Chess is getting younger by the day

New Amsterdam Multilateral School emerged the winner of the 2017 Berbice Inter-Schools Chess Championship last month as the newly established Berbice Chess Association held its first activity. In photo: Krishnanand Raghunandan (right), President of the Berbice Chess Association presents the winning team with a trophy. The members of the winning team are: Charran Woarti, Demetre Prettipaul, Yutesh Dyal and Devon Kissoon.

“I tried to be reasonable; I didn’t like it.” – Clint Eastwood

In the game of chess, you cannot be reasonable. If you do, you cannot execute checkmate. When two inseparable friends clash, friendship ceases temporarily when white makes the first move on the chess board. Chess players acknowledge this unwritten rule with reverence. That is why you feel no remorse when you overcome a younger opponent, sometimes a mere child, in competition. Chess is styled in that manner. The game is getting younger by the day. International masters and grandmasters are emerging earlier than before. We sometimes seriously reflect on the words of the late, great chess genius Bobby Fischer: “When I was 11, I just got good.”

That is why chess associations around world advocate the game should be learnt in schools. Last month, Education Month, the Berbice Chess Association held this year’s Berbice Inter-Schools Championship and a total of ten schools dispatched 29 students to participate. The number may seem infinitesimal, but it was only in July that the Berbice Chess Association was established.

India’s 12-year-old international master Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa who contested the 2017 Isle of Man Open Chess Tournament. Pragg is on his way to becoming the youngest chess grandmaster in the history of the game. The unique accolade is held by Russia’s Sergey Karjakin. Pragg has to obtain the required three grandmaster norms before he becomes eligible for the title. (Photo: Alina l’Ami)

In January, the Region Six administration coupled with the Department of Education approved a recommendation that the Berbice Inter-Schools Chess Championship be held as a calendar event during September. New Amsterdam Multilateral School placed first in the competition in the team category and Darwin London Nurse of Berbice Educational Institute in the individual category.

Meanwhile, on the international scene Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, India’s 12-year-old contender for grandmaster, played well at the competitive 2017 Isle of Man Open Chess Tournament recently. He grabbed 5½ points from a total of 9 games losing to only 2 well-known grandmasters.

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