Chess year begins with fun, semi-rapid tournament

Magnus Carlsen (left) and Viswanathan Anand after their game at the Tata Steel Masters Chess Tournament in Holland. Carlsen and Anand fought for over six hours before Anand cracked giving the world champion the victory. It was Carlsen’s first win against Anand in classical chess since 2015 at the Grenke Tournament. The two met twice for the world title and Carlsen won both times. (Photo: Tata Steel Chess Twitter)

The story of 2019 chess in Guyana began modestly yesterday with a one-day, semi-rapid tournament. The tournament found itself nudged between a blitz (5-minute games plus increments counted in seconds) and a rapid (25-minute games plus increments counted in seconds). The tournament saw play at 15 minutes per player per game plus time increments in seconds.

Vice-President for Junior Chess in the Barbados Chess Federation Lawrence Depradine, 24 (centre) visited Guyana for one week from January 14 to 21 under the auspices of the National Sports Commission. Depradine is responsible for the development of junior chess in Barbados and is a certified FIDE instructor. During his visit, Depradine worked alongside National Chess Coach Wendell Meusa (left) to construct a Strategic Development Plan for junior chess players in Guyana. The two instructors visited schools to promote the Chess in Schools initiative, which is popular worldwide. Depradine and Meusa are pictured with students at one of the schools they visited.

It was sponsored by the legal community, according to a release from the Guyana Chess Federation. It was a refreshing way to begin the year of chess with relaxation and fun. I suppose the sterner test of producing intricate chess games for study and analyses would follow the Olympiad pattern and would come during the next month or so. If Guyana wishes to participate in the 2020 Chess Olympiad, and vie for successful honours, it is necessary that we begin our preparations by playing longer, more esteemed games.  In international chess, Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen took the lead in the Tata Steel Masters Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Holland. Six of the top ten grandmasters are participating in the tournament. Carlsen’s round ten victory came from the hands of Viswanathan Anand, who fought resolutely, but could not hold the world champion.

As at the writing of this column, Carlsen was at 7 points from 10 games. Bunched together on 6½ points were Anish Giri, Anand, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren. The tournament ends today. 












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