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25 Players to Compete Against International Master of Chess at UM

By Rienzi Gray
News editor
rdgray1@go.olemiss.edu

Mississippi’s highest-ranked chess player, David Ross, will simultaneously compete against 25 challengers in a chess exhibition hosted by the Ole Miss Chess Club Saturday.

Mississippi’s highest-ranked chess player, David Ross, will simultaneously compete against 25 challengers in a chess exhibition hosted by the Ole Miss Chess Club Saturday.

The free event will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Butler Auditorium. Light refreshments will be available, and the public is welcome to attend, though space is limited.

“I began playing chess when I was about 6 years old,” Ross said. “By the time I was 12, I was competing in tournaments.”

Ross is a multi-award winning, International Master of Chess (I.M.) who learned chess from his grandfather. He credits his many years of playing against his grandfather to his accomplishments as a chess professional.

“My proudest moment in chess would be the day I obtained my I.M.” Ross said. “Man, I remembered feeling awful (that day). I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering from a bad case of bronchitis.”

Ross gained his I.M. in the 1998 Canadian Close after completing the event with a bronchitis infection. Ross laughed as he recalled his relief and sense of accomplishment after realizing his determination kept him from withdrawing that day. He competed against many chess players including other chess-masters and emerged victorious with six draws and three wins.

“I’m a coach. I’m a teacher and a father. I like to travel and I love hockey,” Ross said. “I have many interests outside of chess.”

In 2004, Ross took a 10-year break from chess when he became a husband and father. Now, the 58-year-old, Canadian transplant resides in Jackson, Mississippi where he teaches and coaches chess players all over the country and in Canada online.

Ross says that he’s played many simultaneous chess matches and looks forward to his experience on Saturday.

Those wishing to compete in the tournament or join the chess club may contact the club’s Faculty Advisor, Steven Soifer by email at ssoifer@olemiss.edu.


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