Local female chess players to make history in Barbados

─ First women to represent Guyana at CAC Women’s Championship

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Two of Guyana’s top young female chess players will be creating history when they represent Guyana at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Women’s Chess Championship in Barbados, later this month.

Fourteen-year-old Sasha Shariff and twelve-year-old Chelsea Juma will be the first females to represent Guyana at this particular event, which begins on July 27 and ends August 3.

Both chess players recently represented Guyana at the Carifta Chess Championship in Suriname. Shariff, who will also represent Guyana at the Chess Olympiad in Georgia, USA in September, said the experience gained from the last tournament will be key to her performing well in CAC Championship.

“I think my chances are greater this tournament because in Suriname it was my first time playing out of the country and not in school. So, it was a bit difficult because I was still at the beginner stage. Now, I think my changes are greater in Barbados” Shariff stated.

Juma is also confident of doing well since she has been training also most every day. She too is applying experience gained from past tournaments to her advantage. “I am very excited because I have had very good learning experiences in the past tournaments, locally and out of the country and I think I have a greater chance with this one that is coming up now.”

National Chess Coach Wendell Meusa said that he has been working with the young ladies for about two months, preparing them for the competition. “Day after day they have been solving numerous puzzles. We have been working on our opening game and our end game trying to make them strong overall.”

While Shariff and Juma are fledgelings in the world of chess tournaments, Muesa said that they have demonstrated rapid growth and is confident that they will do well. Additionally, while the girls are in Barbados, they will receive critical training and guidance from the Barbados National Coach and International Chess Master, Terry Farley.

Countries participating in the tournament include Guyana, Mexico, Aruba, Haiti, Guatemala, Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, Barbados, Netherland Antilles, Nicaragua, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, British Virgin Islands, Suriname, Panama, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, US Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana, Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.

Images: Anil Seelall.