The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog

The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog: parents Guy and Ludmila with children NM Ethan and WIM Naomi

Monday, January 30, 2017

King County Council proclamation recognizes Naomi as World Chess Champion

Last month Naomi won the World School Chess Championship, Girls Under 13.  Back home, she turned into a media star.  The stardom snowball became self-sustainable, with a newspaper article leading to another, then to a TV story, and then even to the local government attention.

The King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci decided to read a proclamation recognizing Naomi's achievement.  Her Chief of Staff Krista Camenzind organized this event diligently.  On January 30 at 1:15pm Claudia met Naomi and our whole family.

At 1:30pm at the Council Chambers, Claudia introduced Naomi, read some background notes and the proclamation, and Naomi had the opportunity to say a statement as part of the meeting.  The Council gave Naomi the proclamation and took a few photos. The Council issued a press release later that day.

Councilmember Balducci's talking points

I am pleased to recognize Naomi Bashkansky today for her win last month in the 2016 World School Chess Championship in the Girls Under 13 category in Sochi, Russia.

This is one of many competitions Naomi has won and it earned her the title of Woman FIDE Master from the World Chess Federation, which is a step along the way to becoming a Grandmaster.

Naomi is known for her aggressive playing style.  She was quoted in the Seattle Times saying “You try to get in a better position so that you keep crushing the opponent, and squeezing them.”

Naomi’s goal is to become a Woman’s Grandmaster or International Master by the time she finishes high school.  There are currently 1598 male grandmasters and only 33 female grandmasters so I hope she reaches her goal and inspires more girls to follow her example.

In addition to the traditional trophy and certificate, Naomi also given a coat-of-arms pen from Vladimir Putin.  That is certainly not something many other American’s have in their homes!

As the parent of a child about Naomi’s age, I know that her parents are integral to her success.  I want to recognize her father and mother.  Their enthusiastic support for their daughter shows in her success.

They use Naomi’s many trips to international chess competitions as opportunities for family vacations, going to Brazil, Mexico, Greece, Russia and other places.  When they travel, the make sure to leave the chess board behind once in awhile to explore and enjoy the cities they visit.

Naomi's father and mother, who are now raising two great kids in the Bellevue public school system, are outstanding examples of the types of people who make Bellevue and King County a diverse and thriving place.


WHEREAS, Naomi Bashkansky, a resident of Bellevue and student at Odle Middle School, won the 2016 World School Chess Championship in the girls under 13 category in Sochi, Russia on December 12, 2016; and

WHEREAS, Naomi was undefeated with four draws and five wins, playing against girls from Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan; and

WHEREAS, With this win, Naomi earned the title of Woman FIDE Master from the World Chess Federation and has been invited to the 2017 World School Chess Championship in Romania; and

WHEREAS, Naomi is known for her aggressive play and strategy of squeezing her opponents; and

WHEREAS, Greg Serper, a chess grandmaster, is Naomi’s coach and helps realize her chess potential; and

WHEREAS, Naomi’s parents, Guy and Ludmila, and her older brother, Ethan, regularly travel the world so she can compete at international events;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, recognize and salute

Naomi Bashkansky

for her extraordinary accomplishment and outstanding achievement in world chess and hope that she will continue to enjoy competitive chess and one day be a grandmaster.

DATED this thirtieth day of January, 2017.

Naomi's statement

Thank you Councilmember Balducci for the proclamation. When I won the last round, I was just happy that I had an excuse for barely doing any of the homework I'd been given--I certainly hadn't imagined all this amazing recognition I'm getting. I'm grateful to my coach Greg Serper, who has trained me for years and prepared me in between games; to my parents, who organize everything while also making sure I get some fresh air outside before each game; and to everyone who encouraged me during the beginning of the tournament, when I hadn't been playing very well, most notably my brother Ethan. I wouldn't be standing here without them.

Videos from my smartphone (left, with subtitles) and the official broadcast (right, better sound + transcript):

The group photo of Naomi and her family, Claudia and other Councilmembers, H.G. Pitre and Josh Sinanan:

The King County TV broadcast with the meeting agenda, start at 1:45:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The site is really beneficial for everyone to know about this topic. I think if you read blog than you will get some more information from blog. This is really useful blog.vip2541