Dreaming big Chess

By Errol Tiwari
Stabroek News
December 31, 2006

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For those of us in Guyana who love chess, we like to dream big for the game. We like to believe that the new year would bring change, and chess would be lifted to a place where it could be seen and appreciated. For without change, something sleeps within us and seldom awakens. So we the sleepers must awaken, and as a start, carry the game to where it was before in Guyana, and when this is done, take it internationally back to the Olympiads, and to places where this great nation has never gone before.

Already some activities for the development of chess are quietly taking shape, representing that vital first step in the long and arduous journey which is required to bring the game to our desired destination.

On Friday, Mr William Walker, owner of the Oasis Cafe in Carmichael Street, hosted a small chess tournament in an effort to begin the process of popularizing the game. In similar fashion, Mr Duane Bacchus, owner of The Pitch Sports Bar in East Canje, Berbice, and a chess player himself, has invited two seasoned players from Georgetown to travel to Berbice and share their knowledge of the game. Mr Bacchus wants to establish a chess club in Berbice during the first quarter of 2007, and move the game upward from that point.

Mr Shiv Nandalal, Manager of Kei-Shar's Gift Shop, a chess buff and member of a small group of players committed to the promotion of the mighty game, has already made arrangements to import a number of tournament-size chess sets and chess clocks. This equipment would be readily available to players who intend to participate in tournaments and who require chess sets and clocks in order to do so.

And Mr Dennis Patterson, Mathematics teacher at Queen's College, is attending to the groundwork for the promotion of chess on the Essequibo coast.

So a structure for the game is beginning to materialize. The smothering air-tight cage into which we were locked and where we languished inactively for too long, is about to be opened. When this happens, we will once again face the world of international chess with confidence and with fire.

To all chess players, I wish you a productive New Year. To those of you who will be playing the game during the holidays, watch every move and calculate carefully so you can make the best choice among the many alternatives at your disposal.

Meanwhile, the annual Corus Chess tournament begins in Wijk aan Zee on January 12, and we will have an opportunity the replay the games of the top four players in the world, namely:

1 Veselin Topalov--2813 (FIDE Rating)--Bulgaria

2.Viswanathan Anand--2779--India

3.Vladimir Kramnik----2750--Russia

4.Peter Svidler----2750--Russia

The Category 19 tournament will be played in three sections and the top Grandmaster group - Group A - represents an average FIDE rating of 2721.

And Bobby Fischer was in the news recently when he was interviewed on an Icelandic private radio station, Utvarp Sago, in mid-October. Fischer discussed chess in the past and present and international affairs during the interview. Fischer now resides in Iceland, the country where he took the World Championship title away from Boris Spassky and the Russians and broke the Soviet hegemony on chess.

Let the New Year be a breakthrough year for chess in Guyana!