The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog

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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

North American Open 2016

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire
The North American Open took place in Bally's Las Vegas on December 26-30, 2016.  This has become our holiday-season tradition, we went there also in 2011, 2012, and 2015.

Just 10 days ago we came back from the World School Chess Championship, where Naomi took first place in the Girls Under 13 category, with the following heavy burden of fame.  

Naomi was very tired, had an 11 hour jet lag, and was 2 weeks absent from her high-pressure school program.  She stayed up at night doing homework and preparing for daily tests.  Done!  Winter break -- Las Vegas, here we come.  Can't unbuy those plane tickets.

Naomi has reached USCF rating 2108 at the beginning of November.  Which meant she had to play in the Under 2300 section at the NAO -- rather than Under 2100 where she'd have a chance to win money prize.  This is even though her rating bounced back to 2042 at the time of the tournament.  She played well with the heavies, placing in the middle of the pack, so her rating didn't change.

Tiresome Las Vegas?  It depends...

Fifth time in Las Vegas?  Fourth time in the same hotel?  You think it would become tiresome by now...  No problem, we find something new every time!  This time it was the Criss Angel Mindfreak magician show at the Luxor, the High Roller at the LINQ, the Mob Museum near the Fremont Street Experience, the Bellagio's Conservatory and the Singing Fountains (not really new...), and the National Atomic Testing Museum.

With our minds thus nourished, our bodies were overly well sustained by the gastronomic excess of the Paradise Garden buffet at the Flamingo and Le Village Buffet at the Paris.  Then the Wynn, the Palazzo and the Venetian fed our satiated eyes with their familiar luxury pop.  Take a look at the photo album... it's an offer you can't refuse: