My son Kyle is not a normal boy. This week he took up a teddy bear and hugged it, then brought it to me and ordered, “Hug.”
Anderson Gordon was re-elected unopposed as president of the T&T Chess Association at the annual general meeting held at the Preysal Secondary School on Sunday.
The meeting, called eight months after Gordon and his executive came into office, was attended by the association’s ten member clubs.
Three members of the executive, however, were replaced. First vice president David Martin attended the AGM but left before the election of officers, clearly indicating no interest in rejoining the executive. Martin is president of the Southern Chess Club and the Grant Memorial Presbyterian School Chess Club which he founded some three years ago. The association’s secretary Sandy Razark was nominated for re-election but declined. Taking her place was Debra Walcott.
Trevor Flower, former second vice president, replaces Martin. Roderick Noel, who served as first vice president in the previous administration, returns as second vice president. Naresh Bhola takes the place of Keevin James as third vice president.
Re-elected to the executive are Lisa Brown, assistant secretary, Mala Agostini, treasurer and Sonja Johnson, public relations officer.
Two chess clubs were admitted to membership in the association; SCUTT led by Russell Smith, international arbiter and general secretary of FIDE America, and Chess For Life, led by Naroutam Singh, chess coach and father of national junior champion Vishnu Singh.
In his report to the AGM, the president Gordon disclosed that $65,000 had been committed by sponsors for holding the Absolute Sub Zonal at the Ambassador Hotel, Long Circular, starting March 26. This sum is made up of $50,000 from the Ministry of Tourism and $15,000 from First Citizens Asset Management Ltd.
According to the report, an international arbiter has been secured for the Sub Zonal, arrangements for which a “broad committee” is in charge. Gordon indicated that overseas entry into this event has been “very good”, so far, with 30 players registering. He noted that former national champion Yogendranath Ramsingh was among the T&T entries.
The Sub Zonal, then, would mark the return of Yogi to the competitive arena after an absence of several years.
The president reported that sponsorship was being sought for the formation of a chess league which would be established at four levels: Community, juniors, corporate and super. The purpose of the league is to “increase the number of participants in the sport of chess.”
As for the chess-in-schools programmeu, Gordon disclosed the good news that FIDE would be sending a GM to T&T to conduct a workshop with supervisors, a group of twelve teachers who would become school instructors. Since January 2014, meetings have been held with school principals and and communications with FIDE for technical assistance.
The Chess in Communities initiative has started with a church group in Belmont involving 20 youngsters including four girls.
At present, the association is reviewing offers from GMs and IMs to coach the national team for the coming Olympiad.
In her financial report, treasurer Mala Agostini indicated that when they took office in July last year they met a bank balance of roughly $208,000 in the RBC TT account, $200,000 of which represented the government subvention received just before the election.
Among the major expenses of the Association over the last eight months were Carifta 2012, $99,136; National finals 2013, $28,000; National Juniors and U20, $17,000.
Members of the Disciplinary Committee: Cecil Lee, Keevin James, Hayden Lee. The Appeals Tribunal: David Jones, Russell Smith, Kamla De Silva, Hermes Mentor, Petersen Phillip. Trustees: Darryl Davis, Ryan Harper, Dirk McKenzie.