A team of Guyana’s strongest chess players are set to compete at the FIDE Chess Olympiad next week.
Nearly 200 countries are set to compete in the 44th edition of the FIDE Chess Olympiad from July 28 and August 10 in Chennai, India.
The local team has undergone preparation with Slovenian Grandmaster Georg Mohr, who will continue to work with them throughout the tournament.
The ten-member team that will represent Guyana includes Guyana’s youngest ever National Women’s Champion, 14-year-old Pooja Lam as well as former Women’s Champion Sasha Shariff.
Also on the women’s team is Nellisha Johnson who is no stranger to this event as she has competed in the 2018 Olympiad.
Present on the team as well is MTV Guyana's Jessica Callender who competed in the last two FIDE online Olympiads.
The women’s team is rounded out by its youngest member 12-year-old Anaya Lall who is the only Deaf chess player to ever represent Guyana in an international event.
The men’s team features Candidate Master Taffin Khan and Fide Master Anthony Drayton who are also no strangers to this event and will be aiming for higher chess titles this time around.
Seasoned players Roberto Neto and Loris Nathoo who both have an extensive list of victories under their belt throughout the years have yet again shown their prowess at the game by qualifying to represent Guyana in this event.
The final member of the men’s team is Ethan Lee who has represented Guyana multiple times in regional chess events and finished in top positions for most of this year’s chess events, inclusive of the National Junior Qualifiers and Championship. Throughout the first half of this year, Guyana’s top local chess players competed in an intensive series of tournaments for a chance to qualify to represent Guyana at the biennial event.
The selection process required that players secure top spots in a number of tournaments against competitors of all ages, experience and skill levels. The players’ performances were ranked through “Grand Prix points” that could only be earned by winning consistently.
Among 187 competing National teams in the Open section, Guyana’s team ranks at 151. The open team is led by Team Captain Davion Mars.
On the Women's side, Guyana’s team led by GM Georg Mohr ranks at 137 among 162 nations.