Guyanese students share rare moment with Grandmaster ‘Vishy’ Anand


The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) hosted a School Chess Festival at the Providence campus of Texila American University at the weekend.

The event was attended by former world chess champion and Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan ‘Vishy’ Anand, and over 100 students from several invited schools, who are being taught chess in the classroom and have active chess clubs, were thrilled to meet the five-time world title holder.

The young chess players met, interacted, chatted and had a photo opportunity with the Grandmaster, who was also happy to give his autograph to his fans.

Students played two rounds of chess during the two-hour-long event at the university campus.

The School Chess Festival was held to promote the GCF Chess in School initiative, a core mission of the federation.

At present, the GCF, under the Ministry of Education’s Priority Programme, has facilitated the teaching of chess in the classrooms of 10 schools since the start of the programme.

The federation also hopes that the exposure will encourage more schools to come on board to add chess as an extra-curricular to their core curriculum.

The Grandmaster, who is also Deputy President of FIDE (International Chess Federation), is on an official visit to Guyana for the opening of the inaugural CARICOM Chess Team Tournament, set for March 4-9 at the Ramada Princess Hotel.

The event, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), will see chess players from across CARICOM member states and associate nations, fostering cultural exchange, sportsmanship and intellectual excellence, while competing for the title over the week.

On Sunday, the University of Guyana in association with the GCF, organised a guest lecture at the George Walcott Lecture Theatre of the university’s Turkeyen Campus.

GM Anand addressed the gathering of student chess players, parents and members of the public on what it takes to become a Grandmaster.

Starting his chess journey at the age of six to becoming the first Grandmaster of India at the age of 18 took dedication and commitment to perfecting his game.

He has seen the transition of leaning chess the traditional way to its evolution with technology, but the rules of the game remain the same.

He emphasised the importance of overcoming a loss as there is always a winner and a loser.

Grandmaster Anand also touched on how to deal with mistakes and how skills learnt in chess can translate to real life, academic performance and decision-making.

“He made it clear to the students present and for future chess players that chess does not compete with academics, it competes with your free time, players have to be honest with how they prioritize their time if chess is really their passion,” the GCF outlined in a press release.

The Grandmaster was presented with a token by the University of Guyana Chess Society, a portrait of his chess journey from a young player to present. The piece was conceptualised by University of Guyana student artist.

“The Guyana Chess Federation wishes a warm welcome to the various visiting federations and their team players in Guyana. We also wish to express gratitude to all of our sponsors for their support in organising this tournament, including the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport, Texila American University, ENet and ExxonMobil,” the GCF release concluded.

Keep updated with tournament results via the GCF website at

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