Saturday, 17 September 2011

Visa Update - September 16, 2011

Hi all,

We just came back from the Brazil Consulate and they would not accept the documents without the invitation letter. Their Vice Consul told them not to accept the team's documents until we receive the invitation letters. We just signed the application form with the officer and they stamped it but didn't take the documents; we will have to come back there a second time to drop off the documents once we have everything.

Also, they would not give the visa if the passport expires within the next 6 months; they are very strict about it. So check it carefully beforehand before going there.

Alexey and Tatyana Noritsyn.
Alexey and Tatyana, thanks for the update. You are correct and it's unfortunate that the Vice Consul decided to override the commitment that the Consultate staff had already provided in writing. The good news is that Patrick has now gotten an email today from the WYCC organizers that they will email him a signed PDF invitation letter, with all Canadian team member names, by this Monday.

Very good point that your passport needs to valid for at least 6 months. I believe that 6 months is from the last date of your planned trip, not from the date of application. This is quite common across all countries that issue visas.


WYCC Update from Andrew Giblon - September 15, 2011

Team, here is an update since my recent introductory email.

1.       Team members. The list of team members is pretty much firmed up. Two or three players have decided not to attend, but we are still at about 40 players, a record. A big thank you to Patrick, to my wife Cheryl, and to Gerry (from the CFC Office) for patiently and accurately processing every form.

2.       Brazil visas. I went to the Brazil Consulate in Toronto this week to drop off my application.
a.       Bad news: They insisted on an invitation letter from the WYCC organizers, even though I had with me an email from the same Consulate that waived this requirement. Also, it took forever to drive there in the morning (1.5 hours from Thornhill), and they are open only from 9 am – 1 pm, Monday-Friday.
b.      Good news: They will accept a signed invitation letter by email to or by fax to 416.922.1832. As well, the rest of my paper-work (passport, application form, photo, photocopy of vaccination certificate, money order) was acceptable to them. Finally, the lineup took only 5 minutes until I was served, and it took only 15 minutes for them to review my paper-work.

Now that we have finalized the list of players, Patrick has requested a signed invitation letter from the WYCC in PDF format which lists all of our players (not one letter per player). Patrick or I will keep you posted on the progress of this request.

3.       Side trips. Some parents have asked me about side trips that they are considering. Gary and I and our chess-playing children are going to Rio de Janeiro for the 4 days prior to the WYCC. If you would like further information about flights, hotels and tours there, please let us know.

4.       Volunteers. We need volunteers! There are many things that need to get done for your child’s benefit, not enough people to do them, and they don’t get done by themselves. Gary and I will be contacting some of you over the next week to ask for your help. Please say “yes.” Even better, please contact us now to volunteer!

5.       Coaches. I am pleased to report that Patrick has secured a second coach and he is in discussions with a possible third coach. Patrick plans to provide an update shortly, including the names and qualifications of the additional coaches.

Andrew Giblon

Andrew Giblon Head of Delegation - Introductory Email September 11

Hi all. Many of you already know me, and I’d like to introduce myself to those of you who don’t. Please bear with the length of this email, as there is much to communicate and to do between now and the WYCC.

I am Andrew Giblon – I am both honoured and excited to have been selected as Head of Delegation (“HOD”) for our Canadian WYCC 2011 team. I have served as Assistant to the Canadian HOD at the WYCC in 2009 and 2010, and at the NAYCC in 2011. This will be my fourth time in the past five years attending the WYCC, so I have considerable relevant experience at what happens at this type of tournament. I have also become an average adult tournament chess player (about 1500 rating) within the past 3 years by learning chess with my daughters, so I have at least some appreciation of your games and what you are going through as players, and a good understanding of chess tournament rules (although I am not trained or certified as an Arbiter). 

Gary Gladstone, who is well known and respected in the chess community, has been selected to serve as Assistant HOD. Gary was previously a CFC Governor, is an active chess parent in the CMA and CFC community, and he also served as Captain of the Canadian Team at the World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad Team in 2010, so Gary has significant relevant experience for this type of tournament. Gary will be assisting me and the delegation with all of the tasks mentioned below.

Patrick McDonald, our CFC Youth Co-ordinator, is in the process of finalizing several key tasks:
·         List of all players and accompanying persons
·         Hotel selection
·         Costs and payments due, with the help of my wife Cheryl Giblon

In preparation for this trip, I have already sent several emails to the team about visas to Brazil, vaccinations, time zone differences, funding to the team, payments due to the CFC, deadlines, hotel booking, coaches, pre-WYCC tournaments, WYCC tournament schedule (double-round days), WYCC tournament regulations (lateness), etc. Once Patrick’s activities listed above are finalized, and so that you are aware of how I can help you, I will have primary responsibility for a number of tasks, mostly once we arrive in Brazil:
·         Organize our Canadian team activities, provide updates to the team
·         Provide guidance about the tournament conditions, e.g. double-round days, lateness to games, how to file a protest, etc.
·         Liaise with the WYCC organizers, the CFC Youth Co-ordinator, and the CFC
·         Ensure that everyone on the Canadian team has a hotel room, is registered in the tournament, and gets an accreditation badge
·         Organize daily Canadian team meetings to provide updates, recognize big achievements, answer questions, address concerns, circulate the daily WYCC bulletin (which includes game score sheets from the previous day)
·         Assist with any protests by or against the Canadian team, mediate any conflicts within the team, assist with medical or safety issues, etc.

This is by far the largest team that Canada has ever sent to the WYCC: at last count (and these numbers are still subject to change), we have 42 players and 35 accompanying persons, for a total of 77 in our contingent, so we need to be highly organized.

Please keep in mind that everyone mentioned in this email is an unpaid volunteer. Gary and I are committed to helping to make this event a memorable and positive experience for each of you. In order to make that happen, we will need your help for several additional key volunteer positions, so please let me know ASAP if you want to volunteer yourself or someone else you know is capable for this role:

1.       Coaches. We already have one confirmed coach, IM Nikolay Noritsyn. Nikolay was Canadian champion in 2007 (second youngest ever at age 16), and a member of the 2008 and 2011 Canadian Olympiad team. Nikolay has been coaching for many years, including at the Roman Pelts Chess Academy, as well as private students including his brother Sergey who this year became Canadian Boys U8 champion. Given our team size, in my opinion we need at least 3 coaches (for example, the US has a ratio of about 7 players per coach), and it will still be more than a full-time commitment from each coach. We also have 2 additional qualified applicants who have been identified in earlier emails. We will be working with Patrick and with the CFC to determine what is feasible. Each coach is expected to set up a daily schedule with their assigned players for pre-game preparation and post-game analysis. We will also explore the possibility of having some type of pre-WYCC training, e.g. a camp (not easy with people from across Canada), circulate puzzles via email, etc.

2.       Blog Writers / Editor. We need someone who takes primary responsibility to write and post a short article each day with our highlights, e.g. total team score, major upsets, big comeback wins, observations about Brazil and Caldas Novas, etc. Hopefully, many parents and players will want to post articles as well. For good examples, please see and

3.       Photographers. We need ideally 2-3 volunteers (given our team size) who can take a photo of each of our children just prior to each round, ideally shaking hands with their opponent. Professional experience is not necessary. This is an intense task for about 30 minutes each day and it’s best to write down the board numbers of your assigned players / sections in advance. Then the photos (as well as any videos taken) need to be uploaded to our team blog.

4.       Fundraising Lead. We are anticipating some additional expenses, e.g. for additional coaches and perhaps for team shirts, that will require additional funds. I would like someone to take the lead to help look for corporate sponsors and to organize fundraising events, e.g. simul exhibition, car wash, etc. Funds would be used for the benefit of the entire team, not just individual players.

I also want to bring to everyone’s attention that we have some players on our team who had outstanding performances at recent WYCCs:
1.       Richard Wang, WYCC Boys U12 bronze medal winner, 2009
2.       Qiyu Zhou, WYCC Girls U8 silver medal winner, 2008 (and Girls U10 6th place, 2010)

Next steps for everyone include:
·         Finalize your participation and hotel selection with Patrick, if not already done.
·         Arrange your payment with Gerry at the CFC office.
·         Obtain your Brazil visa.

If you are no longer going to the WYCC and want to be removed from this distribution list, or if you know of anyone who is missing from this list, please let me know.

If you have something you would rather discuss privately with me, please email me and we can set up a time to talk.


Andrew Giblon

WYCC in Brazil Patrick McDonald's Email September 11, 2011

Dear WYCC 2011 Canadian Youth Team,

I have a couple of things for you just now:

First of all, please see the attached final (at least up to this date) list of the team going to the WYCC in Brazil this year. (an updated list will be posted to the blog shortly)

Second, I would like to congratulate Andrew Giblon and Gary Gladstone as being selected your Head of Delegation and Assistant Head of Delegation respectively!

I am very confident that these two people are VERY capable for this task. Both Andrew and Gary have already done a lot for the team. Even before being selected for these roles, both of these parents took the time to go the extra mile for the whole team by finding information for the team and trying to work with a travel agent to secure some discounts/flights to be able to afford more in the way of coaching staff.
(on top of that, you have all had communications with Cheryl, Andrew’s wife and Gary’s sister with all the work she put in for our team in organizing the names and fees payable.)

Andrew has a lot of experience at WYCC’s having already attended 3 prior WYCC’s and serving as assistant Head of Delegation already at two of these.

Gary has been involved in Canadian Chess for many years. Gary has served as CFC governor, working towards supporting youth Chess. He was also the team Captain at the World Youth U16 Olympiad last year.

I am sure that you will all find that having these two very capable and experienced people at the head of your team will serve to ensure that your experience at the WYCC will be a very positive one.

This is a very important role for the team as there needs to be someone(people) onsite that will help  with arrangements with the organizers, organize the team for team meetings, serve as your liaison for any issues that come up etc.

I know that in the two WYCC’s that I attended, in the days where we only had one coach and not HOD, it was always a lot of work to just take care of the administrative “stuff” and that often fell to the coach … meaning that the players had even less time with the coach.

I am sure you can expect some communications from your Heads of Delegation very soon. I am sure you will all welcome these two and help them out in any way you can, understanding all the time that these positions will take from their time with their kids (they are both parents accompanying their kids to the WYCC)

Thank You,
Patrick S McDonald IA
Youth Coordinator – Chess Federation of Canada

Canadian Youth Chess Team at WYCC 2011 blog created!

Hi All,

From today we had a blog for our WYCC 2011 Canadian team! If you have any idea/suggest for the usage and content of the blog, please let me know.