PM Expresses Support for Chess in Jamaica

Photo: JIS Photographer Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, makes his address at the official launch of the three-day Jamaica International Chess Festival, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on October 13.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness has declared his full support for chess in Jamaica because of its role in the development of the mind and the encouragement of strategic thinking.
  • Addressing the official launch of the three-day Jamaica International Chess Festival, at a cocktail reception held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston on October 13, Mr. Holness noted that chess “ (can be) an alternative pathway to success that Jamaicans can venture into”.
  • Mr. Holness expressed hope that the Jamaica International Chess Festival will spark a general interest among the population to raise up the next generation of great players.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness has declared his full support for chess in Jamaica because of its role in the development of the mind and the encouragement of strategic thinking.

Addressing the official launch of the three-day Jamaica International Chess Festival, at a cocktail reception held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston on October 13, Mr. Holness noted that chess “ (can be) an alternative pathway to success that Jamaicans can venture into”.

“It is a great game to teach patience and respect. Chess is a catalyst for social development in communities that are underserved. We need to give these alternative pathways to the youngsters in our communities so that they know there are other ways to success,” he said.

Mr. Holness expressed hope that the Jamaica International Chess Festival will spark a general interest among the population to raise up the next generation of great players.

The Prime Minister, who once coached and played chess while at his alma mater, St. Catherine High School, also expressed gratitude to and pleasure at the young and international chess grandmasters for travelling to Jamaica to teach the sport to other children.

He hailed, Ambassador Dr. Nigel Clarke and Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, Co-chairs and Executive Producers of the Inaugural Jamaica International Chess Festival for their role in staging the event.

In his remarks, Ambassador, Dr. Nigel Clarke said chess “is a tool of solid upliftment that can be used to make good decisions”.

He said the three-day event, which culminates today (October 15) is aimed at catalysing interest in the game among young Jamaicans, as well as broadening the reach of chess in the country.

Additionally, he said it will “motivate and stimulate” existing local players to higher levels of achievement.

Grandmaster, Maurice Ashley, who is Jamaican born, expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for his support of the game, declaring that “Jamaica can be great at chess”.

Woman Grandmaster and Canadian Women’s Champion, 17-year-old Qiyu Zhou said she wants to inspire the children of Jamaica to play chess and “start or continue to pursue whatever they want to achieve”.

For his part, Attorney-at-Law and President of the Jamaica Chess Federation, Ian Wilkinson said the staging of the international festival is a culmination of a dream. He On the final day (October 15), at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, teams battled for supremacy in a four round rapid game.

The teams consisted of the Woman Grandmaster and Woman International Master as well as the country’s National Age Group and CARIFTA Champions.

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