currently the second round is being played and I will have new photos and results as soon as possible!


Friday, April 4, 2008

flight and arrival to baltimore

The team left utd campus at 6:30 a.m. heading for dfw airport. There we enjoyed a healthy Starbucks breakfast and prepared for the nap on the early flight to BWI.  Here I am with the currently non-working camera which will be used to upload more pictures in the future, while Magesh shows the world that the breakfast of champions is really based on a fast-food diet.

Right now we are staying "The Quinta Inn" which is very close to the playing site, located in the UMBC campus.

Reception dinner was very good, with the best crab cakes I have eaten in my life! We are all resting for our interesting match tomorrow, with us having white against Miami dade.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Welcome to the blog site of the UTD chess team! Here you will find the latest reports, comments and games from the #1 college chess team in the nation.

The first stop will be the important FINAL FOUR tournament, to be held in Baltimore Maryland. Stop by April 4th to see the latest updates on this exciting event.

Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez
blogger for the UTD chess team