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National Coach Drayton impressed by Guyana at Chess Olympiad, cites areas for further improvement

National Coach and Fide Master Anthony Drayton (Photo: Khushal Lam)

National Coach and Fide Master Anthony Drayton, while impressed by Guyana’s performance at the recent FIDE chess Olympiad, believes we have room to do even better in the future.

At the 44TH Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India, Guyana pulled off our most creditable performance in recent years, with the Open team moving up four places in the International ranking table and the Women’s team, ten places.

FM Anthony Drayton, who was participating for the fourth consecutive time in the event, was blown away by the teams’ performance, both of which finished on 18.5 points at the end of the event.

“I do believe that the players established a strong foot in that tournament, and also they have been able to increase their standing and playing strength due to that tournament. Especially players like; Ethan Lee, (Loris) Nathoo, and (Roberto) Neto. They would have been able to establish a strong foot into the international chess arena to be able to gauge how they would perform in Guyana and Internationally.”

(L-R): Open Team Captain Davion Mars, Ethan Lee, Jessica Callender, Roberto Neto (Photo: Khushal Lam)

As a National Coach, Drayton acknowledged that players such as Anaya Lall, Ethan Lee, Jessica Callender, and Pooja Lam, who were competing in the event for the first time, fared exceptionally well against the best chess players from hundreds of countries around the world.

Two young players on Guyana's Women's team (Photo: Khushal Lam)

Noting the incredible ability of young players on the team, Drayton believes that they can reach even greater heights with more exposure to international competitions and increased high-level training.

“The Grandmaster coaching was helpful, but I think it was short-lived. If we could have gotten training, especially for the female team, from way before, like a year in advance, two years in advance – our team could have done much better. All the Grandmaster could have done is opening preparation and maybe some tactical analysis, but it didn’t reach into the core of an individual as a chess player. Even though we are playing as a team, there’s still individual experiences you’d need to overcome. So more training would have been much better to prepare players for this experience.”


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