With Errol Tiwari
November 5, 2006
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This position occurred in a game between Visser (2516) White, and Speelman (2541),at the 4th. Staunton Memorial Tournament in England in August. It is Black to play and win.
Beginning this week, an attempt will be made through this column to regenerate the interest in chess that was once known in Guyana.
Chess is currently being played as a fun game on the internet, in a few selected schools, in private homes, some say among miners in the Mazaruni, at the Bourda market mall and just about any place where a chessboard with pieces could be set up.
Two hundred years have passed since the American Benjamin Franklin pointed out the importance of chess in education as well as in mental development. A few years ago, I taught chess voluntarily at Queen's College, and realized that approximately 75% of the Guyana scholars during the past three decades were avid chess players.
Over time, a number of scientific studies were done which demonstrated the correctness of Franklin's thinking and proved that chess complements academic reasoning. But the disturbing myth about chess still exists. That chess is only for the intelligentsia. Chess is for everyone; for me and for you.
Since the collapse of the Guyana Chess Federation, chess has not been played in a structured format at the national level. We need to, and must reverse this regrettable state of affairs. The column therefore, is meant to keep the game foremost in the minds of the public and simultaneously, create the impetus for it to be structured in a clear and meaningful way.
I like to think of chess as a classical art, the serious study of which lifts the practitioner in his or her pursuit of wisdom. Through revived interest in the game, it just may be possible to convert Guyana into a serious chess-playing nation once more. If we can produce academicians of excellence, we can produce International Masters and Grandmasters of chess. As the wise Chinese philosopher Confucius would say, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".
Solution to the diagrammed position:
26.....Rxg3! 27. Qxe7 Qg1+! 28.Rxg1 Nf2 checkmate. 0--1.