Five-time chess champion Gilles Suez-Panama of Martinique would be leading a strong contingent of players for the inaugural CARIFTA Chess Games at UWI-SPEC from April 6-10. "I want to help in any possible way to raise the standard of our Caribbean chess style as a player, as a trainer, an arbiter, and an organiser of chess event" said the chess champion in an exclusive interview with the Guardian. Suez-Panana is the Vice President of La Ligue d'Echecs de la Martinique and technical advisor for the CARIFTA team. The Martinique contingent comprises eight players: four boys and four girls. Five of the players will be competing in the under-12 category. Suez-Panama is confident that his country will be taking home one of the medals in this category. "I have chosen the players for their obvious abilities, their fighting spirit and their sportsmanship," he said.
Martinique's under-20 participant is Kenny Cepisul. Kenny has a FIDE rating of 1796. "He's used to competition," said Suez-Panama, "Not only chess but also in running. He participated in the CARIFTA Games 2010 in 110m hedges semifinals. "I can tell you he is one of our most talented players as he often finishes in first places in local tournament. Let's bet he will want more in the Chess Games." The two remaining players will be competing in the under-16 category.
Suez-Panama also said he intended to play in the T&T International Open which will run simultaneously with the CARFITA Chess Games. "I've played in Trinidad in 2007 and 2009. I've often played in Barbados where I won the Heroes Day cup candidates 2009. I play a lot of international events: in France, Gibraltar, England." He added that four days after the CARIFTA Chess Games he will be accompanying a team of players in the junior France Championship as coach. Three of these players will be competing in the CARIFTA.