Texas Retains World and Red River Titles
by Victor Yaward, Chess Reporter
Davis, Oklahoma (CRN) - This past Sunday, 61 of the most fanatical chess players and tournament directors in Oklahoma and Texas battled in the largest team match in Southwestern U.S. chess history. By the time the smoke on the 30 boards cleared, Texas had rolled to a decisive 38-22 victory, its sixth dual championship in eight years, despite playing on the road every year except the second. Texas, boosted by seven chess experts under the age of sixteen from the Dallas Chess Club, started out slowly allowing Oklahoma to even the score. But after the score was knotted at 2-2, Texas methodically began to pull away. By halftime Texas had built an insurmountable 19-11 lead.
The decisive point came midway in the second half when Rafael Llanos thwarted a normally devastating attack by Carl Latino, a Stillwater engineering professor. With the outcome set at 31-17 Texas continued to roll. The final 16 point margin is the largest in series history and marks the second year in a row Texas has won by double digits.
Seven Dallas Chess Club juniors, all chess experts and some with world youth titles, held their own against a slate of Oklahoma's toughest players. Although their group as a whole came up short 6-1/2 to 7-1/2, it was clear they felt little intimidation from their older and more experienced opponents. US Chess Federation President Jim Berry, a longtime member of the Oklahoma Chess Team, remarked, "Chess starts exactly where these kids are today. They represent the brightest future of American chess."
Afterward, Texan Wayne Xiong made an interesting observation about how the economy and Texas Chess Team are intertwined, "The fact that this year we are hitting an all-time high of 60 players might suggest that a nice rebound of the economy is just ahead of us. For those folks who have lost a big chunk of their lifetime savings in the last couple of years, and are desperately looking for some lead indicators of the financial market to make some important trading decisions, it would be a good idea for them to come to the Red River Shootout to get some inspiration. If some of the brainy chess people in the room develop a new theory called Red River Shootout effect: in a year that Texas wins the Red River Shootout, the stock market will go up or down when Oklahoma wins, it might be more accurate than the out-of-date Super-bowl effect."
International Arbiter Frank Berry, Oklahoma Chess Team Captain, directed the 60 player event. He was assisted by Rob Jones, Texas Chess Team Captain. The victory also makes Rob Jones the winningest team captain in match history with a 2-0 record. Because of the match's newly discovered ties to the economy, details of next April's Red River Shootout IX will most likely be be published in financial magazines as well as the Oklahoma Chess Quarterly, on line in the Oklahoma Chess Form, on the Texas Chess Association web site, and on the famous chess reporter's (Victor Yaward) blog site: http://texaschessreporter.blogspot.com.