Friday, September 5th, I attended a meeting of The University of Texas at Dallas chess club. I saw two of my current Chess Online students, Mihail Bantic and IM Marko Zivanic. I also saw former students IM John Bartholomew, IM Drasko Boskovic, WFM Lilia Doibani, FM Keaton Kiewra, FM Igor Schneider, and WFM Bayaraa Zorigt. Although many students in my online courses are chess beginners, I have also had many UTD chess team members take the courses.
The students learn a lot from each other, as I wrote in this editorial for the Dallas Morning News.In addition to speed chess (five-minute, three-minute, and bullet) games being played, there were also two special events. First, a birthday cake was brought in for Bartholomew, a UTD senior. We all sang Happy Birthday. Second, IM Davorin Kuljasevic presented one of his best games from the summer, a win as black over a WGM/IM. Using a projector and laptop, Kuljasevic lectured about the moves and the variations of the French Defense win.
I played two games against a non-team member and won, but decided it would not be a true visit to the UTD chess club without losing some games. Bartholomew obliged by defeating me in two games. My games were five-minute chess, no delay. I also enjoyed meeting new members of the chess club and team. Although about half the students attending were playing chess, the other half were talking or analyzing. It was a varied and pleasant social atmosphere, and I hope to be back on campus on another Friday from 3- 5 p.m. to attend again.