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Abby Wraps Up the World Youth Print E-mail
By Abby Marshall   
December 5, 2007
Sarah Chiang, silver medalist in the Girls Under 10. Photo Dujiu Yang.
It is 4:30 in the morning, and I am on the bus to the Antalya airport, and Ettie is asleep on my shoulder, and I am thinking about the trip. I want to smile, but I can’t, so I only stare out the window and try to remember. I really miss everyone who was in Turkey, and the whole experience of playing chess around the world; at this moment, the memories drift in fragments like dreams; unclear and disconnected, but equally fascinating and poignant.

I want to give a huge shout out to the US medal winners, Sarah Chiang who won silver in the Girls U10, and Daniel Naroditsky, who is the Boys U12 world champion!!! (Check out the San Francisco Chronicle report on Daniel's win. ) I was watching their games and following their progress through the tournament, and I am just so impressed not only with their results but also their determination; playing for the world championship is enormous pressure and both players handled it magnificently and were rewarded for their efforts. The whole US team did an awesome job. I know we all tried our hardest and continued to prove that we are one of the best teams in the world.

Daniel Naroditsky, gold medalist in the Boys Under 12.

As for my own result-6.5/11 with four wins, five draws, and two losses-I am not sure yet how I feel. People asked me if I was happy with the result, and I said yes, and I believe that is true. In at least three of the games I was on the brink of defeat and managed to either draw or win, and in the losses, I was better at some point but went downhill. I played well; I think I could easily have done better, though perhaps just as easily I could have done worse. I want to thank my coach during the tournament, Joel Benjamin, for his invaluable preparation, and I hope he wears the bracelets Ettie and I gave him; inscribed on each bracelet is Abby’s Coach and Ettie’s Coach.

The coaches at the 2007 World Youth. L to R:  Dmitry Gurevich, Michael Khordokovsky, Armen Ambartsoumian,  Joel Benjamin, John Fedorowicz and Aviv Friedman. (Not pictured-Sergey Kudrin.) Photo Dujiu Yang.

It truly is a once in a lifetime experience to have the opportunity to play the best players from around the world. I don’t think I will be back to the World Youth; in any event, it is too much to even think about right now.  The organizers did a great job with the tournament and the location and even the food; there were very few problems and I really really enjoyed the entire experience. To future participants, I wish you the best of luck.

The Closing Ceremony of the 2007 World Youth. Photo Dujiu Yang.

The travel back was very smooth; taking a bus and four planes in one day is no fun, but all went well. It is now 9:30am.  Breakfast ends at 10. If I get up now and hurry, maybe I can make it in time.

Watch for the February issue of Chess Life Magazine, which will include a full report on the World Youth from coach Aviv Friedman.