Aug 26, 2016 Sports
They have been engaged in many competitive tournaments locally and several players have matched wits to distinguish themselves among their peers. Now, the nation’s top chess players will be required to replicate their local performances when they travel to Baku Azerbaijan to match skills with the best in the world at the 42nd chess Olympiad from September 1-14.
The team consists of six males, CM Wendell Muesa, CM Anthony Drayton, Haifeng Su, CM Taffin Khan, CM Ronuel Greenidge and Roberto Neto and five females, WCM Maria Varona Thomas, Sherrifa Ali, Julia Clementson, Yolanda Persaud and Jessica Clementson.
Muesa will also double as the Coach and according to President of the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF), Irshad Mohamed, the Guyana plaeyrs will also benefit from Slovanian Grandmaster, Georg Mohr, who has been assigned to the Guyanese contingent by the ruling body, FIDE to assist in them in their techniques.
Mr. Mohamed is confident that the local players are ready for this level of competition and voiced the belief that some of them may even return with improved rankings. He explained that the Candidate Masters (CM) can improve to Grand Masters (GM) provided they could win at least 90% of their games while the Fide Master (FM) title is available for those players winning a slightly lower percentage of their encounters.
Mr. Mohamed is also grateful for those among the corporate community that has rendered support for the team’s travels. He expresses regards to Somwaru Travel Service, Director of Sports, Christopher Jones, Attorney-at-Law, James Bond, Kings Jewelry World, Dr Sengupta and Associates, Hardware Depot and William Walker of Oasis Café.
Kaieteur Sport present a preview of the selected players.
Anthony Drayton, 22, is a Candidate Master with a FIDE rating of 1947. He has represented Guyana in many international tournaments, including the 41st Chess Olympiad and the UMADA Cup Challenger.
Taffin David Khan, 23 (1861), is one of Guyana’s most decorated players He won the National Junior Championships and continued his rampage, winning the National Senior Championships one year later, in 2010. He represented Guyana in the Inter-Guiana Games and also participated in many local tournaments, most of which he played unbeaten. This year he also won the title of Candidate Master (CM) as a result of his participation in the 2.3.6 Sub-Zonal Tournament.
Roberto Neto, 19, (1557) is an ambitious and cultivated player. He started playing chess in 2010 and after some practice he was able to defeat the senior champion in 2012. One year later the 2013 Junior Champion suffered the same fate after facing off with Neto. He was also awarded the title of Best Unrated Player for his participation in the UMADA cup that same year. He also represented Guyana in the Inter-Guiana Games, where the team placed 2nd overall.
Haifeng Su, 21, (1775) is a very competitive player. In 2010 he entered in his first tournament and placed 2ndin the junior category. Later that year he placed 3rd in the National Junior Championships and represented Guyana in the Inter-Guiana Games. In 2011, he won 1st place in the Individual category in the Inter-School Championships. He also won the National Junior Championships and participated in the 2011 UMADA Cup and the Suriname Open Championships. He placed 3rd in the Open category in the UMADA Cup 2012 and placed 2nd in National Junior Chess Championship. He also placed 3rd in the Sagicor 2013 Championship and 4thin the Barbados National Junior Championship Qualifiers. He represented Guyana in I.G.G. and reclaimed his title as the National Junior Champion. He also represented Guyana in the 41st Chess Olympiad held in Norway and played again in the UMADA Cup in 2014, where he tied at 6thplace.
Ronuel Greenidge, 33, (1725) is a skillful player who has represented Guyana internationally at the 41st Chess Olympiad, where he earned the title of Candidate Master. In 2007 he won four of the local tournaments he participated in and placed 4thin the National Senior Championships. The following year he won the Qualifiers for Nationals and went on to place second in the Senior Championships. In 2009, he placed 5thin the Qualifiers and then placed 2nd in the National Senior Championships. In 2010, he placed 3rdin the qualifying tournament for Guyana’s First FIDE Rated Tournament.
He has won many local tournaments. he is currently pursuing academic accolades in Civil Engineering at the UG.
Maria Varona Thomas, 47, (1790) a proficient players who started playing chess at 9 years old in Cuba.She later migrated to Guyana and participated in many local tournaments. She then took a hiatus from the sport but returned in 2012 to represent this country in the UMADA Cup in Suriname. She also represented Guyana in the 41st Chess Olympiad and the 2014 UMADA Cup held locally. This year she has played in three local tournaments but her major achievement to date is the Womens’ Candidate Master title she acquired after her good showing in the 2.3.5 Sub-Zonal Tournament in Barbados earlier this year.
Jessica Clementson, 20, is one of Guyana’s most decorated female players and was introduced into the game in 2009. One year later, she participated in the Royal Chess Academy Chess Championship and won Best Female title . She also tutored underprivileged children of Albouystown at the RCA. The following year she represented Guyana in the Inter-Guiana Games and participated in the Sagicor U16 Open Tournament and secured the Best Female award. In 2013, she finished 2ndin the Inter-Guiana Gamesand played in the Sagicor U20 Open Tournament. In 2014, she represented Guyana in the Inter-Guiana Games and secured 2ndplace.
She earned her rating in the SCL Rated Tournament in Barbados and boosted it to 1281 after her participation in the 2.3.5 Sub-Zonal Tournament. She was also an arbiter for the Massy Primary Inter-School Championships in Barbados.
Yolander Persaud, 25, learnt to play during her early years of about age 6. She was awarded the Best Female Player in Trinidad & Tobago’s 22nd F.W. De Verteuil Memorial Open Chess Tournament in 2014, the Most Outstanding Junior Chess Player in 2007 from the Guyana Chess Federation, the Most Outstanding Junior Player in 2005 from the Queens College Chess Club. She accompanied the Guyana National Team to the Olympiad hosted in Norway, where she attended the Instructors’ Seminars and the Arbiter’s Seminars where she obtained a Developmental Instructor’s license and was also awarded the title of FIDE Arbiter after successfully writing the exam.
Sheriffa Ali, 17, is an accomplished female junior. She played in her first tournament in 2007 and competed in several local tournaments. She has represented Guyana in the Inter-Guiana Games multiple times from 2011-2014. In 2014, she has received chess training from an International Master. After taking a break to focus on her studies, she had rekindled her passion and participated in the Andrew Art Memorial Rated Tournament.
Julia Clementson, 17, was introduced to chess in 2009 along with her sister. That same year she participated in her first local tournament hosted by the Guyana Chess Federation. She also played in her second local tournament the following year. After the expansion of the U-Knighted Chess Institute, she began to teach students of School of the Nations as a service project, while managing her duties as the Multimedia coordinator. In April she also participated in the 2.3.5 Sub-Zonal Tournament. Recently, she placed 3rd in the Barbados U18 Championships.
Wendell Meusa, age 27
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