GCF names team for Chess Olympiad in Azerbaijan
After much deliberation, the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) is pleased to announce the selection of two teams, which will represent Guyana in the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan this September.
In an unprecedented move, Guyana will participate in both the Absolute section and, for the first time in history the Female section.
The players, who share the honour of representing Guyana in the Absolute section of the Chess Olympiad, are Candidate Master (CM) Anthony Drayton, CM Taffin Khan, CM Ronuel Greenidge, Haifeng Su and Roberto Neto.
CM Drayton is currently Guyana’s number one player with a rating of 1,947. The 22-year-old competitor earned his CM title in the 41st Chess Olympiad in Norway in 2014.
CM Khan boasts a rating of 1,861, recently earning his title in the 2.3.5 Sub-zonal competition in Barbados. CM Greenidge, 1,723 in rating, proudly represented Guyana in the 41st Chess Olympiad two years ago, where he snatched his CM title.
Chess enthusiast Suhai Feng also battled in the 41st Olympiad and currently has a rating of 1,775. The fifth member of the Absolute team is Neto with a budding rating of 1,557.
Guyana’s inaugural Female team includes CM Maria Varona Thomas (Rating: 1,790), Jessica Clementson (1,281), Yolander Persaud (1,151), Julia Clementson and Sheriffa Ali.
Guyana’s top female player is the fearsome CM Thomas. Thomas represented Guyana in the 41st Chess Olympiad, and in April 2016 Maria brought home the CM title from the 2.3.5 Sub-zonal competition.
Attorney-at-Law Persaud earned her Developmental Instructor’s Coaching License as well her FIDE Arbiter’s License in 2014 during the 41st Chess Olympiad. She is newly rated, earning her stripes in the 2.3.5 Sub-zonal competition.
Clementson is the face and founder of the U-Knighted Chess Institute and has proved her fearsome prowess in recent tournaments such as the 2.3.5 Sub-zonal competition and the UMADA Cup. Following closely in her footsteps is her sister Julia Clementson, who is also instrumental in the U-Knighted Chess Institute.
She was also among the brave participants representing Guyana in the 2.3.5 Sub-zonal competition. Sheriffa Ali is the fifth and final member of the female team. She has been a steady participant in the Inter-Guiana Games tournaments.
FIDE accredited coach, Wendell Meusa, who holds the National Instructor License, will accompany the two teams. Meusa has years of coaching and international tournament experience. He was instrumental in the Absolute team’s success in 2014 when they ventured to Norway for the 41st Chess Olympiad.
Meanwhile, President of the GCF, Irshad Mohamed, and members of his executive met with the Director of Sports, Christopher Jones, to introduce members of the teams and discuss preparation for the Olympiad. The Director was ecstatic about the teams and the potential to reinvigorate chess in Guyana.