Home Sports Mars aims to qualify for 2020 Chess Olympiads in Russia
As the Chess action continues in Guyana, many top-of-the-line players are aiming to make their mark locally as they try to qualify to be a part of the 2020 regime of the Guyana Chess Federation going the 2020 Olympiad in Russia.
One such player is Davion Mars who has been causing a ruckus in the chess world thus far. He won one tournament in January and placed second in the recently concluded James Bond Birthday Blitz tournament.
In an interview with Guyana Times Sport, when asked how has the two tournaments he has competed in prepared him, Mars said, “The first event of the year just happened to be my least favoured time control, Rapid, it’s mildly ironic that this is something I share with the current World Rapid Champion Daniil Dubov, and yet we both still managed to win our respective Rapid events unbeaten, of course the contrast between our strengths and the field we’ve competed in are obviously light years apart.
Previously, I’ve thought of Rapid Chess as a sort of limbo between Blitz and Classical, you never truly know how much time to invest in preparation, In Blitz, you can get away with crazy opening ideas due to the time constraints, but with Rapid it’s like diving too deeply into concrete theory as you would in classical chess, can force you into serious time trouble, then on the other hand there seems to be way too much time to try something outrageous and overly aggressive, because if at the end of the exchange you end up in an inferior position, your opponent has the opportunity to recover their time deficit while yours burn away.
I knew that I had to improve my chess in all aspects and by extension I had to change my attitude all together, so I looked at this an opportunity to reach beyond my limits, I kept training as I would for any major event despite the time controls and the results turned out as I’d expected, it was mostly the confidence in my own capabilities despite what others think I can and cannot do, that has and continues to, propel me onward”.
Mars also went on to state that while the first event was exciting, the second event was even more thrilling, as he had to play 12 rounds of chess which is among the highest number of games played in a single tournament on a single day, thus giving him quite the challenge. Mars did however enjoy the pace and dynamics of the games; he was especially proud of his performance in the Blitz Tournament even though it was not as stellar as he had hoped, owing to the fact that it was because he had been extremely ill just a few short hours before the event. Because of his ailment he had no intention of participating in the said tournament, but his peers encouraged him to make an appearance, as they knew his reputation to defy all odds to compete.
In the end, Mars won 10 out of the 12 possible games, finishing second overall – just a single point behind first place finisher, Anthony Drayton. Though he only lost two games against two very well respected players – FIDE Master Anthony Drayton and Roberto Neto – it was how he lost to them that really irritated him, as he stated that he played extremely quick, hardly invested any time into assessing his position and quite frankly, gave away all his pieces one move at a time. Mars knew that he was in poor physical health and wanted to seek refuge in the thought that he was not at 100%, but he also knew he could’ve done so much better. He was not going to let that excuse sneak into his mind, comfort him and eventually halt his momentum, so he relaxed, regained his confidence, and managed to win all the remaining games.
When asked how he feels about the upcoming Olympiad, which is just one year from now, he said, “I have and will continue to look at events, both past and present, as more of a preparatory tool towards to the 2020 Olympiad in Russia, I had missed all four previous Olympiads due to some constraint or another. At one point I was torn between work and practice, then exams among other trying factors. This time around I intend to work hard to qualify and though the road is still littered with insurmountable challenges, they no longer influence me psychologically as they once did. I suppose I just have to take a slow and steady pace towards that goal, one game at a time, and on an even more minute scale, one move at a time. It would be great if I could be National Champion at some point; that’s of course a mammoth of a task in and of itself but I’ve set the bar a little higher, so it’s on my priority list, but not paramount”.
The young but vibrant chess player told this publication that he has followed a lot of Grandmaster tournaments and post-game analysis to get a grasp of what consciously separates them from average chess players, to learn their insights, the fuel of their thought mechanisms and how they manage to maintain such iron-clad composure in high-intensity and high-stress situations.
He also said that he will try his best to emulate the best. He also encouraged many players that it should be every chess player’s dream to be on that level someday, to compete on equal footing with such legendary giants, therefore it only makes sense to take whatever blueprints they can from their incredible minds and reinvent them in a way that can help players progress.
In closing, Mars sad, “I will continue to be a mentor and pass on the knowledge I’ve garnered in order to inspire the next generation of local talents. Whether or not I manage to leave a big impression on the local or international spectrum, I am positive that there are younger Guyanese talents who will, all they need is the guidance, inspiration and support to do so, and as a mentor I intend to provide no less”.