14 to represent Guyana at 8TH CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships

– largest contingent to date

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, March 9, 2019

The largest contingent of junior chess players to represent Guyana will soon be heading to the eighth CARIFTA Junior Chess championships. The tournament will be hosted in Curacao, Netherland Antilles from April 18-23, 2019.

The 14 selected players signal a significant increase from the mere six players that represented the country last year at the championships.

Coach of the team, Wendell Meusa said training began at the start of this year in order to better prepare the local chess players for the upcoming tournament. He noted that they started out training twice a week but are now able to train four to five times a week after being afforded the use of the National Racquet Centre.

“What we have been doing, is working with the younger ones, trying to build future champions, in this case, we have an eight-year-old and a seven-year-old who will be representing Guyana, unlike last year where we barely had under 14 and under 16. So, we are taking some of the younger ones to build them for the future of chess in Guyana,” Muesa stated.

Members of the team are confident heading into the tournament despite having to balance school and preparation. Eight-year-old Jacob McDonald said, “I am practising as much as I can, sometimes I have homework to do but I try practising as much as possible”.

Heading to the tournament for the second time, young Chelsea Juma said that based on the experience gained, she is now more equipped. Juma also participated in the 43rd Chess Olympiad, organised by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs and which was held in Batumi, Georgia, last year.

The CARIFTA games began in 1972, giving young athletes in the Caribbean Region a platform to showcase their skills and an opportunity to test them against their Caribbean counterparts.

Isaiah Braithwaite.

Images: Ameer Sattaur.