Rapid chess can help sport grow - Ramsay
M.R.Games Entertainment director Zachary Ramsay has likened the rapid version of chess to Twenty20 cricket and believes this edition will help accelerate the sport's growth and make it more spectator-friendly to Jamaicans.
Ramsay reasoned that the pure form of chess does not usually excite the common Jamaican; however, he believes tournaments like his Rapid Chess tournament, an open game competition, which premieres at the Old Dramatic Theatre at the University of the West Indies (UWI), August 25-26, can be fun and entertaining.
"One problem with chess is that it can be long and drawn out. It isn't very spectator - friendly, but rapid tournaments are very exciting and fun to watch, and we welcome visitors to come and watch.
"Twenty20 is a good comparison (to rapid chess). It (rapid chess) is something that is definitely growing in popularity. Back when I was a player, there wasn't any rapid tournaments, maybe one a year. But it is something that is growing and, like twenty20 cricket, it is making that transition to more tournaments and the growing of the event, so it's definitely exciting and something I think people will enjoy," he said.
Ramsay, an organiser of chess tournaments for over a decade, says patrons expect the best quality events from him and promises that this will be no less, with some top-class local players already confirmed.
So far he has confirmed many - times national champion and Senior Master, Warren Elliot; International Master Shane Matthews; CD Master elect Shreyas Smith, and former national champion and Senior Master Malaku Lorne.
Matthews will also put on a simultaneous exhibition for charity, where he will play approximately 30 people at the same time.
"There are other events, but people are familiar with events I put on, they expect a lot from us. Chess is one of the fastest growing sport in the island; in my opinion, the fastest-growing sport in the island. It offers so much more than a sport, it's also a development tool and that is why I am interested in putting on more events like this and boosting chess in the island," he added.
The tournament will feature a FIDE-rated rapid chess event on the Saturday, which is to be followed by a blitz event on the Sunday.
There will be five rounds, with 25 minutes for each player, for the rapid section, and five minutes each over nine rounds for the blitz section. Over $50,000 will be on offer in cash and prizes.
Part proceeds from the tournament will go to the National Children's Home.