10-year-old Seeking International Chess Title
By Claudia Hill , Del Rio News-Herald , Published June 20, 2008
10-year-old Claudia Muñoz will be representing the United States in the upcoming Pan-American Youth Festival International Championship Chess tournament in Argentina next week.
Competing against talented chess players from dozens of other countries has Muñoz a little worried, although she believes she can bring home another gold medal to add to her existing collection.
Winner of several gold and bronze medals at a national level throughout Mexico and the U.S., Muñoz first began to play chess at the age of six when her father, a chess coach, taught her the game.
At the present time, Muñoz has already been offered college scholarships due to the success she has obtained throughout her chess career.
Muñoz is thrilled to be traveling to Cordoba, Argentina where she will be competing for nine days in the tournament.
The Pan-American Youth Festival International Chess tournament begins June 29 and continues through July 6.
The tournament, a part of the Confederation of Chess for America, will enable Muñoz to compete in her respective category based on gender and age.
The rewards of winning such a prestigious tournament are very valuable, according to Muñoz.
“If I win first place at this tournament, I will receive the ‘Woman FIDE Master’ title,” said young Muñoz. “Also, I will automatically be given the opportunity to compete in the upcoming world-level chess tournament in Vietnam,” she added.
Throughout the month, Muñoz has been preparing to make the journey to Argentina with her mother Claudia, and the community has helped make it possible.
“I have received contributions from Wal-Mart, Ashley Furniture and the 10-minute Oil Change,” said Muñoz.
“I am very excited that the community is supportive of my dreams,” she added.
What caught the heart of Muñoz and her entire family is when Florencio Abrajan, owner of Abrajan’s Mexican Restaurant, decided to help in a large way.
For weeks, Abrajan collected tips and sold burritos specifically to benefit Muñoz’s upcoming trip to Argentina.
“My wife heard about little Claudia Muñoz at Wal-Mart and came home and told me about her upcoming trip to Argentina to play in such a big tournament,” said Abrajan. “I knew I wanted to help. It’s so great to see children do these kinds of things at a young age,” he added.
On Thursday evening, Muñoz, along with her mother and sister, met Abrajan at Abrajan’s Mexican Restaurant, where she was given a monetary contribution collected by the restaurant to assist with her trip.
“I feel very excited because I know God will help me win,” said Muñoz.
For more information on Claudia Muñoz and her journey to Argentina, you may log on to womancandidatemaster.blogspot.com/
Los mejores deseos para Claudia! Best wishes for Claudia!