Unleashing the Queens of the Board: National Women’s Chess Qualifier starts this weekend


The National Women’s Chess Qualifier Tournament is scheduled to be held from July 29 to August 6, 2023, with the competition set to ignite the minds of women and girls passionate about chess.

Proudly sponsored by Diamond Fire and General Insurance, the event will take place at the prestigious School of the Nations in Georgetown.

Designed to serve as the qualifying event for women and girls striving for the coveted title of National Women’s Chess Champion, the tournament is expected to produce fierce competition as participants engage in seven rounds of classical Swiss system matches.

With each player allotted 90 minutes, plus a 30-second increment, the battles will be intense as they are thrilling.

Sasha Shariff at the 44th Chess Olympiad

One of the main highlights of this tournament is the opportunity for the top nine players to advance to the Nationals, where they will challenge the defending champion, Pooja Lam, for the title.

Lam, despite having played chess for only three years, has already earned a women’s title and represented the country at the FIDE Olympiad in 2022 in Chennai, India.

Last year, participants in the National Women’s Championship, faced off against former women’s champion Sasha Shariff, a seasoned competitor with multiple international representations for Guyana.

However, it was Lam who emerged triumphant after a thrilling match that lasted over four hours. This year, Shariff is determined to reclaim her title and will be competing in the qualifying event.

The National Championship, scheduled to be played in a round-robin format, will undoubtedly be a spectacle of skill and determination, showcasing the impressive talent that Guyana’s women and girls possess in the world of chess.

With more than a dozen women and girls already registering for the tournament, it’s evident that the efforts of the Women in Chess Committee in Guyana have had a profound impact on the growth of female participation in competitive chess.

The formation of the committee has resulted in an exponential increase in female players, and the organizers are optimistic about the large turnout for the upcoming Championship Qualifier, building upon the success of other recent tournaments.

Girls Chess camp

This tournament also offers a unique opportunity for girls of all ages to test their mettle against seasoned competitors, especially those slated to represent Guyana at the Youth CAC Games in Trinidad and Tobago from August 20 to 27.

To be a part of this exhilarating journey, interested players must register online through guyanachess.gy by July 28. The registration fees are set at G$2,000 for non-GCF members and G$1,000 for all GCF members, payable through MMG+.

The Guyana Chess Federation extends its heartfelt gratitude to Diamond Fire and General Insurance for their generous sponsorship of this prestigious event.

Additionally, the GCF would like to acknowledge School of the Nations for graciously providing the venue for the tournament.

As an avid supporter of chess in Guyana, School of the Nations also facilitates the GCF’s Chess Club every Saturday from 10:00h to noon.

“The National Women’s Chess Qualifier Tournament 2023 promises to be an unforgettable display of skill, passion, and camaraderie among the participants. Join us as we celebrate the exceptional women and girls shaping the future of chess in Guyana,” the Guyana Chess Federation said in a press release.

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