UT Dallas Wins Gligoric Transatlantic Cup to Even the Series

5TR_1216At the 10th Annual TransAtlantic Cup, the usual speeches were given from both sides of the Atlantic. Two were a bit different. GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic not only praised the annual event but pressed for more collegiate chess competition around the globe. Richardson Mayor Pro Tem Mark Solomon delivered a fiery exhortation (in Texas, it is known as swagger, not trash-talk) to the UTD chess team to go all out for the win! Well, we had not won during a 5 year drought. So, we were in need of a rainmaker.  The UTD cheerleader with mascot Temoc sent the match off to a rousing start. image007Each year there is a live audio video connect between Dallas and Belgrade. It goes silent when the games start. IA Franc Guadalupe would later tell me that he was shaking his head and feeling sorry to the UTD team after the first 5 games were completed. The score stood at 4.5-0.5 for Belgrade! I was not in the auditorium but in our VIP Room listening to commentary by GM Kosintseva, GM Yotov, and Rodney Thomas, President of Chess Advisory Board. The fog of battle from 16 boards is such that we never knew exactly what the score was. It has been so every year. Come from behind victory! As is quite often the case, it once more came down to the last game. UTD led UB led 8-7. But, if IM Kacper Drozdowski were to lose, the match would end in a tie. And, by rule, the Cup would then be sent back from Dallas to Belgrade. Kacper did not disappoint and won the game. Our top 8 boards played exceptionally well by defeating their opponents 6.5-1.5. But that would not be enough to win. The lower 8 boards had to contribute as well. Though at an enormous rating disadvantage, they held strong with a 2.5-5.5 result. This gave the team a satisfying 9-7 victory. It meant the Transatlantic Cup would be remaining in Dallas another year … and not returning to Belgrade! The featured game, showing how it was truly a team effort, is an improbable win on Board 16 by Michael Kneen against David Sarenac (FIDE 2306).
[pgn] [Event "Beograd - Dalas 2015"]
[Site "ICC"]
[Date "2015.11.06"]
[White "Kneen, Michael"]
[Black "Sarenac, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C41"]
[WhiteElo "1624"]
[BlackElo "2339"]
[Annotator "R.Milovanovic"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Be7 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. h3 c6 7. O-O d5 8. exd5
cxd5 9. Bb3 Nc6 10. Re1 d4 11. Ne2 Bd6 12. Ng3 h6 13. Nd2 Re8 14. Nde4 Bb4 15.
Rf1 (15. c3) 15... Nd5 $2 (15... Be6) 16. Qf3 (16. Bxh6 $1 gxh6 17. Bxd5 Qxd5
18. Nf6+) 16... Nce7 17. Nh5 $1 $18 Qb6 18. Qg3 (18. a3 Bc5 19. Qg3 Nf5 20. Qg4
$18) 18... Nf5 19. Qf3 (19. Qg4) 19... Nde7 20. Kh2 (20. a3) 20... Qg6 $2 (
20... Ng6) 21. g4 Nd6 22. Nef6+ (22. a3 $142 Nxe4 23. dxe4 Bc5 24. Rg1 $18 Be6
25. g5) 22... gxf6 23. Nxf6+ Kf8 24. Nxe8 Kxe8 25. Qe2 f6 26. f4 Qg7 27. fxe5
fxe5 28. Qf2 h5 29. gxh5 Bf5 30. Rg1 Qh8 31. h6 Kd7 32. Bg5 Ng6 33. h4 Rf8 34.
h5 Nf4 35. Bxf4 exf4 36. Rg7+ Kc8 37. Qxf4 Bd7 38. Qxf8+ $1 Qxf8 39. Rg8 Nf5
40. h7 Bd6+ 41. Kg1 Kc7 42. Rxf8 Bxf8 43. h8=Q Bh6 44. Qe5+ Kd8 45. Be6 Be3+
46. Kh2 Nh4 47. Qf6+ Kc7 48. Qxh4 Bxe6 49. Qe7+ Bd7 50. Rf1 1-0

Gligoric Transatlantic Cup Match History Year                       Winning Team                   Final Score 2006                       Belgrade                                8.5    -   7.5 2007                       Dallas                                    11.0  -   5.0 2008                       Dallas                                    12.5  -   3.5 2009                       Dallas                                    8.5    -    7.5 2010                       Belgrade                              11.5   -   4.5 2011                       Belgrade/Dallas                8.0     -    8.0 2012                       Belgrade                              9.5     -    6.5 2013                       Belgrade                              9.0     -    7.0 2014                       Belgrade/Dallas                8.0     -    8.0 2015                       Dallas                                    9.0     -    7.0 Dallas   5.0           vs.          5.0  Belgrade  


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Congratulations to UTD on breaking the drought. It looks like most of the matches have been hard-fought, reasonably close, and interesting

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

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