Sunday, May 15, 2016

WA-BC Intermat 2016

Take Defeat in Stride
The 2016 Washington State vs. British Columbia International Annual K-12 Chess Match (Intermat) was organized by Chess 2 Inspire (BC) and Chess 4 Life (WA) in this great new location: University of British Columbia - Pharmaceutical Sciences Building.


Both teams consist of two players per each grade, playing two game rounds, against each same grade opponent.  In the first round WA played black and lost 9-17.  In the second round WA played white and also lost 10.5-15.5.  The defeat was not very subtle.


Naomi won her first game and lost the second game to her friend and perennial chess opponent, Luke.  Ethan lost both rounds, though he was very satisfied with the high quality of the games.  Between games we got pizza lunch, organizers made great efforts for everything to work out smoothly.


While kids played, we enjoyed the University of British Columbia tourist attractions.  Before lunch we went on a free campus tour with guides, joining prospective students and their parents.  The highlights were the UBC Botanical Garden, the Asian Garden, and the Rose Garden.



After lunch we visited the UBC Museum of Anthropology, devoted to world cultures, with an emphasis on the First Nations of the Northwest Coast. The museum has a splendid collection of totem poles, a mind-boggling array of artifacts from around the world, and a number of changing exhibits, including one from Papua New Guinea and some striking art by a First Nations artist.






just click >>> Photo album: 2016-05-14 WA-BC Chess Intermat <<< just click


In the end we even tried to descend very long steep stairs to Wreck Beach -- North America's most famous and busiest nude ("clothing optional") beach.  In the middle of this endless descent we got an email that both kids finished their games, so we had to go back up these long stairs -- empty-handed, so to speak... another crushing defeat of the day.  It was just not meant to be.

Arriving home, we found Naomi's birthday present delivered at the front door -- Huffy Ladies 26" Nassau Blue Cruiser Bike, whose assembly from a heap of parts packed in the box took a few hours next day.


This was a weekend of most pleasant memories.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

All-Girls National Chess Championship in Chicago

Chicago, Chicago, Chicago!

All-Girls National Chess Championship 2016

The annual All-Girls US Chess Championship in Chicago is a venerable tradition for us.  Naomi has played there four times (!): in 2012 -- Under 8 -- second place, in 2013 -- Under 10 -- first place, then in 2015 -- Under 12 -- first place again, and now in 2016 we threw her to the lions -- Under 18 -- which expectedly was a great learning experience for her ;-) with 3.5 points out of 6 and 10th place Under 18.  Still, not bad for our 12 year old youngling, among much older toughs.

This time we stayed at the ridiculously expensive Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel, because it was the playing venue, so Naomi was able to walk to the playing hall and back to the room by herself.  In 2015 we missed the tournament booking window for the Hyatt, and stayed at the more reasonably priced Chinatown Hotel, which is 8 minutes Lyft ride from the McCormick Place venue.  The Chinatown location was gastronomically great, but tied us up to Naomi's chess game timing.

StrandBeest

What enticed us to Chicago was in part the desire to see StrandBeest (just click on that link!) by the artist Theo Jansen.  The Chicago Cultural Center had this StrandBeest exhibition, and we just couldn't live with the thought of missing it!



Garfield Park Conservatory



In Chicago, we use Lyft all the time - from the airport, between our hotel and attractions, and it works out great.

Just for the ride back to the airport Naomi asked us pleeease to ride the exotic Chicago metro.  Diagnosis: Public Transit Deficiency Syndrome (PTDS).  Prescription: One Ride Per Year (ORPY).  Prognosis: Full Recovery.

With the champion

All-Girls National Chess Championships in previous years

2015

Blog post: Under 12 -- first place again + photo album:

2013

Blog post: Under 10 -- first place first time + photo albums:

2012

Blog post: Under 8 -- second place (go to "2012 Flashback" section) + photo albums (this is when we fell in love with Chicago):


2010

In April 2010 Naomi was 6 years old and played for the first time in the All-Girls National Chess Championship, which took place in Columbus, OH.  She took 9th place out of 45 in the Under 8 years section.

It was so long ago that there was no Chess Travel blog back then yet!  So, no blog post to recall, just photo albums:


6 years ago

Future Plans

  1. Naomi has been invited to the 6th Schein - Friedman chess camp, in collaboration with the US Chess School, to be held at the world famous St. Louis chess club and scholastic center in June.  This invitation-only camp is offered to some of the most promising young chess players in the country. Sweet!
  2. Both Ethan (Open Under 18) and Naomi (Girls Under 14) will travel to the 2016 Pan American Youth Chess Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay. Yay!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

K-8 National Chess Team Co-Champions!


Odle Middle School chess team has tied for first place in the K-8 National Championship held in Indianapolis.  

They are the National Co-Champions!  See http://www.uschess.org/results/2016/jhs/?page=TEAM&xsection=K8

Fellow students Derek Zhang (grade 8) and Naomi Bashkansky (grade 7) have tied for third in the individual standings.

They scored 6 out of 7, half a point below top: http://www.uschess.org/results/2016/jhs/?page=STANDINGS&xsection=K8



Congratulations to Bellevue’s Olde Middle School chess team on their outstanding achievement tying for 1st place in K-8 at National Junior High Championship in Indianapolis, IN. Derek Zhang (rating 2148) and Naomi Bashkansky (rating 1993) led the team with a score of 6/7, tying for 3rd place in the 272 player section.  Other members of the team include Brian Chen (1624), Richard Yang (1635), James Lai (1602), Benjamin Mousseau (938) [who scored first under rating 1000], and Aidan Lawler (1366).

Odle chess kids achieved extraordinary success in a huge national competition and can serve as great educational example.


Photo Albums


Monday, April 11, 2016

WA State Girls Championship

Girls of all ages, compete!

An email from David Hendricks, quote:
Congratulations to Sangeeta Dhingra for winning the WA State Girls Championship for the second time in a row.  Sangeeta scored 3.5 out of 4.0 for a clear 1st place win at the WA State Girls Championship held Apr 9-10 at libraries in Fall City and Redmond.  Sangeeta will represent WA State at an upcoming national tournament of her choice.  Sangeeta is a 10th grader attending Interlake High School in Bellevue WA with a USCF rating of 1932. There were 14 girls competing for the title of WA State Girls Champion for 2016, each with an NWSRS rating of 1000 or higher.

Front Row, L to R: Alison Xiao, Stephanie Velea, Angela Chen, Sophie Velea, Sophie Szeto, Nithya Subramanian, Anne Frasca, Anna Felton.
Back Row, L to R: David Hendricks (tournament director), Emily Tang, Naomi Bashkansky, Anne-Marie Velea, Sophie Tien, Minda Chen, Sangeeta Dhingra.
Photo Credit: Thiyagarajan Subramanian

Top 5 trophy winners, L to R: Anne-Marie Velea (5th Place), Sophie Tien (4th Place), Minda Chen (3rd Place), Naomi Bashkansky (2nd Place), Sangeeta Dhingra (1st Place).  Photo Credit: David Hendricks

Sangeeta Dhingra, with her 1st place trophy.  Photo credit: David Hendricks


SwissSys Standings. WA State Girls Championship: Open 1000+
#
Name
ID
Rtng
Team
Grd
Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3
Rd 4
Tot
1
Sangeeta Dhingra
14213981
1932
INT
10
W8
W7
W2
D4
3.5
2
Naomi Bashkansky
14048474
1993
OMS
7
W10
W3
L1
W6
3.0
3
Minda Chen
15185862
1604
LCN
6
W6
L2
W4
W7
3.0
4
Sophie Tien
15248711
1605
SOM
5
W13
W5
L3
D1
2.5
5
Anne-marie Velea
15689252
1277
BCS
5
W12
L4
D11
W10
2.5
6
Sophie Szeto
15458295
924
LCN
4
L3
W8
W9
L2
2.0
7
Emily Tang
15374983
1201
BLL
9
W14
L1
W12
L3
2.0
8
Sophie Velea
15695207
1037
BCS
1
L1
L6
W13
W11
2.0
9
Alison Xiao
15248691
1285
SPT
4
D11
D10
L6
W12
2.0
10
Stephanie Velea
15695130
1064
BCS
3
L2
D9
W14
L5
1.5
11
Nithya Subramanian
15712898
864
BCW
6
D9
H---
D5
L8
1.5
12
Angela Chen
15713185
835
LCN
3
L5
W13
L7
L9
1.0
13
Anne Frasca
15695083
943
MED
3
L4
L12
L8
W14
1.0
14
Anna Felten
15166396
825
SCD
3
L7
B---
L10
L13
1.0