Chess team arrives in India for Olympiad
The Guyanese delegation arrived in the wee hours of Wednesday in Chennai, India for the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad and Congress 2022.
The 10-member team along with their team captain, Davion Mars and the head of the delegation, Jaishree Lam were greeted by the All India Chess Federation and escorted to their hotel.
The players, Anthony Drayton, Taffin Khan, Loris Nathoo, Roberto Neto, Ethan Lee, Sasha Shariff, Pooja Lam, Nellisha Johnson and Anaya Lall met up with Jessica Callender and GCF President Frankie Farley who had arrived in Chennai one day prior.
In a release to the media from the Chess Federation on Friday, the Guyanese players attended the opening ceremony with other competing nations on July 28th which was held at the Nehru Indoor Stadium where the stage was decked with giant chess pieces.
The inaugural ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad was graced with the presence of many dignitaries of the Indian Government such as the Honourable Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin, the Governor of Tamil Nadu R.N. Ravi, the Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries L. Murugan, Sports Minister of Tamil Nadu Meyyanathan and the Sports Minister of India Anurag Thakur.
Each delegation was represented by two players who participated in the march past. Guyana’s flag bearers were Pooja Lam, the youngest women’s National Champion and chess veteran Roberto Neto.
Chess players and spectators were also treated to a spectacular cultural presentation of songs and dances which included all eight forms of Indian classical dances. A key highlight of the event was a presentation on the ancient culture and civilization of Tamil Nadu depicted through invigorating drama, music and dance.
The first ever FIDE chess Olympiad torch relay also concluded with Indian chess grandmaster and five-time world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand taking the torch to its final destination at the opening ceremony.
This is the first time India, the birthplace of chess, is hosting the Chess Olympiad. The venue for the games is the Convention Centre at the Four Points by Sheraton in Mahabalipuram near Chennai.
Meanwhile, the President of the GCF, Frankie Farley will represent Guyana at the FIDE Congress which is taking place over the next few weeks also in Chennai. Here, a new President of FIDE will be elected to govern over the next four years.
The Guyana Chess Federation expressed thanks for the support of the National Sports Commission, Queensway, STR Woods, Team Mohamed’s, Jade’s Wok, Pinnacle Business Services, Marics and Co. Ltd, Guyoil, Mattai’s, Hand in Hand, Lam and Associates, Arrowten Inc. and Plympton Farms along with the many individual donors for their generous contributions towards the team’s expenses.
Furthermore, the Federation gave special thanks to President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and the government of Guyana who has supported our players’ journey to India and overall chess in Guyana.