Chess with Errol Tiwari
During the expiring moments of the National Chess Championships, Kriskal Persaud needed to win both of his games on the final day to establish beyond doubt that he would capture Guyana’s most prestigious board-game title.
Kriskal was half a point ahead of me going into last Sunday’s remaining two games. To secure the title, he had to defeat Ronuel Greenidge and Learie Webster, two of the strongest chess players in the country. Earlier, I had recorded victories over Loris Nathoo and Irshad Mohamed. Kriskal stuck to his task in a professional manner, and dispatched Greenidge and Webster, thereby becoming our new national champion.
The championships were never one-sided in both the Junior and Senior categories. From the beginning, myself and Kriskal ran side by side, until he took a half-point lead. For a brief moment I snatched the lead from him only to come crashing back down after dropping a game to Shiv Nandalall. Nandalall played like a maestro in that game, unleashing a deadly Bishop on my pitiful King and causing all kinds of uncomfortable complications on the chessboard for me. With relief I resigned.
Among the juniors, Ronald Roberts and Taffin Khan were evenly balanced in their performances. In the end, they played a three-game match to decide who would be the Junior Chess Champion of Guyana. This match was drawn, setting the stage for one final play-off game. Khan lost and Roberts, a University of Guyana engineering first-year student, is the new Junior Champion. When one considers Guyana did not play competitive chess for well over a decade, one has to conclude the games which were played in the championships were of a high standard. Serious theoretical chess was advanced during the championships among the seniors. The latest moves from the World Chess Championship Tournament, Mexico City, September-October 2007, were studied and replayed here in this country.
On the computer, chess players have been training constantly with Fritz, the most advanced commercial training computer in the world. This programme is used continuously as a learning tool by Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Ivanchuk and Shirov, the highest ranked chess players on the planet.
As the months roll by in the new year, it will become more and more difficult to win at competitive chess. And this is the idea if we are to make a mark for Guyana on the international scene. We used to be number one in the English-speaking Caribbean years ago in the days of the Broomes brothers. We intend to achieve those heights once more.