Monday, January 20, 2014

Haiti set to compete at Chess Olympiad 2014 in Norway

The modest participation by Guyana at the chess Olympiads in 1978 and 1980 reverberated well among other Caribbean nations owing to its stellar performances. When FIDE Caribbean representative Alan Herbert visited Guyana six years ago or thereabouts, accompanied by ‘Reds’ Pereira, he was armed with the results of Guyana’s exemplary showing at both Olympiads. Naturally, Herbert wanted to rekindle the fire that had been extinguished when chess, unfortunately, fell by the wayside for at least a decade.

But now we are back, and there is a measure of optimism surrounding efforts to make chess as attractive as it was previously. In contrast to Guyana’s regrettable decade old hiatus, however, one Caribbean nation, Haiti, has been making some unusual waves in the chess world. Although beset by hurricanes and earthquakes, Haiti remains strong in chess and has been participating more-or-less regularly in the chess Olympiads beginning from 1986. Haiti missed the 2008 chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, owing to a series of hurricanes that ravaged the island nation, but since then, Haiti has played every Olympiad with the last being Istanbul, Turkey, 2012. And I am optimistic the nature-troubled nation would answer the bell at Tromso, Norway, for the 2014 Olympiad in August .

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