|Six Medals in North American Youth Champs|
|By Jennifer Shahade|
|October 9, 2007|
The North American Youth Chess Championship (Aguascalientes, Mexico, October 5-7)
was a huge success for the American delegation, which brought eleven representatives and earned six medals.|
Four players won gold medals: Raymond Sun (Texas) in Boys Under 8, Simone Liao(California) in girls under 8, Claudia Munoz (Texas) in the girls Under 10 and Robert Lau (Hawaii) in the boys Under 16.
Claudia Munoz technically lives in Acuna, Mexico which borders Del Rio, Texas because her parents own a foreign language school a block away from the Rio Grande River. However, she is an American citizen by birth and therefore plays for the U.S.A. With her victory in Mexico, she earned the Women's Fide Candidate Master title. Here is her third round win against Sofia Diaz.
Raymond Sun scored 7/7 in the Boys Under 8.
Anatoly Ostrovskiy, a supervising parent, called Robert Lau, who scored 7/7, "our strongest player in the event." Robert used the French Defense to good effect in this event. In the following game, he defends a scary white attack with a typical French king walk.
Aleksandr Ostrovskiy from New York tied for the first in the under 12 years boys section 6 out 7, but got the silver on the tie-break. He, along with Robert Lau, earned the title of Fide Candidate Master (which seems to be a new title.) Here is one of Aleks' wins.
The youngest kid in the US team, and probably in the whole event 6 years old Tanuj Vasudeva from California (already 1555 by USCF Ratings!) got the bronze medal in the under 8 years old section. Sun, Liao, Munoz and Lau all received invitations to the 2008 Panamerican Youth Championship.
The playing and living conditions were wonderful, with outdoor pools, tennis courts by the hotel and wide screen transmission of live games at the playing site. The American delegation made time before the event began to check out the city of Aguascalientes (population 800,000.) They went to a vineyard, a running of the bulls training site and a Mexican League soccer match between Morelia and Aguascalientes. Team solidarity was strengthened by team jackets, which were donated by Mark and Maria Schein, the parents of the an American participant
U.S. Team results
Boys Under 16- Robert Lau- 7/7, gold medal
Girls Under 16- Nicole Maffeo 4/6
Boys Under 12- Aleksander Ostrovskiy (6/7, silver medal) and Michael Chiang (4.5/7)
Boys Under 10- Aaron Schein (4.5/7)
Girls Under 10- Claudia Munoz (5/6, gold medal)
Boys Under 8- Raymond Sun (7/7, gold medal), Tanuj Vasudeva (5/7, bronze medal) Ian Gilchrist (4.5/7), Eduardo Gonzalez (3/7)
Girls Under 8- Simone Liao (5/5, gold medal)
For more information, check out the official website at http://www.aguascalienteschess2007.com/.Thanks to Anatoly Ostrovskiy for contributing material to this article.