UMBC places 10th in Pan-Am Chess Championship

The UMBC Chess A chess team finished in tenth place in the 2015 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, held December 27-30 at Oberlin College in Ohio.

This marks the 25th year UMBC teams have participated in the event. UMBC has won or tied for first place in the Pan-Am Championship ten times, and has frequently placed in the final four, to continue on to the President’s Cup held in each spring. UMBC has not qualified for this year’s President’s Cup, but team members will go on to other competitions held throughout the year.

UMBC’s A team got off to a solid start at the Pan-Am Championship, winning the first two rounds by beating the University of Illinois B team and Princeton. In the third and fourth rounds, UMBC lost to the Texas Tech A team and the University of Texas at Dallas B team, respectively. UMBC won the fifth round against Washington University in St. Louis and sixth round against the University of Illinois A team.

UMBC’s 2015 A team includes international master Levan Bregadze ‘16, financial economics; team captain and grandmaster Niclas Huschenbeth ‘16, psychology; grandmaster Tanguy Ringoir ‘19, economics; and Dobrynya Konoplev ‘17, computer science and mechanical engineering.

The UMBC B team finished 31st overall, winning rounds against both the University of Central Florida and University of Florida. The team received a special award for the top finish of all participating U1600 teams.

Members of this team include Nathaniel Wong ‘18, Asian studies and political science; Abhilash Puranik ‘17, M.S. computer engineering; Jeffrey Carr ‘19, interdisciplinary studies; and Mustapha Diomande ‘17, biological sciences and psychology.

The teams are coached by Igor Epshteyn; Sam Palatnik, grandmaster; Joel DeWyer, business director of the chess program and associate director of The Commons; and Alan Sherman, director of the chess program and professor of computer science.

You can view the final competition results and review selected games on the tournament website.

Image: Members of the UMBC chess team before attending the 2015 PanAmerican Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. Photo by Marlayna Demond ‘11 for UMBC.