Fall 2015: UMBC’s Elite Chess Team

Published: Jan 1, 1970

The rise of chess as a symbol of UMBC’s aspirations as an honors university coincided with the appointment of UMBC professor of computer science Alan Sherman as the faculty advisor of the UMBC chess club in 1991.

Sherman was committed to renovating the university’s chess identity, and the program he led steadily shot up the national rankings between 1991 and 1996. He helped pioneer innovations now considered essential in the world of college chess: scholarships, use of technology, and a recruitment of young chess superstars (including a number from Central and Eastern Europe).

UMBC’s team has worked hard to maintain their elite status in the college chess world, regularly placing in the top four programs in the country and winning six national championships, also known as “The President’s Cup.”

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