Hotel Olas Altas Inn
We are introducing America to its newest four CANDIDATE MASTER'S, who minutes ago won the gold medal along with the mentioned FIDE Title in the North American Youth Championship 2009, along with the honor of representing the United States in the 2010 Pan American Youth Championship in Brazil in July.
In order of appearance: CM Stuart Finney (1985) U-14, CM Deepak Aaron (2135) U-16, CM Kayden Troff (2174), CM Winston Zeng U-8.
However, two members of TEAM USA also won medals in this tournament.
Rayan Taghizadeh on your right won 3rd place in the U-8 boys. But, the girls did not stay behind, they contributed to the tally as well.
Emily Nguyen (left hand corner) from Texas won the bronce medal for the United States in the U-8 girls. WCM Claudia Munoz, sitting next to her, came in 5th place in the U-12 girls. Madhu Karamsetty was a part of the girl trio that proudly represented the red, white and blue.
It is important to state that the 10-member American team competed against Mexico and Canada for three days in a COMBINED event, meaning that boys and girls we paired together and not seperate. However, for medal purposes the results were seperated in both the boys and girls categories, which was against the technical information posted by the Mexican Chess Federation.
Last but not least, we must state that the Mexican Chess Federation (FENAMAC) did not provide medals to the winners of the three competing countries. This was a sore point not only with the Mexican players who at the end of the ceremony began to yell out, "las medallas" "the medals", but also for the Canadian and American delgation. The Delegation head of the three competing countries met with Mr. Raul Hernandez, President of the Mexican Chess Federation, to clarify this situation.
Mr. Hernandez stated that the Sinaloa State Sport's Ministry had made a financial cutback but that he would personally mail us the medals during the week.
Mr. Jorge Vega, President of FIDE America requested that we inform the United States Chess Federation and the Canadian Chess Federation, respectively, so that they could make the request to the Mexican Chess Federation.
Instead of medals we received paper certificates with misspelled names as well as incorrect categories, when asked for corrections by the tournament directors, we received some negative attitudes by one particular tournament director.
Beyond the issues mentioned, TEAM USA was extremely united starting from the parents and extending to the children and youth.
It was an honor to have led the American team from start to finish.
Tomorrow, everyone heads home.
Hopefully in 2010, this event can be held in the United States so that we can demonstrate the organizational skills that would make our continent proud.