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College chess team recruiting

Here’s an interesting piece from the Dallas TX Morning News yesterday:

College chess team recruiting

This story was made doubly interesting to us by the schools mentioned in the article: University of Texas at Dallas and University of Maryland (Baltimore County); ChessCentral has close ties to both Dallas TX and Baltimore MD. ChessCentral was established originally in a suburb of Dallas, and yours truly was an active participant in the Baltimore chess scene for several years in the early 1990’s.

But of more general interest is the fact that college team chess is fast becoming a big deal on campuses nationwide. It’s not a sudden phenomenon; the groundwork has been steadily laid for the past decade or so (I’ve been reading news stories such as these, both in and out of the “chess press” since the turn of the new century). It’s gratifying to see that institutes of higher learning are taking competitive team chess events seriously enough to hire recruiters and actively pursue promising high school talent. It’s a far cry from my own high school years when there wasn’t interest enough in the game for our school to even have a club past my freshman year.

Perhaps the possibility of college scholarships for high school chessplayers will provide an incentive for more school districts to not just encourage chess clubs in the schools but also actively finance them as well (at least to the small degree of providing a few sets and clocks).

(As a side note, I’d just like to add that in the photo accompanying the Dallas Morning News article, Rade Milovanovic appears to be using ChessBase on his laptop computer)


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