Thursday, October 8, 2009


We always focus on the results of the players in any international tournament, but few times do we take time to applaude the real heroes behind them - the parents - especially the mommies. The term "SOCCER MOMS" would belittle these great women, because soccer moms limit themselves to pick-up and delivery of children to practice. These women traveled thousands of miles to take their children to an international tournament.

Mommy Troff had to endure three days of observing how her child was literally not just playing her opponent, but at times it seemed Kayden Troff was playing the entire Mexican team. I entered her room just to watch young Kayden jumping up and down like a grasshopper while he was giving me advice on how my daughter should play her next opponent. I left Mexico with a deep respect for Mommy Troff and will be honored, when Kayden becomes a Grandmaster, to have said I was his leader at the NAYCC 2009.

The following mommy is Mommy Karamsetty, who I truly admire because she had to watch BOTH of her children playing at the same time! Most parents need to have their heart jump started with just one child playing, but both! I learned so much about the Indian culture that now I want to move to India. I was deeply touched when they invited us to visit them in Virginina, especially when they told us that in India, one does not call or write to say that one is going for a visit - you just show up and knock. I could not imagine not calling before we went, but they said it did not matter at what time we showed up, they would open the door. Well, you don't have to tell us twice - we WILL just show up. I think India is a cool country and I simply have to go there in my lifetime.

The mommy on the far right, is Mommy Munoz. She is often confused as being Claudia's older sister. She entered the tournament not feeling the same strain she had in the 2007 NAYCC, when her daughter had won the Woman Candidate Title - undefeated at the age of nine. In reality, there was no reason for her daughter to be there, but the desire to represent the United States, again was the main reason. Mommy Munoz was just as stirred as all the other mommies - except she spoke Spanish and was privy to hearing everything that was said by other Mexican mommies.

When these mommies in 2019, look back to this tournament, Kayden, Claudia and Jeevan will be 21-years old, Madhu will be 24-years of age, but these mommies will forever stay young as they are in this picture.

This one is for the mommies of U.S. Chess - simply the best!

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