NA Secondary triumphs in first GCF/MOE Special Education Chess Meet


The Guyana Chess Federation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, recently hosted a groundbreaking chess tournament for students in special needs schools.

This event marked the first opportunity for these dedicated students to showcase their chess skills following the introduction of chess in special needs schools in 2022.

The primary objectives of the tournament were to expose the students to a competitive tournament format and to fuel their passion for the game by nurturing their competitive spirit.

Students assembled before the games started

Participants from St. Barnabas Special School, Linden Centre for Special Needs Children, New Amsterdam Special Needs School, David Rose Special School, and the Diamond Special Needs School engaged in three untimed rounds of gameplay.

The David Rose Special School served as the venue for this memorable event, which took place on Friday, June 16.

Among the 18 participants, Samuel Foo, a 13-year-old student from New Amsterdam Special Needs School, emerged as the victor, clinching the first-place medal with an impressive score of 2.5 points.

Meanwhile, the five students representing New Amsterdam Secondary School earned nine points, securing them the trophy for the best-performing school.

From left: Samuel Foo of New Amsterdam Secondary, Troy Scott of Linden Centre for Special Needs Children and Deon Smith of David Rose Special Needs School, who placed 1-2-3 in the tournament, receive their trophies

Troy Scott, a 14-year-old from the Linden Centre for Special Needs Children, secured second place, while Deon Smith, also 14, representing David Rose Special Needs School, claimed the third-place spot.

Additionally, Therisa Anthony (16 years old), Deon Smith, Samuel Foo, Troy Scott, and Kezy Sandford (14 years old), were recognised as top performers for their respective schools- St. Barnabas, David Rose, New Amsterdam, Linden and Diamond.

“The success of this chess event can be credited in part to the hardworking teachers from Special Needs Schools across Guyana who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their students are given the same opportunity as any other students across the GCF’s chess in school’s programme to play the game,” the Guyana Chess Federation said in a press release.

“It is only with their support that the GCF can grant equal access to the game. Some teachers were trained by the GCF who in turn taught their students.”

Best players from St. Barnabas, David Rose, New Amsterdam, Linden and Diamond Special Needs

President of the Guyana Chess Federation Anand Raghunauth was impressed with the performances, stating that this event shows promise for talents emerging from the special needs programme.

The GCF’s initiative in training the teachers to teach the students will continue to expand over the coming months, not only in the special needs programme, but in schools across the country.

It is worth noting that the teachers competed in their chess meet, also hosted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, in February of this year.

Supervising the tournament were FIDE Arbiter and GCF Head of Development, John Lee; GCF Company Secretary, Marcia Lee; Senior Special Education Needs (SEN) Officer, Nikoya Alleyne; and teachers from the participating schools.

Notably, renowned national chess players WCM Sheriffa Ali, Anaya Lall and Jessica Callender lent their support and expertise to the event.

Certificates of participation and trophies for the winners were presented.

“The organiser of this exceptional tournament was Sabine McIntosh, the Managing Director of the Guyana Deaf Association, who leads the committee responsible for promoting chess in special needs schools within the Federation. The GCF thanks the Ministry of Education for their support and sponsorship and the management of David Rose Special School for the tournament venue,” the Federation release concluded.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.