Rapid Chess championship set to start

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Chess enthusiasts compete at the Vodafone National Blitz Championship at the University of the South Pacific last month. Picture: JONA KONATACI

The 2024 Vodafone Fiji Rapid Chess Championship is scheduled to take place at The University of the South Pacific in Suva on Saturday.

The Fiji Chess Federation has made registration available through a Google Form on their official Facebook page.

Participants who register online will automatically be entered into a lucky prize draw.

The top favourite for the title is the National Champion Candidate Master (CM) Manoj Kumar.

Other strong competitors include CM Taione Sikivou, CM Ronald Terubea, Provisional FIDE Master (FM) Rudr Prasad, Provisional Women’s Candidate Master (WCM) Tanvi Prasad, WCM Gloria Sukhu, Provisional WCM Cydel Terubea, Prashil Prakash, and National Blitz Chess Champion Yash Krishen Maharaj of The University of the South Pacific.

Goru Arvin, the general secretary, expressed excitement about the upcoming championship, especially after the success of the National Blitz.

“The format for the championship will be 15 minutes plus 5 seconds per move in rapid. There will be various prizes available in categories for Open, Women, Primary, and Secondary School, with a focus on cultivating young chess talent from Fiji’s schools,” Arvin said.

“Many young and promising chess players from various schools are expected to participate and challenge the tournament favourites.”

“The growth of chess among the younger generation is seen as a positive development for the sport,” he added.

The Rapid Chess Championship, the Fiji Chess Federation is also planning to host the 2024 Vodafone Fiji Primary and Secondary School Teams Chess Championship.

This competition will allow schools to form chess teams of four players, like the World Chess Olympiads, but with Rapid Time Control.

The tournament is expected to feature wildcard talents, including Dr Navisheel Prasad, Jun Adricula, Ashwin Singh, and Donald Ecube, adding an element of unpredictability to the event.

“With the increasing intensity of chess in the Pacific, more new players are expected to join chess tournaments every month. The championship will be arbitrated by FIDE National Arbiter Jonathan Kunau.”

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