UTD places third at chess championship – The – The UTD Mercury



Team attends President’s Cup for 16th time, competes against top three U.S. college chess teams

UTD
competed for the 16th time at the President’s Cup chess championship in New
York, a national competition that determines the top U.S. collegiate team.

The
championship was held April 6-7, with the winners announced April 7. UTD placed
third after UT Rio Grande Valley and Webster University.


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The
President’s Cup was founded by UTD professor and former president of the United
States Chess Federation, Tim Redman. The annual championship is a competition
between the top three other collegiate chess teams. Each team comprises four
players and two alternate players. The teams qualify by winning the top four
spots at the Pan American Intercollegiate Championship held in December.

UTD
faced off against last year’s champions UT Rio Grande Valley, Webster
University and Harvard University.

This
was the first President’s Cup team coached by UTD’s new chess team coach, Julio
Sadorra. Sadorra is an alumnus of UTD and a former member of the chess team.

“It’s a new experience and
challenging
but also satisfying because I’m helping chess scholars, and that’s who I was
when I was still a student at UTD,” Sadorra said.

Sadorra has played in the
President’s Cup twice before as a member of UTD’s chess team.

The team
prepares for national competitions such as the President’s Cup by holding
one-on-one sessions, in addition to normal practices.

“When we
qualified for the President’s Cup … (we) had to adjust certain things — for
example, I had to do more meetings with the squad, the players going to the
Final Four, because I can only take four players and two reserves, so I meet
more with them,” Sadorra said.

Omer Reshef, a software
engineering freshman, played at the President’s Cup for the first time this
year.

“The
pressure is much higher,” Reshef said. “Each game is way more important than in
other tournaments. And since it’s a team event, you also have responsibility
for the team not just for yourself.”

The team
did fairly well, Sadorra said, considering the relatively limited amount of
time he was able to spend with them.

“I think
it was good considering we just started a new system under my guidance and
under this new cooperation between the team players and me,” Sadorra said.
“With the amount of time and experience I got to work with the team so far,
it’s pretty good, because although we didn’t win first place, we were able to
pull off an upset draw against the Webster team.”


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