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).

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  

Comments

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

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