Support your local youth!

by admin on November 30, 2013

Yesterday at the California Class Warfare tournament I had a chance to talk with Taylor McCreary and her father Michael, who are frequent participants in Bay Area tournament. Taylor told me some exciting news, which is that she has qualified to play in the World Youth Chess Championship, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from December 17 to 29. She will be playing in the Girls’ 16 and Under section. You can see a full list of the entrants in that section here.

I have never had the opportunity to play against Taylor, but she has always seemed to me to be a model of good conduct at the board. I have never seen her getting upset. (Of course, it’s always possible that I just wasn’t there at the wrong times.) She is a well-rounded kid who is interested in math and science. She’s even read my book! So of course I’m a fan of hers.

Taylor will be part of a large U.S. delegation of more than 90 players. Just looking at the Girls’ 16 and Under section alone, we have eight representatives:

  • Ellen Xiang (Texas, USCF 2030, FIDE 1975)
  • Apurva Virkud (Michigan, USCF 2118, FIDE 1943)
  • Margaret Hua (Missouri, USCF 1937, FIDE 1922)
  • Alice Dong (New Jersey, USCF 2054, FIDE 1884)
  • Lilia Poteat (New York, USCF 2028, FIDE 1846)
  • Claudia Munoz (Texas, USCF 2006, FIDE 1781)
  • Stephanie Shao (California, USCF 1887, FIDE 1651)
  • Taylor McCreary (California, USCF 1871, FIDE unrated)

I just can’t imagine what an exciting, even life-changing experience it would be to go to a tournament like this as a youngster. It’s not just the chess. When will a kid of 16 years ever get a better chance to meet other kids with the same interest from around the world, from Austria to Zimbabwe, all at once? It’s such a great chance to take off your cultural blinders and see what’s really out there.

Of course, traveling to the UAE and staying there for such a long time will cost Taylor’s family a fair amount of money ($4000, they estimate), so Taylor is raising money for her trip at FundRazr. I hope some of you will click on through to the site and contribute a small amount.

Of course, any of the other seven U.S. representatives I’ve listed above would be equally deserving of your support (and each of the other 90-plus girls and boys in the other age groups), and it’s possible that some of them also have fund-raisers going. It just happens that Taylor’s is the one that I know about. If you can find a way to contribute to any of them, I’m sure that the chess gods will smile upon you. May all your rooks have open files and all of your combinations lead to checkmate!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Matt December 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Stephanie is a member of Arcadia Chess Club, where I also play. I shall have to congratulate her on having qualified for the team if/when I see her at the club tomorrow. She is a good player (I believe I only have an even record against her) and I’m sure she will do well.


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