President of the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) James Bond,says newly elected president of the FIDE, Arkady Dvorkovic is expected to visit Guyana early next year as the country continues to make strides in the sport internationally.
“The president of FIDE Mr. Arkady Dvorkovic is expected to visit us in January also so Guyana can expect a lot from the GCF,” Bond said when contacted by Stabroek Sport following Guyana’s participation at the just-concluded Chess Olympiad in Georgia.
“We are focused on our players achieving titles,” said Bond, highlighting the achievements of Anthony Drayton who is eligible for a Fide Master title and Maria Thomas who is eligible for an International Master Title.
“We are also focused on the administration of chess to increase our reach throughout Guyana. We finally have a programme which is Fide approved and we will be looking to execute it in full in the upcoming months. We will be having Grandmaster training for our elite chess players,” he added.
Judging from the recent performances of the Guyana male and female teams at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia the GCF President said “I am elated with the performance of the team.”
He explained that he “expected great things from the inception because I know of our talent pool. Guyana played with heart and achieved probably it’s best every performance as a team.” Leaping 30 odd places up the rankings.
“This in itself is a tremendous feat, our men tying for second in their category and the women doing well also. As President of the GCF I can say that the executives are all upbeat and more than ever dedicated to building on this foundation,” Bond said.
Not only did Guyana triumph on the board, but off as well with the election of Attorney-at-law Yolander Persaud to the Ethics Commission of FIDE.
Bond stated “that is a monumental achievement in itself for Guyana. It is not an appointment she was elected.”
Bond detailed that himself and Persaud had done a lot of lobbying.
“And even after she had left for Scotland I had to continue campaigning on the floor of Congress. I nominated her for the post and we had to compete against 10 other countries. After two rounds of voting Guyana got in at number five with 35% of the ballots cast.”
This is the first time Guyana is part of the administration of FIDE and it caps an all-round extraordinary accomplishment by Team Guyana both on and off the board.
Commenting on what this means for Guyana, Bond said: “It means Guyana is finally gaining influence in the Chess world. The Ethics Commission hears disputes and complaints between member federations and even individuals and Guyana will be one of the countries sitting on one of the highest decision making bodies in the Chess Universe.”
When quizzed on the intention of the GCF to lobby for further positions in FIDE, Bond stated “of course, I came to this General Assembly with one objective, to put Guyana on the chess map and we did.”
The Attorney-at-law acknowledged that he was selected on an ad hoc along with the Chairman of the Ethics Commission and the Constitution Commission to give recommendations to the General Assembly on a dispute between two federations in the Ivory Coast (Cote d’ivoire).