The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog

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

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.


  1. Thanks for posting about Naomi’s journey at the chess contest. I’d like to congratulate her on the win and wish her good luck for future matches.

  2. I must admit that you have the ability and it is another amazing story for this baby.