Strong local chess players tipped for Jamaican Open

A group photo of the recipients of prizes for the 2018 men, women and junior national chess championships. Director of Sport Christopher Jones officiated at a prize-giving ceremony that was held at the Racquet Centre on Friday, March 25. Jones (sitting) is flanked by, from left: Yolander Persaud, attorney; Maria Varona-Thomas, businesswoman and Nellisha and Waveney Johnson, students. Standing are the other prize winners.  

When serious chess activity is contained in the local arena, chess players love to say as they refer to the uncertain situation, “All is quiet on the western front,” the title of a book on World War 11 by Erich Maria Remarque.

Well, be that as it may, chess players are preparing for strong overseas competition in an attempt to improve their cherished FIDE rating points. With the accumulation of increased rating points, chess players acquire titles.

At least two of Guyana’s strongest players have been identified by the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) to attend the Jamaican Open Chess Tournament shortly. Although I am unaware of grandmaster participation, national masters and international masters will be in attendance.

Joshua Gopaul (right), a student of St Stanislaus College, won the influential 2018 junior national chess championship of Guyana earlier in the year. In photo, Director of Sport Christopher Jones is seen presenting the winner’s cheque and trophy to Gopaul at the prize-giving reception which was held at the Racquet Centre recently.

Naturally, the Jamaican Open should serve as a stern and capable test for the 2018 Chess Olympiad. National champion Wendell Meusa and Loris Nathoo are the players who have been identified by the GCF. 

In international chess news, the Altibox Norway Chess Tournament is continuing with ten of the finest grandmasters in attendance. World champion Magnus Carlsen has been joined at the top of the points table by grandmasters Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.

So defeated Carlsen in the tournament for the first time in his professional career. Carlsen had beaten Caruana, his 2018 world championship challenger, in the first round of the Altibox. But Caruana bounced back with a win of his own. The tournament, therefore, is wide open.

Carlsen is playing in his home country, Norway, and a win for him would be vital especially since the American grandmaster Caruana has joined him at the top.