High Commissioner of India to Guyana, Dr K J Srinivasa, engaged Guyana’s team slated to compete in the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad from Thursday, July 8 to August 10 in Chennai, India.
The engagement was held on Monday when Guyana’s delegation visited the Indian Embassy to secure their Indian visas.
The Indian diplomat commended the players for their dedication to the sport and shared advice and encouragement for their trip to Chennai.
Dr Srinivasa urged the players to “make (their) nation proud” as they go on to represent their country against the best players from around the world.
The High Commissioner added that India is the birthplace of chess, which was initially known as chaturanga and used to craft war and political strategies. The team also took the opportunity to share their goals heading into the tournament.
While noting that the major goal of the Olympiad is to provide much-needed experience and exposure to the relatively young team, the Guyana team is aiming to improve the country’s overall ranking in the sport.
Guyana is currently ranked 146 in the world but is hoping to break through to the top 100. This tournament also gives untitled players a chance to win titles and titled players the opportunity to gain higher titles from winning matches.
Twelve-year-old Anaya Lall, who is the first deaf chess player to represent Guyana at this event, has to be accompanied by her mother, who will act as a translator.
Mrs. Lall’s travel is being supported by the Deaf Association of Guyana and is also seeking assistance through a GoFundMe Campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/guyana-chess-federation).
High Commissioner Srinivasa was impressed with the team, especially with Anaya for her exceptional performance as she made history for Guyana.
President of the Guyana Chess Federation Frankie Farley said, “His Excellency Dr K J Srinivasa’s guidance and pep talk was indeed inspiring to me and to the entire team. The High Commissioner of India extended his hospitality and gave his confidence and assurance that our team will excel at the Olympiad. It is necessary that our team leave the shores of Guyana with a combination of high spirits and optimism that I’m certain will transfer into success.”
The ten chess players have been training for the tournament with Slovenian Grand Master Georg Mohr ahead of their departure later this month.