Minister pledges support for chess foundation.

Prakash Ramadhar, Minister of Legal Affairs, right, at the chessboard with his brother Kishore during the Caribbean Chess Carnival. Looking on is US Grandmaster Gennady Sagalchik who won the open section of the tournament.

17 Aug 2010

Prakash Ramadhar, Minister of Legal Affairs, has commended the work of the T&T Chess Foundation and assured the organisation of the support of the People’s Partnership government. The Minister was addressing participants at the final round of the nine-round Caribbean Chess Carnival held recently at the Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair. After welcoming players who came to the tournament from across the Caribbean and beyond, Ramadhar recalled that his early experience as a chess player was a somewhat “frightening” one. The fact is, he did not play the game well while his elder brother Kishore was extra good at it.

“Having been beaten so often by him I eventually gave it up,” he confessed. The Minister then provoked widespread amusement by adding, “as a result of my failure at chess, I have become a politician.” Ramadhar noted, however, that whenever he was faced with a strategic decision, he did nothing without consulting his big brother. While there was no substitute for hard work, Ramadhar noted that the evolution in technology now required more than ever that “we should also work smart.”

He spoke about the contribution that chess could play to the process of developing the mental faculties, the power of the intellect, of young people. The People’s Partnership government, he said, was concerned about the future of the country’s youth and, as a result, would do whatever it could to “enhance this first class effort.” He assured that his government would work with the T&T Chess Foundation to “develop and spread what you have here to the many corners of T&T.” The Caribbean Chess Carnival had a successful eighth annual edition, attracting a large number of senior and junior players from T&T and the region.

The tournament started as an event for juniors and was later expanded to include an open section. This year, the Carnival added two new categories to encourage novices to join the tournament circuit. The Carnival is one of T&TCF’s major annual events which include a number of popular tournaments for young chess players. The Foundation also conducts chess programmes in a number of schools and Sunday morning Let’s Play Chess classes at the Public Library, Port-of-Spain, where the game is taught free of charge to members of the public.