Chess

Fiji Chess prepares for 42nd World Chess Olympiad

Members of the Fiji Chess Team are in high spirits for an upcoming World Championship after a sound performance at the 2016 Fijian Chess Festival that concluded on August 19 at Radisson Resort in Nadi. The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at the Baku, Azerbaijan Gymnastics Arena on September 1st with $14 million Euros […]

Salote Qalubau

August 26, 2016 8:30 am

Members of the Fiji Chess Team are in high spirits for an upcoming World Championship after a sound performance at the 2016 Fijian Chess Festival that concluded on August 19 at Radisson Resort in Nadi.

Participants at the Fijian Chess Festival. (FCF)
Participants at the Fijian Chess Festival. (FCF)

The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at the Baku, Azerbaijan Gymnastics Arena on September 1st with $14 million Euros (FJD$32 million) allocated for the two weeks event.

Deputy Arbiter Gaurav Raicar said a few players stood out with gutsy performances.

 RAICAR:”Quite a number of our players performed better than expected despite strong opposition from Australia, New Zealand and France. After 25 rounds of chess in 3 formats, all members of the Fiji team had several draws and wins to report against their internationally ranked opponents.”

Mr Raicar added that the 25 rounds of chess in 3 formats saw all members of the Fiji team had several draws and wins to report against their internationally ranked opponents.”

RAICAR: “Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Palau and Guam are among the smallest countries that will take the South Pacific brand of chess at the 42nd World Chess Olympiad. Our team will be seen in a part of the world where almost 200 nations would be competing for 11 rounds from September 1-14.”

The host nation, Azerbaijan has allocated a total of 14 hotels to accommodate an estimated 2000 chess players, 500 officials.

It will feature some of the World’s best chess players like Grandmaster (GM) Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, GM Nakamura Hiraku of USA, GM Nigel Short of England and GM Harikrishna Pentala of India.

The open team includes:

  • CM Calvin Prasad
  • CM Manoj Kumar
  • Taione Sikivou
  • CM Goru Arvind
  • CM Noel Adricula

The Women’s Team includes:

  • WCM Gloria Sukhu
  • WFM Hilda Vukikomoala
  • Cydel Kabrina Terubea
  • Tanvi Prasad
  • Sugandha Goswami

A high-profile opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at the Baku Gymnastics Arena on September 1.

The Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) has provided financial support to the Fiji Chess Federation (FCF) to participate in the 42nd World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan in September.

Members of the Fiji Chess Federation during the 2014 Olympiad in Norway. (Fiji Chess Federation)
Members of the Fiji Chess Federation during the 2014 Olympiad in Norway. (Fiji Chess Federation/Facebook)

Federation president, candidate master Calvin Prasad, stated that the grant allowed FCF to field two full teams in the biennial event.

PRASAD: “Fiji Chess is grateful for Government and the Commission for providing $20,000 towards airfares for the Olympiad.”

Prasad said while the cost of air travel to Azerbaijan was quite high, FCF was able to acquire sponsors to offset the entire travel cost of the team.

PRASAD: “For the first time, we will be sending two full teams to the Olympiad, together with experienced coaches. The onus is now on the teams to train hard and honor the trust and expectations shown by our sponsors.”

Fiji will be represented at the Olympiad by an Open and Women’s team.  Each team comprises five players and a captain.

The Federation appointed a three-member independent Selection Panel to select both teams. The selection panel comprised Dr Jashint Maharaj, John Caldeira, and Gaurav Raicar.

The selection panel selected a strong squad with numerous experienced campaigners as well as debutants.

PRASAD: “This will be the first Olympiad for the newcomers Tanvi, Sugandha, and Noel.  The other members are seasoned Olympians.”
Dr Jashint Maharaj is the captain of the Open team, while Iranian Grand Master Mahjoob Morteza is the captain of the Women’s team.  Prasad is the Head of Delegation.
PRASAD: “Fiji has acquired the services of International Grand Master Mahjoob Morteza to coach the women’s team.  This is another first, and we’re confident of a good outing for both squads.”
The 42nd Chess Olympiad will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from September 1-14.  The Fiji squad departs on August 29.

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