Friday, September 18, 2009


As of 1:28 a.m. (yes, I do sleep once in a while) these are the confirmed players both official representatives and additional players that will represent the United States in the NAYCC 2009. If you are an additional player that is not on my list, you might be on Mr. Chuck Lovingood's list, please send me an email just so that I may post your child's name on this list.

We had on official representative withdraw from the team in the under-10 girls; however we have three additional players enter the under-12 and under-8 boys.

We welcome these new additions to Team USA.

Girls Under 8 :

Emily Nguyen (official)

Girls Under 10:

No representative

Girls Under 12:

Claudia Munoz (official)

Girls Under 14:

No representative

Girls Under 16:

Madhu Karamsetty (official)

Girls Under 18:

No representative

Boys Under 8:

Winston Zeng (official)

Rayan Taghizadeh

Boys Under 10:

Ian Gilchrist (official)

Boys Under 12:

Kayden Troff (official)

Jeevan Karamsetty

Andrew Istafanous

Boys Under 14:

Stuart Finney (official)

Boys Under 16:

Deepak Aaron (official)

Boys Under 18:

No representative

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (G90/30 second increments)

October 1 - Arrival of Delegations (You must arrive)

October 2 - Technical Meeting 8:00 a.m.

October 2 - Opening Ceremony 9:00 a.m.

October 2 - 1st round 10:00 a.m.

October 2 - 2nd round 5:00 p.m.

October 3 - 3rd round 9:00 a.m.

October 3 - 4th round 2:00 p.m.

October 3 - 5th round 7:00 p.m.

October 4 - 6th round 9:00 a.m.

October 4 - 7th round 2:00 p.m.

October 4 - Award and closing ceremony 8:00 p.m.

October 5 - Departure of Delegations

NOTE: For the official representatives, the organizers begin providing lodging October 1, 2009. Also, the organizers are in charge of providing meals to the representatives, buffet style, the supper meal of October 1, 2009 until breakfast of October 5, 2009.

1. Will there be shuttle service and how far is the airport from the hotel?
I will check with the hotel in order to find an answer to this question. Give me 24-hours and I will have an answer. The airport is located 30 minutes from the hotel.
2. Will there be someone at the airport that speaks English to receive me?
I will be at the hotel receiving every members of the American and Canadian Delegations, already Mr. Raul Hernandez - President of the Mexican Federation, requested my bilingual assistance. However, if my wife travels with me, I will probably have her waiting for every American and Canadian at the airport in order to make sure that you arrive safely. My wife, also named Claudia, is well known by the both the NAYCC 2007 and Pan American 2008, U.S. teams. She is also a perfect bilingual as well as my two daughters. You will not be left stranded or alone.
3. I am not a U.S. citizen and I have a foreign passport, will I need a VISA to enter Mexico?
For those who might not know, we live right on the U.S. - Mexican border. Our family has dual citizenship, we have a residence in Del Rio, Texas and one in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, right across the Rio Grande. Our business, "ASESORIAS ACADEMICAS" is located on the Mexican side of the river. Our company provides bilingual support service to American companies operating along the Mexican side of the border. Tomorrow, we will stop by Mexican Immigration and ask them what requirements are needed for foreign nationals that are NOT AMERICAN citizens. However, we need a list of nationalities because every situation is different. If you are in this situation, just send me an email with your country of origin so that I may inquire personally on the international bridge. If you hold an American passport, you simply land and clear customs.
4. I am a Canadian citizen and my country Canada recently required that Mexican nationals have a VISA to enter my country, does this mean that I will require a VISA before hand to enter Mexico as reciprocity for my government's policy towards Mexico?
This question can only be answered by the Mexican Embassy or Consulate in Canada. True, in July the Canadian government did for the first time impose an entry VISA for Mexican citizens entering Canada. Usually, governments retaliate under reciprocity, we are unaware if Mexico has taken this stance. We advise that you inquire with a quick call to the Mexican Embassy in Canada, just to be on the safe side.
5. Should I land in an alternative city and drive to Mazatlan?
This subject is very touchy for us who live on the border because we live in an area relatively crime free on both sides of the international river. Yes, there is violence in Mexico just like there is violence in the United States and Canada. Felipe Calderon, Mexico's President, is on a crusade to dismantle the drug cartels that are sending tons of drugs to a more that willing buyers market in the United States. The fighting is based in certain areas of the country, primarlly in the states of Chihuahua, Michocan, Baja California Norte and Tamaulipas. The Mexican military presence in those areas are overwhelming in order to keep stability. We have traveled in the last 24-months all over Mexico and have never encountered any violence of sorts. However, we know the country and the language. We know the areas to avoid as well. Therefore, we advise you NOT to land in an alternative airport and then proceed your journey to Mazatlan. We, the Munoz family, will be traveling to Mazatlan by land; however, our vacations was in Mazatlan this July and we experienced no delays or happenings of sorts.
6. What is the cancellation policy on the hotel?
Simple, don't cancel! Just joking, I will have an answer in 24-hours.
7. I will be taking additional family members. What is the policy there?
You pay the hotel difference.
8. Who is going to tell the organizers that my son or daughter is an official representative?
Once Beatrice Marinello registers us with the Mexican Federation, they will know, however, I will inform the hotel in the next few days as well. Any other problems and we will deal with them on the ground in Mazatlan.
9. Where do I pay the $50 dollars to register?
In Mazatlan when you arrive at the hotel, I will be waiting for you so that you pay the registration fee.
Last but not least, we have been complimented by several of parents for coordinating this team. We consider it an honor to assist the USCF parental family and we hope this will be the beginning of many more trips in the future. On August 31, 2009, at 6:00 a.m. I came across the information on this tournament, I quickly notified the USCF only to be told on September 4, 2009 - that the USCF would not participate due to time constraints, however, they stated that they would support us individually as participants.
Those that know me understand that "no" is not a part of my vocabulary. I decided on my own to post the tournament information on our blog and then I proceeded to send a massive 100-plus email to everyone on our database, starting with 17-year old GM Hess to 9-year old WFM Simone Liao. The email was directed to every coach and former USCF Head of Delegation that has traveled abroad representing the U.S.A in the last 24-months.
Later that Saturday, I noticed the USCF posted the tournament information on their website. I decided immediately to send an email to the Canadian Federation about the tournament as well. During that weekend, I sent the tournament information to numerous blogs nationwide in order to stir interest. Daily, Chuck and I would call each other to keep the information flowing until I was asked to become the USCF Head of Delegation.
Prior to this, I spoke with Mr. Russell Harwood, the past Head of Delegation of the 2007 team, in order to ask him to lead us once again. As many know, he is the Chess Program Director at the University of Texas Brownsville, however, he was unable to participate but did recommend me based on the assistance we provided in 2007. Also, Beatriz Marinello recommend us due to the assistance my wife gave in the Pan American 2008 team with her Spanish-speaking skills.
So why are we doing this?
We do it because I have two daughters, one who occasionally plays chess and the other one who dreams chess. I want them to see in us parents, as they grow-up, that everything can be achieved if you simply put your heart into it.
My daughter Claudia told me today as she heard me speaking with a parent over the phone, "Dad, I'm proud of you." Then she proceeded to hug me as well as my daughter Faith.
That is why we are doing this :)
Believe me, your kids are also proud of what you are doing for them right now.
We also wanted to demonstrate to the USCF family, that we the parents, must help the federation with our endeavors. We cannot expect our federation to do everything for us. If we parents, unite our efforts with our federation, we can further assist the endeavors of our children.
In conclusion, I must recognize the USCF for reversing their decision once they saw the large amount of interest in this tournament, especially, KUDOS to Chuck Lovingood who after taking over Jerry Nash, as Scholastic and FIDE Director, completed this monumental task while being sick.
Abed Munoz
USCF Head of Delegation

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