Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Chess In Emancipation Park?

Published:Sunday | October 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
National Fide Master Malaku Lorne (left) engages Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) vice-president Ambassador Dr Nigel Clarke (right) in a game of chess while JCF president Ian Wilkinson looks on.

There are plans to spread the sport of chess all over Jamaica. According to Jamaica Chess Federation president Ian Wilkinson, work is under way to engender growth through an increasing number of parish chess associations. In addition, he hopes to have champion chess players visiting locations all over the island.

"We hope to have chess in Emancipation Park and all the public spheres Half-Way Tree, Liguanea, downtown all around the country," he revealed in an interview. "We are setting up branches of the federation or associations in all the parishes because it's difficult to be in Kingston and help Trelawny, so we're doing that, and we have at least eight parish associations established now."

Wilkinson expects to ally the work of the branches associations do with a revival of a programme of visits to the parishes by top players.

"They used to go around the various parishes to spread chess," he reported of a bygone era, "so what is happening now, we are setting up a programme with the younger junior chess players and female players to have visiting arrangements throughout out the various parishes and various centres. We leave Kingston and Saint Andrew, where most of the top players reside, take them around the island and spread the gospel of chess," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said this was an activity promulgated by the federation in the late 1960s and the 1970s.




Citing the presence of talent "in various nooks and crannies of the country", he listed the benefits of what he called the king of games.

"Because of the numbers and letters on the board, players automatically do maths without knowing it. They do it in a fun way," he enthused.

Each of the 64 squares on the chess board is assigned a number. To arrive at this designation, the board is divided vertically and horizontally, with the eight vertical columns assigned letters and the horizontal rows given numbers. For example, the square on the top left hand corner is 'A8' and the one in the bottom right corner is 'H1'.

"They do commerce, business without even realising that they're doing it, and that spills over into natural life," he concluded.