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Chess Players Triumph at Spring Break Tournaments

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MARCH 14, 2011 – Three members of The University of Texas at Brownsville’s Chess Program spent the first weekend of Spring Break at tournaments on opposite coasts.

Axel Bachmann, a junior business major and chess Grandmaster from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay and Max Cornejo, a senior international business major and chess International Master from Lima, Peru, participated in the Western Class Championships from Friday, March 11 to Sunday, March 13 in Agoura Hills, Calif. Bachmann won first place and Cornejo finished in eighth place.

“I knew this will be the toughest challenge before the Final Four,” said Bachmann. “For this reason, we have been training and trying to improve some of our weaknesses in order to get good results.”

Timur Gareyev, a senior business major and chess Grandmaster from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, flew to Rochester, N.Y. and won the 2011 Marchand Open held Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13.

“Played a couple tough games (the) last day,” Gareyev sent in an e-mail to Chess Program Director Russell Harwood late Sunday night. “Was pushing against Grandmaster Mark Paragua (of the Philippines) with black and missed a win in time scramble. Last game, beat Grandmaster Mikheil Kekelidze (of Georgia) in a positional battle.”

The students said they did not mind giving up a week of rest to play the game they love.

“We still have Spring Break to relax, and personally, playing chess does not stress me,” said Cornejo. “I enjoy it.”

The students are using the tournaments as preparation for the 2011 President’s Cup, the “Final Four of College Chess” which UTB will compete inSaturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 at Booz Allen Hamilton, a technology and management consulting firm in Herndon, Va. The team will face Texas Tech University, The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Mauricio Flores, a junior mathematics and physics major and chess Grandmaster from Valparaiso, Chile, will also represent the university at the President’s Cup.

The students have worked with Chess Program Coach Ronen Har-Zvi and also on their own to prepare for the Spring Break tournaments and Final Four.

“It is important to be in the best shape for the Final Four,” said Cornejo. “After this tournament, I will get more confidence regardless of the result.”

For more information on the UTB Chess Program, contact (956) 882-5761 or

Chess Players Triumph at Spring Break Tournaments
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