UTD is hosting a chess tournament for high school students where the winner can receive a scholarship to the university. This is the first tournament of its kind since the creation of the UTD chess team in 1994 and will be used to recruit students to the university.
The 9 a.m., Jan. 24 event at Roosevelt High School of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is open to any high school student. The competition is free of charge. The winner will be awarded a renewable four-year UTD scholarship of $1,000 annually should the student elect to attend UTD and meet admissions requirements.
“This is a big project for us and it’s like running door-to-door for great chess players who might also be good students,” said Tim Redman, professor of literary studies and director of the chess program.
Michael Coleman, dean of undergraduate studies, and George Fair, dean of general studies, will attend the tournament searching for students with exceptional chess talent who might be academically gifted as well.
Redman said the purpose of this event was to not only recruit chess players, but also future UTD students who will be successful in accelerated fields such as computer science.
“We generally assume that people with exceptional chess ability will be – for the most part – bright as well,” Redman said.
According to Redman, this event serves as a medium to gather gifted students in chess as well as academics, to publicize UTD chess, to make it a symbol at UTD and to introduce chess in high schools to develop the minds of younger students.
Similarly, Redman wants to increase impact in local school districts for the purpose of recruiting great players.
“I would like to make this an annual event because we are getting great cooperation from DISD, and other schools like McKinney High School are also asking us to sponsor these kinds of chess events,” he said.
UTD continually searches for gifted students internationally as well, and has attracted great players from countries such as India, Poland and Zambia.
Redman is also working to recruit players from China and nations in South America.
“We look for the best players all over the U.S. and the world,” Redman said.
Gary Kasparov of Azerbaijan, the best chess player today, comes to UTD frequently and plays games with the talented players here, he said.