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OWU Chess Team Wins Ohio Collegiate Chess Championship

April 25, 2000

DELAWARE, OHIO -- "Ohio Wesleyan University has a Chess Team?!"

Not only does OWU have a chess team, but the team won the Ohio Collegiate Chess Championship held April 1 in Beeghly Library. This was the third year in a row that OWU won the team trophy.

Competing in the tournament for OWU was senior Kalpesh Asher, sophomore Radu Murgescu and freshman Kris Bertoglio. Despite invitations sent to universities all over Ohio, only two other schools attended the tournament: Ohio State University and Owens Community College. There were eight players total with three coming from OWU, four from OSU and one from Owens.

According to Tom Green, one of the co-advisors of the Chess Club, the tournament started at 10:30 a.m. It was a swiss-style tournament, which allows a clear winner to be determined in a limited number of rounds.

The eight players were matched up by their rating for the first round. They were divided into two groups and the top players in each group were pitted against one another. Therefore, the number one rated player was paired with the number five rated player, the number two rated player was paired with the number six rated player and so on.

After the first round, the winners were paired with winners and by the third round, an overall winner was determined. Players receive one point for a win, half a point for a draw and zero points for a loss.

OWU's Murgescu was the top individual winner for the tournament. His record was 4-0 for the tournament. Bertoglio only lost one match and ended up tying for second place.

"Radu's win included a win against Mark Chiminiello, an Expert-ranked chess player and law student at the Ohio State University," said Green. "Radu is recognized as a chess Master by the U.S. Chess Federation."

A chess player's rating is determined by points.

"Every time you play in a tournament, your points will either go up or down," Green said. "An average rating for a tournament chess player in the United States is about 1178, which places them in Class E."

He continued by saying that class ratings go in 200-point increments. Class E is 1000-1199, Class D is 1200-1399, Class C is 1400-1599, etc. After passing Class A, players become an Expert Master, having 2000-2100 points and then a Master, with over 2200 points. There are also International Masters, Grand Masters and World Champions.

"The win was especially significant because we only had three players, and ended up winning 9.5 points in the tournament," Green said. "Ohio State had four players and won 3.5 points."

By having the most points, OWU won the team competition as well.

Murgescu has been playing chess since the age of eight. He said that chess is not his main focus, but more of a hobby.

"For some people, they'll give up their education to play chess," he said. "It's really more of a hobby for me."

Murgescu also said he was pleased with his performance in the tournament and plans on continue to play while at OWU.