How has your life changed since you won one of the major prizes in the MCO?:
With my earnings, my life has changed in multiple ways! With the additional money into my bank account, I have opened my first savings certificate. I am happy to see progress in my chess career. I prepared for this tournament and my dedication helped me win.
How do your friends and family feel about you winning?:
My family is very happy about my earnings from playing chess. My mother said, "one of the best things in life is to know that your children are doing well". I was happy to have my father play in the tournament with me! I knew it would make him proud if he saw his son win a tournament in Millionaire Chess and I think I've accomplished that. This tournament was significant to me because I volunteered at a retirement home teaching chess two months prior to MC#1. Everyone there has really supported me throughout the entire competition. When I returned I was able to share with them my entire experience. Thank you Ms. Cynthia Sanders for your support!
Why did you decide to play in MC#1?:
Fourth of July, my father was reading a Chess Life Magazine. It was then that he told me about the upcoming tournament in October,that would be held in Las Vegas by GM Maurice Ashley. He said, "it is a thousand dollar entry fee, and if you want to play, then you need to pay by July 31st. The cash prizes are worth it and at least you get a chance to win your money back in the top 50 places." I was excited and signed up right away.
What did you most like about MC#1?:
I liked that the entire tournament was about the players. It was my first time in Vegas, and I was thrilled when they gave us a leather Millionaire Chess Bag at sign-up! It was held at Planet Hollywood, a casino, and the tournament was full of surprises. Meeting and taking pictures with some of the GM's was really fun. The posters of the Chess World Champions motivated everyone during the tournament, and the idea of passing out water was really helpful because I didn't have to get up and leave my game. Everything was there for us, and that made it very convenient. It made all the difference as a participant; my job was easy. Just play chess!
What would you like to see different next year?:
Next year I would like to see the top players speak and answer questions from reporters just like any other sport. Chess is growing everyday and people would like to view our games when we play, even if they don't all understand the concept of chess.
Will you attend MC#2 again next year?:
Yes, Yes, Yes. . . I can't wait to compete again next year U1600!