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Ravens guard John Urschel will try to match wits with U.S. chess champion

Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel stretches during pregame warmups before the game against the San Diego Chargers.
Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel stretches during pregame warmups before the game against the San Diego Chargers.(Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Whether it's pursuing his Ph.D at Massachusetts Institute of Technology this offseason, speaking at a Penn State commencement or doing his well-documented mathematical research, Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel is always challenging himself.

On Friday, he'll take it a new level. Urschel will compete against U.S champion Fabiano Caruana in a chess match for the Liberty Science Center's "World Blitz Chess Title Bout." The match will be part of the center's Genius Gala.

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Dubbed "Blitz Chess," the competition will give the players just seconds to make moves. Caruana will have two minutes to complete all his moves. Urschel will get an additional minute. The match will end with someone getting a checkmate or running out of time.

Caruana, 23, is the third highest-rated chess player of all time, and he's the visiting grandmaster and ambassador for the Liberty Science Center's Chess Works! program. He has a U.S. chess rating of 2870. Bobby Fischer's peak rating was 2785.

Urschel, 24, will be making an appearance at the Genius Gala for the second straight year. He has a U.S. chess rating of 1601.

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