TWENTY-FOUR Trinidad and Tobago chess players recently participated in the inaugural virtual Pan American Youth Chess Festival.
Held from September 4-10, the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Association (TTCA) was one of 15 federations which took part in this event which was organised by the Brazilian Chess Federation.
The chess festival allowed players to participate from neutral venues across the Americas using their laptops/computers to compete against other players in age groups ranging from Under-six to Under-18.
The event consisted of nine rounds of play. Top performances came from Ne’yah Martin (Under-8 female), Kael Samuel Bisnath and Zachary Murray (U-12 Open), Juninho La Fleur and Jonathan Ramdass (U-14 Open) and Zara La Fleur (U-16 Open).
A few players also participated in Online Rapid and Blitz events which took place fully online on September 11 and 12.
The TTCA president, Sonja Johnson was pleased with TT’s showing at the inaugural Pan Am Chess Youth Festival.
“I am thrilled that we were able to still facilitate such an event at these times given the constraints including the curfew.
Additionally, many of the children had to participate after school and still showed up for their games and gave it their all, even though this is the first time they were playing a classic event online.
“This is testimony of their dedication and the commitment from their parents to ensuring that they remain active in chess,” Johnson said.
Johnson also credited officials/team members Sandy Razark, Daryl Davis, Frank Sears, Keelan Hunte, David Martin, Andrew Bowles, Sadiqah Razark, Ryan Harper, Zaakir Razark, Petersen Philip and Martin Johnson for ensuring the even ran smoothly.
The TTCA also thanked the Ministry of Health for providing exemptions which allowed TT to participate in this event as well as the TT Police Service for curfew passes which were needed on a few nights of competition.
A TTCA statement added, “We officially recognise other partners including bmobile for use of their box at the (Queen’s Park) Oval as the north venue, Roger Ali, acting principal of Naparima College for the South (San Fernando) venue, as well as Platinum Rentals, which quickly responded to the TTCA’s requests and in challenging circumstances.
“We also sincerely appreciate the support provided by parents that allowed for the successful staging of this event. In particular, we would like to thank Francis Laing and Lynette Gillette.”
TT Chess Festival Team – Jahymes Grant (U-6); Ne’yah Martin, Adrian Allum (U-8); Adaya Johnson (U-10); Vandina Maharaj, Raquel Laing, Zachary Murray, Luke Gillette, Kael Samuel Bisnath, Christopher Sammy (U-12); Aradhana Ramnarine-Singh, Chandresh Prabhakar, Joshua Medina, Yuri Mahabir, Syon Mano, James Gillette, Joshua Martin, Juninho La Fleur (U-14); Zara La Fleur, Keagan Ragoobar, Keshav Maharaj, Jonathan Ramdass (U-16); Keira Samuel Bisnath, Kayla Martin (U-18).