WPI Chess Team Among Top Finishers In Pan American Collegiate Championship

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. -- The Dallas Morning News reports that the WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) chess team tied for third place in the Pan American Collegiate Chess Championship at the University of Texas just before New Year's Day. The four-day competition attracted teams of chess players from colleges and universities throughout the U.S., Canada, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The event is effectively "the College National Championship."

There were 21 teams entered. WPI's team included Ben Dean-Kawamura, Peter Minear, Max Pistilli and Don Asher playing boards 1,2,3,4 respectively. Dean-Kawamura is a freshman computer science major from Rochester, N.Y. Minear is a senior mathematical sciences major from Wyomissing, Pa. Pistilli is a sophomore biotechnology major from Philadelphia, Pa. and Asher is a freshman computer science major from Fredericksburg, Va.

Harvard University, the University of Chicago and Stanford University tied for third place with WPI. The University of Maryland Baltimore County a-team was a repeat first place winner while the University of Pennsylvania took second place.

WPI finished with a 4-2 record (the same as Harvard, Stanford and the University of Chicago) and because of tiebreak rules came in an overall 6th, according to Minear.

"But," he reports, "our team took the prize for being the top team with an average rating under 1800." Minear also won a prize for the top individual score on board 2 at 5-1.

The Pan Am Collegiate Chess Championship was sponsored by the University of Texas, the Dallas Chess Club and the U.S. Chess Federation. A web site is at www.neosoft.com/~george/chess/PanAm.

WPI is an independent technological university founded in 1865 and renowned for its project-based curriculum. The 1999 U.S. News & World Report Best College Guide ranked WPI among the top 51 national universities and 18th among the top national institutions in the magazine's Best College Values report.