Gopaul to defend his title as National Chess Champion – aims to make transition from Junior to Senior in bid to qualify for Russia 2020

– aims to make transition from Junior to Senior in bid to qualify for Russia 2020

Current reigning National Junior Chess Champion Joshua Gopaul has had many successes in his lifetime, but what he longs for the most are two things; to defend his Junior Championship title this year and to qualify for the national team participating in the 2020 Chess Olympiads in Russia.
Speaking with Guyana Times Sport, when asked about his accomplishments Gopaul said, “I am currently a student of the University of Guyana; I graduated from Saint Stanislaus College. I’ve won many local chess tournaments as a junior. I am currently the reigning National Junior Chess Champion. In terms of the Russia Olympiads in 2020, preparations have been coming along nicely. I’ve managed to develop opening repertoires suited for my style of play, tactics training alongside endgame studies and positional motifs have always been on my agenda. A key difference this year, however, is I’ve taken a keen interest in my health; particularly by joining the gym and ensuring I desist from skipping meals”.
“These may seem like small things but they are paramount to success, it can be said the state of one’s body is a direct reflection on the state of the mind. In the past I struggled with maintaining focus over the chessboard for extended periods of time. The result of this showed in my incredible prowess in the middle game and a steep decline with simple endgame blunders nullify any advantaged I may have accrued. As for the 2020 Olympiad, I have every intention of making the team as I will be officially a senior in that year. I hope to have a smooth transition and prove myself to be amongst the top players in our country”.
Gopaul also went on to state that besides being the reigning junior champion, he has been playing chess for some time now. He went on to recall that there was a rapid tournament just before the James Bond sponsored event where he managed to place first. He also reminiscence of winning his first chess tournament some time back in 2016 ahead of players Stalwart players such as Mars, Neto and Sheriffa when they were still juniors. For Gopaul he will face the test of a life as he will have to defend his championship sometime this year and as of recent chess has become extremely popular and various underdog players are emerging, if Gopaul is to succeed he will have to keep his calm and treat everyone as a threat.
In closing, Gopaul said, “My father, for introducing me to the game when I was very young and being such a driving force behind my success. Although he is concerned, my chess may negatively impact my grades but he still supports me”.