– 1st Guyanese elected to International Ethics CommissionThe 43rd World Chess Olympiad which recently concluded in Batumi, Georgia could be seen as Guyana’s most successful Olympiad yet, with a number of historic occurrences having occurred over the two-week period. While the competition was coming to a close, Members of the Guyana Chess Federation, President James Bond and Yolander Persaud, found themselves engrossed in the happenings of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) General Assembly. Here, Persaud was said to have fallen in love with the Ethics Commission; and seeing this, Bond began his campaign for what would be the first Guyanese representative on the international body. Coming out of a considerable pool of fifteen nominees, Persaud eventually made it to the top five, after two rounds of voting. Persaud is the first Guyanese to serve on any FIDE body.Sharing with media operatives, President of the GCF noted, “It was our sole purpose to put Guyana on the map of FIDE, and this is the start. We have now made strategic alliances, and the Federation is poised for impacting administrative changes in the months ahead.”And when the overall review of team performances was released, Guyana again found herself scoring success.The Open team, consisting of Anthony Drayton, Taffin Khan, Loris Nathoo and Glenford Corlette, racked up 9 points, a vast improvement from their five in the 42nd Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016, and the 6 in Tromso, Norway in 2014.Taffin Khan ended on a high for the team with 6.5 individual points; Drayton was close with 6 points; and the first time players at the Olympiad, Nathoo and Corlette, registered 3.5 and 2.5 points respectively. This resulted in the team placing fourth in their category, the first time that Guyana has made it into the top ten in their last three Olympiads.As for the women’s team, which comprised of Maria Varona Thomas, Sheriffa Ali and teenagers Nellisha Johnson and Sasha Shariff, they also played to a massive improvement. With 7 points this year, the women have recorded a one point improvement over their 6 in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016.Being the most experienced of the lot, Varona Thomas and Ali racked up 6.5 and 4.5 points respectively. Playing a commendable hand for their first such international tournament, 17-year-old Nellisha Johnson copped 3 points while 14-year-old Shariff had 1.5.Taking individual performances into consideration, Guyana finished 138th out of 184 participating countries. Given that they finished at 164th in 2016, this means that Guyana has made a 26 place jump in 2018. This has been the most improved performance of Caricom countries for 2018, given that both Aruba and Bahamas have dropped 18 places, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica have dropped 15 places, Barbados has dropped 7 places, and Bermuda has dropped by 4.The only other teams to record improvement were Haiti and Suriname who jumped 5 and 2 places respectively.Chess will continue to be alive in Guyana, as the Federation has already planned a packed calendar of events for 2019.