If one though that the individual success of Anthony Drayton and Ronuel Greenidge at this year’s chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway was about it for chess this year, one had better think again.
Greenidge and Drayton created a bit of chess history by becoming the first Guyanese players to become Candidate Masters.
Years ago Guyana’s Maurice Broomes was a National Master.
However, in a development that could probably usher in the resurgence of Guyana as a Caribbean chess powerhouse, president of the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) Irshad Mohamed said yesterday that Guyana will this year host the fifth annual Umada Cup tournament from November 27- December 1 at the SleepIn
International Hotel on Brickdam.
The term ‘Umada’ is derived from the Arawak language Garifuna which means friendship. Garifuna originated from the island of St. Vincent but is actually spoken in Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.
The Umada Cup tournament is organised under the auspices of President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in collaboration with the Confederacion de Ajedrez para America and Guyana will be the fifth Caribbean country to stage the tournament following the inaugural tournament held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010.
Since then Barbados in 2011, Suriname in 2012 and Aruba last year have hosted the tournament which attracts upwards of 15 countries.
Mohamed revealed that the GCF will receive assistance from the FIDE president which will go towards not only the prize money but to assist in providing transportation and accommodation for the players.
Like previous years, this year’s tournament will be contested in two categories, the Open and the Challenger, the latter category being for players rated Under 2100.
Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Suriname and US Virgin Islands are some of the countries expected to participate in the individual tournaments.
Last year Ryan Harper won the Open section taking home the first prize of $2500US while Mark Beuno of Aruba won the Challenger section earning US$1,250.
The Open section will be eligible for title norms depending on participants registered and Mohamed said Guyana’s Anthony Drayton who missed becoming a FIDE master at the World Championships stands a good chance of becoming a FIDE Master this time around.