Friday, March 23, 2007

March Madness - Ready for the Final Four?

No, not that Final Four. I'm talking about the Final Four of the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament.

I love cheering for the underdog so it's no surprise that this story caught my eye. Apparently, Miami Dade Community College has beaten out a number of schools to reach this point, including Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Northwestern.

Here's a quote from the story.

"They're formidable players," said Jim Stallings, University of Texas-Dallas' director for chess and education. "You can't just take anybody for granted in this tournament, because they are the top four U.S. teams."

They accomplished this even with setbacks like having one of their players bolt for University of Maryland, Baltimore County, lured by the promise of a scholarship. Aren't there rules against this kind of tampering?

Beating out Ivy Leaguers has to be somewhat equivalent to George Mason beating out powerhouses UConn, UNC and Michigan State in last year's NCAA tournament. (As a GMU grad, I had to find a way to work last year's Final Four run into this post).

Like I said, I love cheering for the underdog, even if the "sport" is intercollegiate chess. Do you think it'll be on ESPN?


Ted Gossard said...

Andre, Chess is a great board game. I wish I was good at it. I have it on my computer so I play it here and there. Hope to get better at it by playing those many good players on the program.

Nice to hear of a tournament that I was unaware of in it.

Steve said...

Outstanding, Andre! If it were on ESPN, I would watch it.

andre said...


I enjoy playing with my boys - we sometimes have breakfast at a restaurant and play chess for a couple of hours as we eat.


To be truthful, not sure chess makes for good ESPN fare...although they do broadcast the National Spelling Bee so who knows, someday perhaps?

Craver Vii said...

You may not be aware of this, but regardless of whether you know the game, posting images of chess pieces on your blog increases your IQ by two or three points. ...Just like cool bumper stickers ramp up the horsepower of your car. So congratulations on the points, my Mensa friend. As for me, I'm not going to even try, because somebody's gotta be in the bottom 98%. ;-)

andre said...


I was not aware of this - thanks for the tip! Now that I've boosted my IQ a couple of points, I'm firmly in the double digits - it's time to celebrate!