– Dr. Anthony tells GCF at Awards ceremony

The curtain on the 2008 National Chess Championships came down Friday night with a small award ceremony held at Ramphal House, New Garden Street.

Addressing the prize winners, Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, praised the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF), promising that they will be the recipient of 10 chess clocks and some demonstration boards to assist in spreading the game countrywide.

Dr. Anthony added that after the ministry completes the task of spreading the game to all the secondary schools, they will then embark on phase two which is to spread the game to the primary level.

The goal, he said, was to have the game played throughout the length and breadth of Guyana.
The minister promised that this year some 20 schools will be presented with five chess boards each in an effort to spread the game at the junior level. According to the minister, giving the boards was not all and he called on the GCF to continue their collaboration with the ministry, to ensure that the game continues to be spread in the school system.

But even more importantly, the minster wants Guyana to be re-admitted as a member of the Federation Internationale de Echecs (FIDE) (World Chess Federation) as early as possible. This, he said, will enable Guyana to participate in international tournaments.
In the meantime, Dr. Anthony wants the federation to link up with Caribbean member states in order to have the players get some regional exposure.

The 2008 national Chess championships winners with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dr. Frank Anthony, centre, president of the Guyana Chess Federation, Errol Tiwari, right, and tournament director Irshad Mohammed, left. (Lawrence Fanfair photo)
The 2008 national Chess championships winners with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dr. Frank Anthony, centre, president of the Guyana Chess Federation, Errol Tiwari, right, and tournament director Irshad Mohammed, left. (Lawrence Fanfair photo)

Minister Anthony, who was in full praise for back-to-back national champion, Kriskal Singh, said: “if you are to win the crown this time round (2009) I will personally give you a special prize.”

Meanwhile, president of the GCF, Errol Tiwari, also praised   Singh whom he said defended his title with guile.
According to Tiwari in the early stages of the 14 games championship, Singh looked a shadow of the person who took the title in 2007.
However, he said the defending champion played a  remarkable second half  to clinch the title on the Berger Tie Break System from Ronuel Greenidge who also finished the tournament on 9 ½ points.

The GCF president  also praised new junior champion, Taffin Khan, who played a remarkable tournament to remain unbeaten in his 14 games.
“He is in on a level of his own and will soon graduate to the seniors,” Tiwari said.
”I personally think that he is ready for international play,” he declared.

Junior champion Taffin Khan receives his prizes from Dr. Frank Anthony. (Lawrence Fanfair photo)
Junior champion Taffin Khan receives his prizes from Dr. Frank Anthony. (Lawrence Fanfair photo)

Khan, apart from walking away with numerous prizes for his win, was awarded the most disciplined player prize.
The awards ceremony saw the top eight juniors all receiving a Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) voucher to start a savings account with the champion Khan receiving a trophy, A chess set, a book with chess openings, a voucher and a cash award.

Persaud for his victory took away the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) Trophy and a cellular phone along with a cash prize courtesy of Neal and Massy Group of Companies. The eight persons who contested the championships also received gifts.

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