With the absence of a long-time rival in Wendell Meusa, Anthony Drayton finally saw his dreams unfold before his eyes as he was crowned the 2019 Chess champion.
Drayton, who holds a 2007 rating and FIDE Master title, has dominated the Chess scene for the past two years. He played undefeated in this year’s competition and although it was a great feeling to have outplayed his many opponents, the male Chess champion felt like his ascension to the title was missing one key factor: the former champion.
Taffin Khan bagged six wins in the Chess championships to finish in second place, while Loris Nathoo came third.
Nevertheless, Drayton credited his win to continuous hard work and dedication to the game, “It always feels good to come out on top, especially when you know you tried and did your best and your hard work pays off,” he stated.
Former male Chess champion Wendell Meusa was strongly against the hosting of this year’s championship until the Guyana Chess Federation hosted its election. Since the Federation has not done so as yet, the former champion opted to stay out of this year’s competition. For Drayton, this put a damper on the competition as he revealed that he would have been much happier with the title had he been able to play against Meusa.
“I’m a little annoyed by that; I really wanted to play him to get the title, so I’m somewhat disappointed. The level of competition is always stiff, but like I said, without Mr Meusa, it’s not how it’s supposed to be,” Drayton explained.
For next year’s championships, Drayton has already made it clear that he is looking forward to a grand battle between himself and Meusa.
“It’s good to hold a title at least once, so next year I’ll be open to representing this title. Let’s say Meusa plays next year, I’ll put up the title again, just to play him. Maybe an 11-round or a 9-round match between us,” the 2019 Chess champion said.
Looking towards his future in international competition, Drayton has a few objectives that he hopes to achieve before or during the 2020 Chess Olympiad, which is slated for August 1 to 15 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, “My preparation will be strictly to improve my knowledge of Chess, so I can one day claim the title of international master and to also get my ratings over 2200. But for this year, I’ll be aiming to get over 2100.”
On the distaff side, the female Chess championships will conclude this weekend, and it already seems as though reigning champion Maria Verona Thomas is looking to retain her title.
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