It was a buzzing weekend in the local Chess world, as the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) concurrently hosted two of its premiere tournaments.
In the female category, seven competitors vied for the title of Female National Champion. The women were also competing to be among the top five players, who will go on to represent Guyana at the World Chess Championships later this year.
On the other side, the quick minds were competing for top honours in the Georgetown Chess Classics. Chess coach and assistant tournament director Wendell Meusa explained that, at present, the competition is open only to men.
It is Meusa’s hope that the federation will not only be able to expand the competition to other regions of the country, inclusive of Linden, Berbice, and West Demerara; but to also host a female version of the competition.
Contrary to a normal game of chess, the chess classics give players one hour of sudden death game time. This format, which requires players to think and manipulate their game faster, saw stellar performances from the usual suspects. It also saw shocking defeats. Ranked at #2, Anthony Drayton dominated the board in Saturday’s proceedings. Keon Scott of Albouystown Open Minds Chess Club crushed Guyana’s Junior #3, Jaden Taylor.
FIDE Master Maria Isabella Thomas was the favourite of the women’s competition, delivering a number of solid plays throughout the day. However, the experienced Sheriffa Ali was defeated in a shocking upset by promising youngster Nellisha Johnson of Christ Church Secondary School.
Based on the level of competition displayed on Saturday, it is still unclear who will emerge as the champions of both competitions.