Sunday, July 27, 2008

Barbados Seeks to Develop Women's Chess

From the BarbadosAdvocate.com Chess pushing to revive the number of ladies on the board Web Posted - Sun Jul 27 2008 Vice President of the Barbados Chess Federation (BCF) Rohan Waithe has plans he is eager to set in motion, and one of them is the development of women's chess in Barbados. Speaking to Barbados Advocate Sports, Waithe, who is also the Member Development officer with the association, pointed out, " For the immediate future, we will be looking to revive the Barbados Ladies Chess Association, with the aim of making tangible efforts at increasing the number of females playing.The Inter-school girls has not yet been played this year, but it is vital if we are seriously looking at taking ladies chess to a higher level. We have many bright sparks among the junior girls, and with sustained coaching and high-level competition, this should augur well for the future." He noted, "We have a vibrant inter-school programme with over 300 students from primary and secondary school taking part in this years inter-school tournament, along with 75 players in the under-12 national championships. There are several juniors who came through this programme who have done well regionally like Justin Blackman, Martyn Del Castilho, Shamel Howell and Alex Jackman. However, what we need to do is get the transition from the Junior ranks to senior ranks. In the past, we had several clubs in various communities, so that outside of school, juniors had an opportunity to play chess with seniors. We need to urgently revive those community clubs." "We will soon have a big international junior tournament, the Sagicor Barbados Junior Open Tournament starting August 11. We are also sending Male and Female teams to the World Chess Olympiad in Dresden Germany in November, he added. "Over the next few years, our goal has to be producing another International Master, along with Kevin Denny. This means providing training for our best juniors and seniors. We would need to have an ongoing coaching programme probably sourcing coaching from overseas. To sustain this development we need to look at regional tournaments such as the Pan-American and Central American Tournaments. This is essential as we need to play high level chess constantly," Waithe argued. Waithe acknowledged that hosting tournaments as well as travelling even regionally is costly. "Naturally funding is also a major concern, we are grateful for the assistance of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), National Sports Council (NSC), and corporate Barbados." (AP)

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