Fla. community college checkmates Ivys

Started by blackmanxxx, Mar 22, 2007, 11:12 AM

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Fla. community college checkmates Ivys

By SARAH LARIMER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Mar 22, 7:33 AM ET

MIAMI - Don't underestimate the grocery store deli worker, the security alarm salesman or the 34-year-old computer science student who anchor the Miami Dade College chess team. The community college undergrads have already faced Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Northwestern and beaten them all.


By finishing fourth in that Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament, Miami Dade qualified for this weekend's finals of collegiate chess, facing powerhouses University of Texas-Dallas, Duke University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

"They're formidable players," said Jim Stallings, University of Texas-Dallas' director for chess and education. "You can't just take anybody for granted in this tournament, because they are the top four U.S. teams."

Miami Dade, with 160,000 students, may have few admission requirements, but it has made the        Final Four five consecutive years. It is seeking its first title, after finishing third in each previous try.

Five years ago, no one was watching the Miami Dade team, mainly because it didn't exist.

Professor Rene Garcia says a group of students wandered into his office, said they had formed a team and informed him he was their new adviser.

"Not only was it a surprise to me that apparently we had a team, but their performance in the tournament was remarkable," said Garcia, who teaches statistics and psychology at the college.

Garcia begged the college for uniforms -- first T-shirts, now blazers -- so players didn't have to compete in their flip-flops and unmatching shirts. The team had to tell him to keep his emotions in check during competitions because he was just too excited.

"I think the one advantage that we've had is that these are players who have a real love for the game and they've played since they were very little," Garcia said.

Renier Gonzalez, a former Cuban national player and the current Miami Dade captain, said the four-person team has earned its opponents' respect with tough play and a fierce competitive spirit.

"We always tried hard. Even those matches that we lost, we fought hard. We had a good team," said Gonzalez, the computer science student. "Sometimes they respect you because of the attitude you put in the game, not only because of what you are able to do. And that's what we did since the beginning."

Liula Cardona -- who also used to play for Cuba's national team and now works in a grocery deli -- said she aggressively approaches each game with a team mentality.

"I always think of the team, first of the team," Cardona said. "When I play with the team, I always play first for the team then for me."

Of course, Miami Dade has had its share of setbacks. Maryland-Baltimore County lured one of its best players away with the promise of a scholarship. Several players have to fit in practice between English lessons, family obligations, jobs and classes. The team can't afford to compete in more than three tournaments a year. And its recruiting efforts are lackluster, at best.

"We try to answer the phone, in case anybody calls," Garcia said.

Still, the U.S. Chess Federation dubbed Miami Dade College the Chess College of the Year in 2004, beating out 120 schools jockeying for the distinction. This year, in another honor, the college will host the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament.

Texas-Dallas and Maryland-Baltimore County have dominated the tournament, but Garcia said this year could be different. Duke looks tougher, he said, and though his team is no longer easily dismissed, its players still feed off their underdog status.

"It's almost like, 'Yeah, go ahead. Underestimate me," he said. "Maybe I'll give you a lesson down the line."


Associated Press writer Suzette Laboy in Miami contributed to this report.


On the Net:

Miami Dade College: http://www.mdc.edu/home


This  is   for  those  among  you  who  lament  the fact  that   Harvard  is  now  headed  by  a  member  of  the  feminist  party.

It's  not  about  size,  or  wealth  and  power.   It's  about   being  smart  and  ruthlessly  determined  to  succeed.   Something  we  should  engineer  and  cultivate  in  our  movement.

The  fact  that   some  boys  from a  community  college   took  down   academic  big-shots  from  Harvard  and   Yale  doesn't  surprise  me.   

That's  why  hearing  the   media  use  terms  like   front-runner  to  describe  the   likes  of   Hillary   Clinton,  feminist  extraordinaire,  don't  faze  me.

The  fight  isn't   over  until   one  person  is  left  standing  and  all  others  have  fallen...

I  had  faith  in    a   previosuly  unknown  male  high  school   wrestler   named   Scott   Mantua  from  River  Hill,   Maryland.  when  he   was   going   up  against   media   favorite  and   girl-wrestler-whom-the-media-worships-with-or-without-merit    Nicole  Woody  of   Arundel,  Maryland.   

Battles   are  won  through   strength,  intelligence,  skill  and  determination,   not  by  whims  of   talkers.

Let  that  be  a  lesson  to  all  those  who  consider  themselves   invincible.

Sorry Isnt Good Enough

Just more evidence that "elite" colleges are clearinghouses for federal student dollars and nothing more.  I got way more for way less at community college.  A lot of the four year courses I took I spent more time trying to figure out what exactly I was paying for than on the actual coursework. 
"To my considerable chagrin, we found that at least 60 percent of all the rape allegations were false." --Dr. Charles P. McDowell, Supervisory Special Agent, U.S. Air Force, Office of Special Investigations.


Just more evidence that "elite" colleges are clearinghouses for federal student dollars and nothing more.  I got way more for way less at community college.  A lot of the four year courses I took I spent more time trying to figure out what exactly I was paying for than on the actual coursework. 

I  feel  exactly  the  same  way  !!!


Wait, they are letting DUKE students near COMMUNITY COLLEGE students!?!?!?

How long until the rape trial for the Duke Chess team starts?


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