FIDE hopes CARICOM chess tournament be huge impulse in Caribbean

With the launch of the inaugural CARICOM Chess Tournament, the first of its kind regionally, new potential for transformative social impact associated with the game will emerge.

Importantly, the chess tournament is being hosted in Guyana, creating a platform for growth, and learning, and fostering a sense of camaraderie among players.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson and FIDE Deputy President and renown Indian Chess Grandmaster and former five-time World Chess Champion, Viswanathan Anand

This is a notable achievement by the PPP/C Administration in the sports sector.

The International Chess Federation or World Chess Federation, commonly referred to by its French acronym FIDE has displayed interest in the development of the sport in this part of the world by being present for the five-day tournament.

Minister of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson on Monday received a courtesy call from FIDE Deputy President and renowned Indian Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand.

The former five-time world chess champion expressed his excitement that Guyana is hosting the first CARICOM championship.

“I travel around the world to support chess events…to help new countries get more active in the game. So, we want to encourage and we are thrilled that Guyana is hosting the first CARICOM championship and we hope that this will be a huge impulse for chess in the Caribbean,” he underscored.

Anand highlighted that closing the gap that exists between men and women in the sport has been an ongoing quest for FIDE.

To achieve this, FIDE has stabilised the global female circuit to encourage and expand female participation in the sport.

“We have now stable top events for women and we have increased the prize from everywhere. So, we have now what is called the grand queen, multiple events where women can qualify for the world title for the candidates just like the men,” he noted.

Taking a brief insight into the life of Viswanathan Anand, he became the first grandmaster from India in 1988 and has the eighth highest peak FIDE rating of all time.

Known for his rapid playing speed as a child, Anand earned the alias ‘Lightning Kid’ during his early career in the 1980s.

He was the first recipient of the Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India’s highest sporting honour.

Continuing on his journey of becoming a world champion, Anand defeated Alexei Shirov in a six-game match to win the 2000 FIDE World Chess Championship, a title he held until 2002.

In April 2006, the chess champ became the fourth player in history to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating list, after Kramnik, Topalov, and Garry Kasparov occupying the number one position for 21 months, the sixth-longest period on record.

In 2007, Anand became the undisputed world champion and was then awarded India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award.

Similarly, in this year Anand defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, Veselin Topalov in 2010, and Boris Gelfand in 2012.

He has since developed into a universal player, and many consider him the greatest rapid chess player of his generation.

He won the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003 and 2017, the World Blitz Cup in 2000, and numerous other top-level rapid and blitz events.

In 2022, he was elected the deputy president of FIDE.

Meanwhile, the CARICOM Chess Tournament has commenced and is being conducted at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel with a mix of team players from The Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, St Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and host country Guyana vying for the CARICOM title over the next 5 days.