Simultaneous Chess Exhibition
by International Grandmaster Gennady Sagalchik:

Grandmaster Sagalchik goes 25-3-5 in Simultaneous Chess Exhibition at UMBC

February 20, 1995
Alan Sherman
Faculty Advisor, UMBC Chess Club

On Saturday, Febrauary 18, Grandmaster Gennady Sagalchik simultaneously played 33 local chess players in the UMBC Ballroom Lounge. The results: 25 wins, 3 losses, and 5 draws. The event was organized by the UMB Chess Club, with the support of the UMBC Student Government Association.

The event began with lecture by Grandmaster Sagalchik in which he illustrated why chess players should not blindly memorize opening books. Using the Center Game opening as an example, he went over recent grandmaster games in which traditional opening conclusions were successfully challenged. Sagalchik also talked about his own chess development as a student in Belarus in the former Soviet Union.

For the lecture, the UMBC Chess Club provided a large demonstration chess board, owned by its coach Igor Epshteyn. With nostalgic surprise, Sagalchik immediately recognized this board---it is the same board from which he learned chess when Epshteyn was Sagalchik's coach in Minsk.

Players included six members of the UMBC Chess Club, approximately one dozen students from Baltimore City Schools, and other players of all ages from local area chess clubs. This event is one of the many ways in which the UMBC Chess Club is promoting chess in Baltimore City schools. UMBC's Alexender Shinn was the first to score victory against Sagalchik.

Games started at 2pm. By 6:30pm, with a rock band gearing up to play a concert in the adjacent ballroom, began adjudicating the remaining games. He graciously conceded defeat to local expert Chris Banon in which he was down queen for rook. At this time he also offered draws in roughly equal positions to Chess Club President Pred Tosic, Assistant Professor Alan Sherman, UMBC graduate student Alan Rebar, Alexele Kiselev, and to Ephsteyn's young prodigy Michael.

In the remaining two games---against Baltimore City Chess Coordinator Steve Alperin and his student Dante Evert---Sagalchik claimed that he was easily winning and asked his opponents to resign. Unwilling to concede, these two players continued their fight in the Engineering/Computer Science Building. A clock was added to each game, giving each side 15 minutes to complete the game. The Grandmaster easily increased his advantage in each game, but incredibly, Sagalchik fell into a back-rank mate against Alpern in a won position. Eventually, Evert resigned when Sagalchik threaten to promote his king's bishop's pawn to a queen.