He has dedicated much time to school chess and has been a vice-president of the Barbados Chess Federation, with responsibility for youth affairs, for six years. Organizing school chess is a lot of work, but is very rewarding. Over the years the young players have shown a considerable progress in their games; now there are various young FIDE rated players and in international tournaments they consistently perform better. The youth are the most active players in chess in Barbados, and they are more involved in international competition. Therefore they are more exposed to high rated international chess than the senior players. There is, e.g. an annual summer competition between Barbados and neighbouring country Trinidad & Tobago. This could be, at times, twice a year in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, respectively. The junior players provide for their own travel expenses by seeking sponsors, while the Barbados Chess Federation also provides some funding.
This is Trevor's first visit to Curaçao and he is very happy to be here. He is impressed by the friendliness of the people, and they make him feel at home. What has struck him is that the country is so much drier than Barbados; he had expected the same tropical lush vegetation here. Another striking point is the cleanliness of the streets. It is, further, really phenomenal how many languages the people speak. Trevor is desperately struggling to learn Spanish, as chess in this region is predominantly played in the Spanish-speaking countries. Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago are the leading English-speaking countries in chess in the Caribbean. When asked for his opinion on the average rating of chess in Curaçao, he took the junior players of Curaçao as reference, as he is most acquainted with them. Taking in account that the young Curaçao players have won the club and national championships of Curaçao in the last years, he is inclined to rate the Barbados chess as stronger. (Note by the interviewer: Marvin Dekker, who is in a playoff for the club championship of Curaçao, ended on the second place in the Sagicor Open Youth Tournament last month).
Trevor is very content that he has been invited to be an arbiter at this tournament. He finds that it has a good level with several international grandmasters and woman grandmasters. He finds that Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica have missed a good opportunity to play against grandmasters. He will certainly promote this tournament when he gets back to Barbados. He, of course, acknowledges that travelling expenses and itineraries may pose some serious barriers for the players. However, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago have direct flights to Curaçao, so that for these countries there should be no problems with the flight connections.
Quirino Richardson (conducted during Curaçao Open)
12 August 2004