Conventional wisdom holds that if we help ourselves, someone who matters will help us. As children, we have all been privy to the saying that God helps those who help themselves, and some of us have lived our lives believing in this creed.
Ever since the explosion of chess in Guyana two years ago, and the subsequent ricochet of the game into schools and a sprinkling of communities, there has been a ripple, albeit tiny, of activity, internationally among Guyanese and others towards our ambitious cause of making chess a national pastime.
The diaspora have demonstrated their support through some tangible donations of money and equipment to the federation, the most recent being the donation of a few chess sets to the Albouystown Chess Club. Now the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (The World Chess Federation) (FIDE), has made us an offer we cannot refuse. Through its regional representative and Chairman of the FIDE Development Commission Allan Herbert, FIDE has offered to dispatch top-rated German grandmaster Rainer Buchman to Guyana for an introductory visit, and to determine the standard of play of Guyanese chess players.
Stories about local chess tournaments, our programmes with the schools and other similar activities have been circulating internationally via the internet . This circumstance has stimulated the tangible responses which we have been receiving from the diaspora, and now from FIDE itself. Herbert noted that FIDE recognizes the steps we have been taking to develop the game, and perhaps for this reason we are being given some attention by that influential world body.
Grandmaster Buchman himself expressed a desire to visit Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, according to Herbert . He will play in the grandmaster Heroes Day tournament to be held in Barbados at the end of the month. Rated at 2582, and ranked in the top ten exclusive grandmaster group in Germany, Buchman will certainly give inspiration and hope to our young chess players. Incidentally, only a few of our current chess players have ever seen a live grandmaster, much less engage one over the chess board.
Former President of Guyana, and simultaneously President of the Guyana Chess Federation, Forbes Burnham, had inspired and organized the visits of two Russian grandmasters to Guyana in the 1970s. Grandmaster Vladimir Anatoshin was the last grandmaster to visit Guyana in 1977. Ninety per cent of our current chess players were not even born at the time, so one could imagine the impact this visit would have upon our young chess minds.
Guyana welcomes our distinguished visitor from Germany, Grandmaster Rainer Buchman, 27, who we trust would engage us over the chess board in a grand simultaneous exhibition, who would lecture to us, and who would show us the way to becoming grandmasters ourselves. The following game is taken from this year’s Corus Wijk aan Zee chess tournament in the Netherlands. Carlsen was required to win this game to emerge equal first in the tournament. He obtained a small endgame advantage with his queenside majority, but could not convert it into something decisive. A draw looked inevitable, until the Norwegian prodigy blundered, and lost the game.
Wang Yue (2739) – Carlsen, M (2776)
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (13), 1.2.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 b6 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.0–0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 c5 10.Rd1 Qc8 11.d5 exd5 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bxd5 Nxd5 14.Rxd5 Be7 15.e4 0–0 16.Bg5 Re8 17.Rad1 Nf8 18.Qc4 Qe6 19.b3 h6 20.Bf4 Ng6 21.Bg3 Bf8 22.Nd2 Ne7 23.Rd3 Nc6 24.Qxe6 Rxe6 25.a4 a6 26.f3 b5 27.Bf2 Rc8 28.axb5 axb5 29.Nf1 Nb4 30.Rc3 Ra6 31.Ne3 Ra3 32.Be1 Nc6 33.Rb1 Rca8 34.Kf1 Nd4 35.Rd3 Ra2 36.b4 R8a3 37.Rbd1 Ne6 38.bxc5 Bxc5 39.Rxa3 Rxa3 40.Nd5 Rb3 41.h4 b4 42.f4 Rb2 43.f5 Nd4 44.Bxb4 Bxb4 45.Rxd4 Rb1+ 46.Ke2 Rb2+ 47.Kf3 Be1 48.h5 Rf2+ 49.Ke3 Rxg2 50.Ra4 Bh4 51.Ra8+ Kh7 52.Rf8 Bg5+ 53.Kf3 Rh2 54.Rxf7 Kg8 55.Ra7 Rxh5 56.e5 Rh3+ 57.Ke4 Rh1 58.e6 Re1+ 59.Kd4 h5 60.Kc5
60…Re5?? An incredulous Garry Kasparov watching the game commented: “Simply 59…g6 or 60…g6 was a draw! What happened??” 61.f6! Bxf6 62.Kd6 Rf5 63.Nxf6+ Rxf6 64.Kd7 h4 65.e7 Rf7 66.Kd8 Kh7 67.Ra6 Black Resigns! 1–0.