Mar 22, 2022 Sports
– All matches to be live streamed
Kaieteur News – Over-the-board chess returned in a big way over the weekend with some of Guyana’s top national players competing aside up-and-coming stars in the sport in the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) organised GAICO Grand Prix Tournament which was held at the Guyana National Stadium.
Intense competition got underway with the first four rounds played on Sunday and Saturday as players of all ages vied for a spot on the national team to represent Guyana at this year’s FIDE Olympiad in India.
The Grand Prix initiative, the brainchild of GCF Director Loris Nathoo, is a point-based system which will aid in the selection of the best players to represent the Country.
The Olympiad is an international biennial event for the sport where hundreds of countries send their best players to face off. This year’s edition was moved from Moscow, Russia to Chennai, India. The new date is yet to be announced.
Adrian Roopnarine and Chess Master Anthony Drayton lead the points table on 3.5 each after four games heading into the next round.
Roopnarine racked up wins against Italy Ton-Chung, Pooja Lam and Ethan Lee, and drew his match against Drayton. He will now face Oluwadare Oyeyipo in the fifth round.
A tense struggle between Drayton and Davion Mars took place on board 1 in round 4. The two showed their vast experience in the opening and their creativity in the middle game. Advantages were held by both players in an extremely imbalanced endgame.
Both players’ time had been drained after 4 hours of struggle, and the game was held afloat only by the 30-second increment gifted per move. Mars’ time had unfortunately elapsed before he could move, declaring Drayton as the victor in the most grueling game of the weekend.
Drayton will now face Nathoo in the next round.
Oyeyipo and Keron Sandiford are currently leading for the juniors on three points each. Oyeyipo drew his matches with Jaden Taylor and Nathoo but defeated Jessica Callender and Anaya Lall.
Sandiford won against Lall, Lucas Simpson and Jaden Taylor but lost to Mars. He faces Ethan Lee in the next round.
Chelsea Juma is leading for females on 2.5 points after drawing her match with Taylor and defeating Arysh Raghunaugth and Italy Ton-Chung. She faces AFM Davion Mars in the next round.
For the first time, the GCF is broadcasting the games from boards one to six for each round on the internet. Spectators from Guyana and around the world can watch these games, in near real-time, on their computers, phones and other devices and participate in the emotional roller-coaster ride that comes with this glorious sport.
All chess players are encouraged to pay close attention to these broadcasts since much can be learned from observing the strategies and tactics of these top players. The public can access the broadcast on the Guyana Chess Federation website at www.guyanachess.org and clicking on the flyer for the tournament.
The remaining four rounds will be played over the upcoming weekend, March 26 and 27. Action will kick off at 9am on Saturday at the same venue.
At the conclusion of the tournament on Sunday, trophies will be awarded for the best female player in the tournament, as well as the top male and female junior players.
Trophies and cash prizes are up for grabs for the top three finishers in the tournament while medals will be given to 4th to 10th place finishers.
The GCF remains thankful to GAICO Construction for their continuous support towards the advancement of the sport throughout the year.
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