Candidate Master (CM) Anthony Drayton will lead a team of competent players when the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) attends the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan in September.
Officials explained that the tournament is two tiered, the Absolute and Female sections respectively and for the first time in the history of the championships Guyana will compete in both categories.
The other players selected for this prestigious tournament are Candidate Masters Taffin Khan, Ronuel Greenidge, Haifeng Su and Roberto Neto while the female team consists of CM Maria Varona Thomas (1790), Jessica Clementson (1281), Yolander Persaud (1151), Julia Clementson and Sheriffa Ali.
Drayton is rated at 1947 and is currently Guyana’s number one player. At just 22-year-old he has earned his CM accreditation while competing in the 41st Chess Olympiad in Norway, 2014. Khan is a former Junior and Senior National Champion and boasts a rating of 1861.
He recently earned his title in the 2.3.5 Sub-zonal Competition in Barbados while Greenidge (1723) earned his accolade two years ago when he represented Guyana in the 41st Chess Olympiad in Norway. Haifeng Su also battled in the 41st Olympiad and currently has a rating of 1775 while Neto is a budding player with a decent rating of 1557.
The women will also present a dangerous force. Led by Varona-Thomas, a mean player who keeps working hard to develop her game, the distaff group also comprises Attorney-at-Law, Yolander Persaud who earned her Developmental Instructor’s Coaching License and her FIDE Arbiter’s License in 2014 during the 41st Chess Olympiad.
Jessica Clementson is the face and founder of the U-Knighted Chess Institute and is known for a fearsome prowess demonstrated in recent tournaments such as the 2.3.5.Subzonal Competition and the UMADA Cup.
Following closely in her footsteps is her sister Julia Clementson, who is also instrumental in the U-Knighted Chess Institute. She was also among the brave participants representing Guyana in the 2.3.5.Subzonal Competition. Sheriffa Ali has been a steady participant in the I.G.G Tournaments.
FIDE accredited coach, Wendell Meusa, who holds the National Instructor license, will accompany the two teams. Meusa has accumulated years of coaching and international tournament experience and was instrumental in the Absolute team’s success in 2014 when they ventured to Norway for the 41st Chess Olympiad.
Meanwhile, President of the GCF, Irshad Mohamad and members of his executive met with the Director of Sports Christopher Jones, to introduce members of the teams and discuss preparation for the Olympiad. The Director wished the players well and feels that they have the potential to reinvigorate chess in Guyana.
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