Chess Federation rolls out online Chess-in-Schools programme
The Guyana Chess Federation, (GCF) recently rolled out the free Chesskids Online Chess-In-Schools programme in partnership with chesskid.com, based in the USA, to aggressively promote the board game with a rallying call: Chess is an easy game to learn!
However, an underlying important requirement for participants is regular access to the internet.
With the prevailing risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the GCF has shifted its strategy to introduce the game online without face-to-face interaction involving chess tutors and players.
The GCF secured a one-year package in August, 2020, with chesskid.com and the company has provided several modules of learning material to the GCF for young newcomers or players already seasoned to junior chess tournaments.
The local Federation is targeting seven to 19-year-old boys and girls who attend public or private schools. The body is determined to dispel a common myth that the game is difficult to learn and is seeking to generate more interest, especially among the youth.
The cost of the ambitious online chess project will amount to approximately US$15,000 per year provided by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). The local body is aiming to award CHESSKID Gold Membership to at least 1,000 players by the end of 2021.
Police youth groups throughout the country are currently being targeted in the promotion of the game.
Chess is an ancient board game but has proven its longevity; it is already a regular feature on computers, cell phones, other electronic devices and most of all, the information superhighway, the internet.
During the GCF coordinated online programme, players and beginners will be awarded CHESSKID Gold Membership based on their participation and use of the resources provided by CHESSKID.COM.
Seasoned players are required to participate in short online tournaments lasting about three hours each and conducted by the chess website every few weeks.
Computerised safeguards are in place by the website to obtain credible results in the competitions. The first local online junior tournament was conducted recently and attracted almost 40 players, nine of whom were females. It was won by 10-year-old Omar Shariff of Mae’s Schools.
The second online tournament held on Saturday (September 12) was won by QC student Omesh Dyal, who hails from Berbice. That competition also attracted a similar number of players, 10 of whom were females.
Participants in the online CHESSKID training programme are divided into two groups; firstly, those who are already participants in online tournaments will be further exposed to training, and secondly, beginners who will first be exposed to the rudiments of the game, will later become further immersed in understanding strategy, tactics and other techniques.
Interested school representatives or parents can contact Guyana National Arbiter John Lee on 623-0986, Chairman of the Chess-in-Schools Committee, Anand Raghunauth on 681-8771, or message the GCF on Facebook for more information. (GCF)