Serdon Cowan, “Kasparov impressed with strides being made in local chess,” Jamaica Observer, 6 April 2014.
RUSSIAN chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov graced the Jamaica Chess Federation with his presence at an Amateur Chess tournament held at the AISK School in Liguanea yesterday.
Kasparov, who is on a worldwide tour to lobby support for the presidency of the world governing body, became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess champion in 1985 at the age of 22 by defeating then champion Anatoly Karpov and is considered among the greatest chess players of all time.
Ian Wilkinson welcomes Garry Kasparov.
The 50-year-old outlined that he was happy to be in Jamaica and that he applauded the efforts being put in by the local body.
“I am very happy to be here, I am just travelling around the world and nothing makes me happier than to see that so much effort is being placed behind promoting chess, especially for kids. Here in Jamaica you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to realise the effort that is being placed behind making chess a real game.
“I feel that something great will come from here.”
“It is quite a challenge here because Jamaica is known for many other things but chess, and having so many great names in the physical sports makes this intellectual challenge even more compelling. So that’s why I think it gives extra credit to Ian (Wilkinson, president of the Jamaica Chess Federation) and his team for achieving such tremendous success in bringing so many kids and making chess a big talking point and creating a vibrant atmosphere where chess can thrive,” said the former world champion.
He added that he is truly optimistic about the passion that he has felt so far in Jamaica, and believes his trip to the island was worthwhile.
“It’s a short stay in Jamaica, but even these few hours [were] enough to understand the enthusiasm by chess players, organisers and those in power to promote the game of chess…all the components are here and with all these components in place I feel that something great will come from here,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Kasparov also told this newspaper that if elected president, Jamaica would be of much assistance to him in helping promote chess around the region.
“If I am elected I will be running an organisation with 181 countries already, but my idea is just to energise those who can lead their countries and their regions and naturally Jamaica, on the current vibrant stage, will be the leader of the region to help me to promote chess and to bring it to the level where it deserves to be.”
President Wilkinson said it was great to have a chess player of that calibre boosting the sport locally.
The tournament winners were Damion Davy in the Masters Blitz, Rachel Miller in the Intermediate Rapid, Kishan Clarke in the Under-8 and Nicholas Lyn in the Under-10 division.