Last evening, the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) organized a paid dinner at the Promenade Gardens to assist with the travelling expenses of a team journeying to the 2018 Chess Olympiad. The Olympiad would be held in Batumi, Georgia, in September. The fundraising dinner represented one of a few numbered activities which have been earmarked to support the team. The Chess Olympiad ranks alongside the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup in terms of its participating nations, its popularity and its importance. One can make this judgement based on the statistics of the three disciplines. One hundred and seventy countries are members of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), and just about that many participated at the last Chess Olympiad.
Countries make a special effort to compete at the Chess Olympiad because that is where you obtain easier chess titles for your country and yourself. FIDE made it simpler to get those accolades to lift the standard to higher levels. The more grandmasters you field in a tournament, the higher the standard of the competition.
For example, Guyana would need to honour a grandmaster in order to earn additional respect in the chess world. If we succeed in cultivating one, and get the title at say, the biennial Olympiad, Guyana would be invited to attend seasoned grandmaster competitions where cash prizes are abundant and attractive. Additionally, when Guyana attends a Chess Olympiad, its name rings loudly among at least 160 countries. Millions would be following the games live online free of cost. Naturally, I would be tuned into the Guyana games playing on the internet.
Guyana will vote for its candidate of choice for the presidency of FIDE in September at the FIDE Congress in Batumi. The position is as powerful as it is prestigious. Incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has withdrawn his candidacy choosing not to run again. Ilyumzhinov has been the president of FIDE for over two decades. The candidates for president of FIDE are: Arkadij Dvokovich (Russia), Nigel Short (England) and Georgios Makropoulos (Greece).