Winning six games out of nine, Eugene Perelshteyn, captain of the chess team at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, took home the title of U.S. Junior Chess champion yesterday.
The Russian-born sophomore from Swampscott, Mass., lost only one game. Two ended in ties. He beat out the nine other top-rated competitors age 20 and younger in the invitational tournament sponsored by the U.S. Chess Federation and held at UMBC this month.
Perelshteyn, 20, a computer science major who helped lead UMBC to its third national chess title in December, will receive a $40,000, scholarship. He also earned the right to represent the United States in the World Junior Chess Championship in the fall.
Last year, Perelshteyn was fourth in the U.S. competition and landed a spot at the world championship when the U.S. champion was ineligible. He finished 10th in the international competition, earning the title of International Master-elect from the World Chess Federation.
"Eugene is a very mature, experienced competitor," said Alan T. Sherman, associate professor of computer science and faculty adviser to the chess club. "I think he outplayed many of his opponents strategically."
UMBC was named Chess College of the Year by the U.S. Chess Federation.