Day 6 of the WYCC 2013


7th Round of the WYCC 2013 started as rescheduled at 16.00. The starting time was changed to 16.00 in order to have more time for lunch. During the round we met one of the coaches of the USA team, Mr. Armen Ambartsumyan. Mr. Ambartsumyan was the first coach of the National team of Armenia before. He used to work with Armenian players from 1991 to 1995. Now he lives in the US. This is what he has told us:


  • Armen, you had worked with the national team of Armenia. Now you represent the USA. Tell me, how did this happen?


  • Yes, I was the first coach of the national Armenian team. Later I left Armenia and moved to Los Angeles where I opened the private Chess Academy. We have a lot of children in our Academy, Since 2004 I am also a coach of the National team of the USA.


  • So, you came here in the delegation of the USA team. Tell us is the delegation big?


  • Yes, we have 94 players representing the USA in the World Youth Chess Championship. Every let's say 6-7 players have their own coach. So, the team of coaches is also impressive. The US federation takes good care for its children. It hires coaches before any important both individual or team championships and we work with our kids.


  • The coaches of the US team are hired before the important competitions. What about your academy? Do you have coaches to be on the staff?


  • Yes, we have six-seven coaches including me who work with children on a regular basis. At this championship there are three my own trainees. Two girls participate in the U-12 category - Vivian Cao Dao and Sevilla Julia, one boy plays in U-16 Michael Brown.


  • That is nice. I wish they will show good results and make you happy with their performance. By the way, how were the participants from the US to the WYCC chosen?


  • There is a strict qualification system in the US. So, all participants were chosen via some qualification tournaments before. You should also have the floor rating. Also, there are some requirements of the US federation; a fee should be paid in advance. But the top rated players' expenses are covered by the federation.


  • My traditional question about the organization. We all know that not everything went smoothly from the very beginning. But tell me your experience?


  • Yes, you are right. It was a bit chaotic in the beginning. Now, as far as I can see the situation is better of course. But you know a good will of volunteers, organizers and all people here in Al Ain matters more. Every address we raised was positively met. I would also like to mention that the conditions for players are fantastic. Water, juices, snacks are provided to each participant. I think the organizers have cooperated with good sponsors.


  • It might be too early to speak about the results. Are you satisfied with the performance of your children?


  • 94 players in all. Some of them play well, some - worse. As for my trainees, I must confess that I expected better chess, at least from one of my students - Michael Brown. Yesterday, for instance, he lost to the Chinese player. Michael was caught with a preparation. This happens in chess. Our girls, in comparison with Michael, are weaker. This is their first championship and we did not expect more than they can produce. This is their start in the chess career.


  • Did you prepare specially to this championship?


  • With my kids yes, we have been preparing for it during some months before. We have prepared a special program for them. The main problem is that unfortunately we don't have a lot of time for chess preparations. Kids attend the chess academy once a week for one or two hours.


  • Do you have kind of a regime during the championship? As far as I know, the professional chess players stick to every day schedule: they wake up, spend some time for preparations, have lunch, and analyze games, walk, dinner, preparations again. What happens in children's chess?


  • Professional chess players differ from children of course. When adults play in a team competition, a team spirit is one of the important things. In an individual competition, the schedule is individual. For instance here, we make preparations, both individual and group, for about two hours before each round. After the rounds we also spend time for analyzing and working out on mistakes. Then they are on their own.


  • Do you have your special system of encouragement and punishment?


  • As I said, everything is individual. Sometimes I feel that it is necessary to calm them down, sometimes to point out on mistakes.


  • Good luck to your children!