Team Guyana finalised for 43rd World Chess Olympiad

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The Executive Committee of the Guyana Chess Federation has selected the Guyana National Men and Women Chess teams which will represent the nation at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia, from September 23 to October 6, 2018.

The Guyana Chess Federation, spearheaded by Attorney-at-Law, James Bond, assembled a local criteria for the selection process of the teams.

The criteria of the selection process for both women and men’s teams took the following areas into consideration:

1) International ratings of all players – five points

2) Performance and participation in local and regional tournaments of all players – four points

3) International titles of all players – two points

4) Other considerations such as potentials and discipline – one point

With the above criteria outline, the Executive Committee decided that the following players scored highest and will represent Guyana at this prestigious event. National Chess Champion and National Coach, CM Wendell Meusa, will be playing for Guyana for the first time at this event.

Wendell Meusa (green shirt) will lead Guyana’s challenge at the event

Number one ranked FIDE rated player, CM Anthony Drayton, has also been selected. It is clear beyond any doubt that Meusa and Drayton are the country’s top two players.

The third player selected is former Junior and Senior National Champion, CM Taffin Khan. Khan has been always rated as another top player in the country and he continues to show his competitive dominance in the tournaments he’s participated in.

New to the men’s team is Loris Nathoo, who played phenomenally in this year’s National Championships to book his seat. Nathoo just received a big increase in his FIDE (World Chess Federation) ratings and he has been beating top players lately, such as Meusa, Drayton and Khan.

Travelling as the fifth player is Glenford Corlette, who is a regular participant in local tournaments and has been showing tremendous improvements.

Based upon the criteria of the selection process, Corlette gained more points than CM Ronuel Greenidge, who was the other player in consideration as the fifth player. CM Greenidge, who participated in the last two Olympiads, failed to accumulate enough points to be selected.

For the Women’s team, Guyana first FIDE Master and Women’s National Champion, WFM Maria Thomas, will spearhead the team along with the young, but experienced CM Sheriffa Ali. It’s evident that WFM Thomas is the country’s best female player and CM Ali continues to show improvements and dominance among women/girls in chess.

Yolander Persaud booked her flight to the Olympiad as well with some fantastic chess lately. Persaud has shown great improvements since participating in the last Olympiad with WFM Thomas and CM Ali, to add some experience to the Women’s team.

With the future of women/girls chess in Guyana in mind, the Executive Committee selected two young but aspiring chess players, 16-year-old Nellisha Johnson of Christ Church Secondary and 14-year-old Sasha Shariff of Marian Academy. Both Johnson and Shariff have been showing a lot of improvement in local chess recently.

Both players have received potential FIDE ratings after their attendance at the Carifta Chess Championships held in Paramaribo, Suriname, last March. These girls have been dominated as well in Guyana National Juniors and Women’s Chess Championship 2018 which the executives thought was enough for them to gain their space on the national team.

Guyana, for the first time since 1980 sent a Men’s team to the 2014 World Chess Olympiad held in Tromso, Norway, and was successful in sending a Women’s team for the first time in the sport history along with the Men to the last Olympiad held in 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“This year, the Federation intends to send both teams to the Olympiad with some financial assistance from corporate Guyana, the Guyana Olympic Association, National Sports Commission, Mr. Norton, Min. of Sports and Min. of Presidency. The Executive Committee will be hosting a few fund-raising activities at a popular night spot and grounds around Georgetown,” the Federation said.

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