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12 year old Anaya Lall inspires Deaf Community with exceptional performance at Olympiad

12 year old Anaya Lall focused during a chess match in Chennai (Photo: Khushal Lam)

Anaya Lall is being praised as an inspiration for persons living with disabilities, after being able to represent Guyana on one of the biggest global; stages for Chess in the world.

Anaya Lall competed in the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad earlier this month where she faced off against top chess players from around the world.

She won three of her six games played during the tournament with her most impressive victory coming in her final round clash against WFM Khuloud El Flow of Libya who was rated 1836.

Lall also defeated Nathaela Baguida from the Central African Republic and drew her games against 1560 rated Elfiana dos Santos of Timor-Leste and Jasmine Ramas of Guam.

Anaya Lall playing on Board 4 against Fiji in Round 8 of the Olympiad (Photo: Khushal Lam)

National Chess Coach FM Anthony Drayton noted that Anaya Lall’s performance was exceptional, especially due to her being only 12 years old and competing in her first Olympiad.

“Anaya is differently-abled and she would have been able to perform at such a high level. And due to some unexpected occurrences, she wasn’t able to play the amount of games she would have been able to.”

In 2020, Lall is the first Deaf chess player to ever represent Guyana. She accomplished this when she competed in the under-10 category of the International Chess Federation’s Online World Cadets and Youth Rapid Chess Championships.

She is also the only Guyanese to ever compete at the World Chess Championship for People with Disabilities.

Anaya Lall (Photo: Khushal Lam)

Managing Director of the Deaf Association of Guyana Sabine McIntosh, who also oversees the Guyana Chess Federation’s Chess for Special Needs Schools initiative praised Lall’s achievement.

She noted that Lall’s accomplishment is inspirational for the local Deaf community, seeing as so few opportunities are granted to them.

“If you are a Deaf person, and you’re generally in a big pool of Deaf persons where nobody expects anything of you – the importance of identifying special skills in persons with disabilities and developing these skills to the max. For their self-esteem, for their self-development and for the upliftment of the community, I think it is inspiring.”


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