Fresh from their exploits at the just-concluded International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, Women Candidate Master (WCM) Sheriffa Ali and Roberto Neto, are favourites to win the Guyana Chess Federation’s (GCF) National Junior Chess Qualifier which begins today at the National Resource Centre, Woolford Avenue.
Both Neto and Ali played on Board Four at the 42nd annual Olympiad in Azerbaijan where they performed creditably with Ali coming away with a WCM title.
The previous Junior Qualification tournament was held in 2013, disclosed GCF president Irshad Mohamed who also explained that male and female players will vie for the title of national junior chess champion.
“There is only one format for the qualifiers. Next year we will be looking to split the male and female players once sponsorship is available,” Mohamed told Stabroek Sports in an invited comment.
Today’s tournament gets underway at 1pm and is open to all interested chess players who are under 20 years of age, said the GCF president.
The top eight players at the conclusion of the seven-round Swiss system tournament will contest the GCF Closed tournament to decide the national junior champion. Meanwhile, Mohamed said that a tournament for senior players will run simultaneously with the junior tournament. Among the players expected to participate in the senior tournament are Taffin Khan, Anthony Drayton and Wendell Meusa.