By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Gambia Chess Federation (GCF) delegation comprising two officials and ten players has arrived in the Olympiad city of Chennai, India ahead of the 44th Chess Olympiad.
The 44th Chess Olympiad that kick-off last is underway and will end on 10th August 2022, in Chennai and the sport has attracted two 2,500 delegates drawn from 200 countries who are taking part in this year’s event.
Lamin Jammeh, head of Gambia Chess Federation (GCF) said the Gambian delegation was warmly welcomed by the cross-community community of India including the security, the media, and officials of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
According to him, GCF vice president, Mass Jeng will be among the voting delegates for both the FIDE congress and the Africa Chess Federation Congress, noting he will be participating in training trainers training that will pave his way to becoming the national trainer for the Gambia.
He also disclosed that the ten players are expecting to compete in different categories of events, adding that the male players include Jalamang Jallow, Ebrima Bah, Ousainou Garba, Joseph Dalia, and James Riley, while the female players are Ida Njie, Ya Basin Mboob, Sirra Jallow, Hoja Jallow, and Fatou Jabbie.
According to him, the trip to participate in this year’s event have is funded by FIDE and Gambia Chess Federation (GCF), saying that the government failed in its quest fiancé their trip.
For his part, Mass Jeng, vice president of Gambia Chess Federation said the Gambian players are in good spirit and determine to raise the Gambian flag higher among participating nations.
He stated that the national target for his association is Grant Master status as well as top position for the country and for the Gambia to be a powerhouse of Chess in the world.
“Our players are ready and steadfast to fly the Gambian flag high and it is only on such platforms they can improve. Our target is to become Grant Master as we already have FIDE Master and it is only through such platform we can achieve the status of International Master and Grant Master,” Mass Jeng, Vice President, Gambia Chess Federation.
He added: “Even though we were late to partake in the previous events, our players did extremely well to earn us the status of Candidate Master and FIDE Master. This time around we arrived early, prepared well, and expecting much better results, let us all cross our fingers and pray for the players so that we can come home with the glory.”
He highlighted that the global event will not only allow players to compete and improve on their performance but will equally avail them the exposure and recognition, adding that it is another opportunity for the GCF top delegates to network and establish contacts with other Federation counterparts with the view to promoting the culture of Chess in the country.