by Bernard Newbold
The Bahamas Chess Federation (BCF) on Thursday during a press conference held at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture officially announced that they will host the 2010 Caribbean Chess Sub Zonal Tournament.
BCF president Kean Smith explained that the Chess Sub Zone comprises of 15 countries with 13 from the Caribbean not including Cuba, and two from South America which are Ecuador and Venezuela.
“The 13 Caribbean countries participating are Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Netherland Antilles, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States Virgin Islands,” said Smith.
L-R: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Archie Nairn; Sports Minister, Desmond Bannister and Bahamas Chess Federation President, Kean Smith during Thursday’s press conference. (Photo/Bernard Newbold)
With the scheduling dates and venue of the event not ready to be announced, Smith said they project the event will take place the third or fourth week in June 2010 in New Providence.
We are expecting players and representatives from all of the countries already mentioned. We are seeking to organize this tournament for five reasons which are to facilitate the continued development of chess and its players, Bahamian players will get a chance to earn a World Federation title, it highlights the educational and social benefits of the game, and we will be the first English speaking nation in the region to host the event.
In order for international sporting tournaments to be held in a country, federations must seek the backing of the government. Smith said it is only because they have received the support of the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Cultures that they were “bold enough to request an option to bid for the tournament.”
This year, the ministry has involved us in their Summer Youth Programme, they supported the first Bahamas Mind Sports Games in August, including us in its Youth Month activities by recognizing two junior chess players including junior champion Anatol Rodgers High School David Bullard and Government High School Travis Miller the Under 1500 National Chess Champion.
With the event costing $20,000 to host, Smith also announced that David Norwood a British and International Grand Master has committed to raising and contributing $10,000 representing 50% “providing that we can find the balance,” said Smith.
Smith also added that the World Chess Federation will assist with the international logistics in communications, promotions, tournament coverage, and expertise along with specialize chess equipment.
We do not hear very much about chess when sized up against the other disciplines, but based on research and information, I have found out that chess brings about a level of discipline for our young people that is unheard of.
~Archie Nairn, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture
Minister responsible Desmond Bannister noted that the Sub Zonal competition will bring in 13 Caribbean and two South American countries which is a wonderful experience for The Bahamas.
The Bahamas will see a very high level of chess players and for our young people it will be a chance to understand and appreciate the discipline that is required and the development of critical thinking skills that go along with the game.
L-R: Kristian Plakaris, Elton Joseph, Kean Smith, Dante Delaney and Sanchez Brown. Photo by Bahamas Chess Federation.
The Ministry is also partnering with the BCF to continue promoting the sport among our schools students and all those who are interested. We believe that through games like chess, and through the involvement of young people in activities such as this, they will understand the procees of stop and think before acting,” said Bannister.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Archie Nairn said the ministry believes sports plays a “vital role in the development of young people.”
“We do not hear very much about chess when sized up against the other disciplines, but based on research and information, I have found out that chess brings about a level of discipline for our young people that is unheard of.”
“It brings about the kind of development from an academic prospective that we like to see in so many schools in this country. I speak in terms of Mathematics, you have to discipline in terms of understanding that whatever action you take, that there is an equal and opposite reaction. There are consequences based on the kind of decisions you make, and so it is with the game of chess because whenever you make a move on that chess board, there are consequences,” said Nairn.
With the full support from the government, Nairn said they want to work together with the BCF so at the end of the day they would have ensured that young people would have benefitted.