Caricom Chess tournament to be host on local shores

GCF Board Members take a photo opportunity with Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr following their meeting

The Guyana Chess Federation, in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat, is excited to present the CARICOM Classic Inaugural Chess Tournament, an international celebration of strategy, equity, and unity. The inaugural CARICOM Classic Team Chess Tournament will be held at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel, Guyana, from 3 -10 March, 2024 and will coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
While chess has proven to cultivate intellectual development and improve the strategic thinking in players, this tournament also aims to strengthen cultural exchange through understanding and interaction among the diverse backgrounds of each country. The overall objective is to build lasting friendships, increase competitive play, and promote regional cooperation.
Formidable teams from nine federations of CARICOM Member States and Associate members will compete for the CARICOM Championship title, medals, trophies, and cash prizes totaling USD 3,000. First, Second, and Third place trophies will be awarded to the top three CARICOM territories based on tournament results. Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded to individual players of the first three CARICOM teams.
The CARICOM Member States and Associate Members are being represented by 40 seasoned players from The Bahamas, Barbados, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and host country Guyana.
Guyana will be fielding two teams of four players each, two males and two females, with team one consisting of CM Taffin Khan, FM Anthony Drayton, current Women’s Champion Jessica Callender, and Shazeeda Rahim, and junior team two consisting of reigning Junior Champion Keron Sandiford, fourteen-year-old Kyle Couchman, Sasha Shariff, and thirteen-year-old Aditi Joshi. This local selection, a talented mix of junior and senior chess players, has gained significant tournament experience over the last few years. The qualifying team for the Guyana players emerged from the results of the Grand Prix tournaments held earlier this year.
The Guyanese chess players will meet their international counterparts over the board in the FIDE-rated tournament with nine rounds of classical games consisting of 90 minutes with 30-second increments after each move.
Barbadian International Arbiter Kelvin Daniel will oversee the tournament with assistance from local FIDE Arbiters John Lee, Anand Raghunauth, and Irshad Mohamad. Round one is expected to start at 10 am and round two at 4 pm on Monday 4 March. Games will continue throughout the week and conclude on Saturday 9 March.
FIDE Deputy President and Grandmaster Mr. Viswanathan Anand, who will be visiting Guyana for the first time, will be the Special Guest. He will be present for the opening ceremony of the tournament on Sunday 3 March.
The Guyana Chess Federation expresses its sincere gratitude to The CARICOM Secretariat for collaborating with the Federation to organise this historic tournament.
Recognition and appreciation are also extended to the participating Member States, and their teams, the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the Confederation of Chess for the Americas (CCA) and the generous sponsors. The GCF also wishes to acknowledge and express gratitude to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and especially the Minister, Honorable Charles Ramson for their generous support.
The GCF noted that it is proud to be part of this partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat and hopes this initiative is the first of many to promote chess and goodwill within the Caribbean region.