Drayton confident as Senior Championships get underway

2019 Senior Chess Champion, FIDE Master Anthony Drayton, had a child-like excitement about him because of his eagerness to get back to in-person chess competition.
The event was the first round of the 2020 Senior Chess Championships, which had to be put off from last year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the requisite permission from the National COVID-19 Task Force, Drayton and nine others have been given the opportunity to compete again.
“It’s been very hard. But this year we’ll know, because this will be the first over- the-board chess tournament since 2019 for us. So, it was basically online tournaments,” Drayton commented when asked about the time away from in-person competition.
He continued on the topic by saying, “Online tournaments are a bit different from the over-the-board, because it’s shorter-spanned games and you don’t get to actually play chess as in chess.”
Drayton was in good spirits on Saturday afternoon at the National Stadium, Providence as he prepared for his first game of the tournament.
“I hope to bring my best, seeing that I’ll be representing my title; so, I hope to get it back. I have some confidence that I will, but we’re yet to see what will happen,” Drayton said as he exuded confidence.
When probed about competing against the likes of Candidate Masters Wendell Meusa and Taffin Khan, who are both former Senior Champions, the reigning champion shared that he wasn’t too worried about the stiff competition that would unfold over the next few weekends.
He answered in the affirmative, stating, “Yes. I like the pairings, and I’ve been working with it so far, and I’m hoping that I could retain my title.”
Aside from Drayton, Meusa and Khan, Loris Nathoo, Glenford Corlette, Davion Mars, Errol Tiwari, Saeed Ali, Roy Sharma and Justino DaSilva are among the other players participating. (Jemima Holmes)