The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog

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

Friday, July 28, 2017

National Girls Tournament of Champions

Girls Battle in Navy Town
The 2017 US Chess National Girls Tournament of Champions is held on July 29-31 at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in a historic Navy town of Norfolk, Virginia, coinciding with the Denker and Barber tournaments.

Each US state sends one female player in grades K-12.  Naomi is the Washington State representative.  The weather is hot and humid.  The battle is tough in the Navy town.

Out of the 50 state representatives, Naomi takes 9th place in Individual Standings, with 4 wins and 2 losses.  

Jason Yu shares 3rd place in the Barber tournament.  Bryce Tiglon becomes a co-champion in the Denker High School tournament.

The team of all three Washington State representatives (Girls+Denker+Barber) takes 2nd place in State Team Standings.  Not bad at all.

Bryce, Naomi, Jason (photo by Jenny Cui)

Norfolk is a great place to visit.  Take a look at the photos:

Friday, July 14, 2017

North American Youth Chess Championship

Historic Morristown
From the Pan-American Youth Chess Championship in Costa Rica on July 1-7, after spending a few additional days there, we fly directly to the North American Youth Chess Championship in Morristown, NJ on July 12-16.

Naomi (14) plays in the Girls Under 18 category, and gets 4.5 points in 9 rounds, taking 7th place.  That's a good result considering she plays 4 years up.

Morristown is a historic place.  For two critical winters of the American Revolution, 1777 and 1779-80, General George Washington chose this area as the Continental Army's winter encampment. Because of its strategic location, the area continually served as the military capital throughout the war. During the 1779-1780 Jockey Hollow encampment, over 10,000 soldiers endured the war's most severe winter.

See the photo albums:

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pan-American Youth Chess Championship

The Volcano Erupts
The Pan-American Youth Chess Championship (June 30 - July 7) is held in San José, Costa Rica.  

Naomi (14) plays 4 years up, in the 18-year-old girls category.  She's thrown into the lion's den.  There will be blood. Follow the results here:

Here are the first day photos and videos:

First day album, by Luda B.

Check out the fantastic opening ceremony dances:

Hot Costa Rican folk dance video

Luda and Naomi, by Sofia Petrov

July 1, evening Round 1: Naomi wins against Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Valeria Marin-Leon from Costa Rica, see the webcast video:

July 2, morning Round 2: Naomi wins against WCM Thais Castillo-Morales from Costa Rica:

Naomi and Thais

Naomi now moves to the first board:

First board! by Paul Truong

July 2, evening Round 3: Naomi loses to a fellow American Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Sanjana Vittal:

Sanjana and Naomi

July 3, morning Round 4: Naomi draws with a WFM Trilce Cosme-Contreras from Peru:

Trilce and Naomi

Playing with 18-year-olds is tough for a 14-year-old Naomi.

See the other photos from July 2 and 3:  July 3, evening Round 5 Naomi wins against WFM Priya Trakru from USA.

July 4 in the morning Naomi gives an hour-long interview to Emma Gross from Epic Magazine over Google Hangout on Air.  After we return home, they will send a photographer to take Naomi's picture for a story.  In the evening Round 6 Naomi loses to WCM Thalia Cervantes-Landeiro from USA.

July 5 morning Round 7 Naomi wins against CM Rachel Miller from Jamaica; evening Round 8 draws against our friend WFM Nastassja Matus from USA.

July 6 last Round 9 Naomi risks in a drawn position and loses to WFM Corals Patino from Venezuela.  In the afternoon Girls Under 14 Blitz tournament Naomi shares 1 - 2 place, and gets a nice parrot-shaped trophy (and that's Susan Polgar in the background):

Costa Rica

After the tournament ends, we move to Hotel Balmoral in downtown San Jose, next to Avenida Central and Plaza de la Cultura.  This is the centermost location to explore the capital and venture on a day trip.

Costa Rica is famously amazing. We discover yet another stunning Mesoamerican culture, bustling city life, friendly people, breathtaking nature, gorgeous plants, unknown animals.  Better see these photo albums:

On July 11 we fly directly to Newark for the North American Youth Chess Championship, July 12-16.