The Executive Committee of the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) have selected Wendell Meusa and Maria Thomas to spearhead the National Men’s and Women’s Chess Teams, respectively, which will represent Guyana at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad slated for September 23rd – 6th October, 2018 in Batumi, Georgia.
According to a GCF press release, National Chess Champion and National Coach CM Wendell Meusa will represent Guyana for the first time at this event. Number 1 ranked FIDE rated player CM Anthony Drayton and former Junior and Senior National Champion CM Taffin Khan were also selected.
New to the men’s team is Loris Nathoo, who played phenomenally in this year National Championships to book his seat, and has just received a big jump in his FIDE rating.
Travelling as the fifth player is Glenford Corlette, who is a regular participant in local tournaments and has been showing tremendous improvement.
In the selection process, Corlette gained more points than CM Ronuel Greenidge, who had participated in the last two Olympiads and was the other player in consideration for the final place.
The women’s team will be led by Guyana first FIDE Master and Women’s National Champion WFM Maria Thomas, along with the young but experienced CM Sheriffa Ali.
Yolander Persaud booked her flight to the Olympiad as well with some fantastic chess lately. Persaud has shown great improvement since participating in the last Olympiad with WFM Thomas and CM Ali, and adds experience to the women’s team.
With the future of women’s chess in Guyana in mind, the selectors have chosen two young but aspiring chess players, 16 year old Nellisha Johnson of Christ Church Secondary and 14 year old Sasha Shariff of Marian Academy. Both players have received potential FIDE ratings following their attendance at this year’s Carifta Chess Championships which were held in March, in Paramaribo, Suriname.
According to the GCF release, the following criteria were used as the basis for the selection process: 1) International Ratings of all players – 5 points; 2) Performance & Participation in local and regional tournaments of all players – 4 points; 3) International Titles of all players – 2 points; 4) Other considerations such as potential & discipline – 1 point
Guyana, for the first time since 1980, sent a men’s team to the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, and in 2016, sent a women’s team for the first time, along with the men’s team, to Baku, Azerbaijan.