Bhutan will participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad which will be held in Chennai, India towards the end of this month. The game will be organised by FIDE, the International Chess Federation. The country’s top ten participants the Bhutan Chess Federation selected in May are preparing for the competition.
25 participants took part in an open invitation, out of which five girls and five boys were selected to represent the country. According to the Bhutan Chess Federation, the Chess Olympiad is preparation for the 2023 Youth Olympiad. Currently, the participants are taking online coaching for two months.
‘‘All are part-time players and we have issues with training because most of the training is imparted online. And online training is not as effective as in-person training. Most of the players are from Trongsa, Gelephu, and Phuntshogling,’’ said Ugyen Wangchuk, General Secretary of Bhutan Chess Federation.
He added the participants will compete in the open section and women’s section.
‘‘And the very fact that I like chess is that it shows women empowerment. From my point of view, chess is the only game where the queen is more powerful compared to any other pieces,” said Sonam Choden, a participant.
Bhutan Chess Federation was revived this year after remaining inactive for the last eight years. It was established in 2004.
‘‘My expectation for the tournament is for us to do well. And winning a few matches would be great. But mostly, it will be the experience that we will get from chess,’’ said Pema Yangsel Dorji, a participant.
‘‘Chess would be thinking ahead of time, focus, and also a lot of decision making. And one important thing would be risk-taking, you must take the risk to win the game sometimes,” said Lhundrup Namgyal Dorji, a participant.
187 countries will participate in the upcoming tournament. Bhutan is currently ranked 182nd in the International Chess Federation.
Edited by Phub Gyem