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Chess Team Beats Indian Rivals in Telepresence Face-Off

October 26, 2010 | Chris Payatagool
Telepresence_chess.jpgVideo System Enables Battle Between Competitors Separated by 10,000 Miles

Via The University of Texas at Dallas

Oct. 25, 2010

The UT Dallas Chess Team prevailed against top-rated players from India in an exhibition match between opponents who faced each other across a distance of almost 10,000 miles.

Cisco Systems Inc. furnished its TelePresence technology for the Oct. 16 match to both teams, allowing seamless play for the rapid-style chess match. UT Dallas' four-man team played from Cisco's Richardson facility while the six collegiate chess masters playing for the Chennai District Chess Association gathered in Chennai for the rounds. Chennai, formerly Madras, is located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

The UT Dallas players appreciated the immediacy TelePresence provided for the match.

"We could see our opponents perfectly, as if we were in the same room and not almost 10,000 miles apart," said International Master (IM) Marko Zivanic (BS '09), a PhD student in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. "The image resolution was really high, and we could hear what they were saying without any delay. The fact that we could see our opponents' facial expressions and behavior during games, which is not typical for an Internet match, made the encounter more intense. We could tell what our opponents thought about positions."

After two rounds, UT Dallas emerged victorious with a final score of 5-3.

"The line-ups of the two teams had very similar player ratings," said Chess Program Director Jim Stallings. "There were again many twists and turns due to the rapid rate of play, but the UT Dallas victory was decisive in the second round."

The match was the first outing for the team's newest Grandmaster (GM) Cristian Chirila, a freshman who is studying international political economy in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

 "Overall, the match was a great success, although a very competitive one," said Chirila. "Of course we are happy because we won it."

 The match represented the first time the UT Dallas Chess Team played college-level players from India. Since its inception in 1996, the chess team has played teams from four other countries.

The UT Dallas Chess Team will next face the University of Belgrade via Internet for the fifth year in a row on Nov. 5. All 16 games may be viewed on the Internet Chess Club beginning at 1 p.m. CST.

Media Contact:

 Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4329, [email protected] or
 the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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