Monday, November 12, 2007

High standard at the chess championships

The Junior chess players participating in the National Championships at the Hotel Tower. At left foreground is Saeed Ali versus Cecil Cox and Scion Taitt versus Sheriffa Ali. Ronald Roberts and Taffin Khan, playing in the background, are the current lead

Memories are being refreshed for scores of Guyanese who took an interest in the chess of yesteryear now that the National Chess Championships are being contested following a lapse in activity of well over a decade.

Recalling Charles Dickens's famous lines, yesteryear was the best of times for chess in Guyana, but one decade ago we entered on what can now be seen as the worst of times.

However, early this year, we found an oasis of chess in the desert and we have been drinking cool, clear water ever since. We have promised ourselves never to go back to that wilderness.

And so the National Chess Championships are being played with both satisfaction and determination. The first half of the championships have been completed with myself and former National Junior Champion Kriskal Persaud from Rose Hall sharing the lead with 6½ points each from the eight games which have been played. We both lost one game each to Learie Webster and Andre Griffith respectively, and drew our game. Among the juniors, Taffin Khan and Ronald Roberts have emerged as winners of the first half.

In the senior category I would rate the games as being of a high standard. One slip, and you are history. You can see your opponents have been practising on the computer. The moves are too familiar. But it is in the middle game and the end game that the fireworks reside. It is here that you enter no man's land, and it is only through excellent play on the board that you can prosper. Win, lose or draw, we are all enjoying the games and the generosity of the hotels, namely, Ocean Spray, King's Plaza and the Tower, which have so graciously and magnanimously supported the championships and perhaps, even made the tournament possible.

Over the last weekend, a former President of the Guyana Chess Federation, Steve Ram, who currently resides in New York, visited the committee and played some games with the juniors. He expressed the view that the standard of play was high in both categories. He also pledged his support for the upliftment of the game in Guyana.

The tournament continues today at the King's Plaza Hotel on Main Street. Persons wishing to become members of the new Guyana Chess Federation which is going to be established shortly after the National Championships are concluded, can visit us at the King's Plaza Hotel today from 10 am. Alternatively, you can call Irshad Mohamed on 664-1650 or Shiv Nandalall on 623-7723.

Click here if
you like this article