The positive impacts of the game of chess are well documented, including boosting mental alertness, promoting problem-solving skills, optimizing memory improvement and enhancing creativity and foresight.

Over the years, studies have demonstrated the inherent link between playing the game of chess and the overall academic improvement of students particularly in the areas of reasoning and critical thinking.

Based on this premise, the National Community Foundation have been the champions of chess in schools for the last decade. On July 7th, approximately 70 registered students representing primary and secondary schools across the island, converged at the Castries Town Hall for the Annual Schools Chess Tournament. This one day event is a culmination of the ongoing Chess in Schools programme where students are exposed to the game by either joining a chess club at the secondary school level, or as part of the curriculum at primary schools.

The event was organized by the NCF in collaboration with presenting sponsor EC Global Insurance, a partnership between the two entities which spans 9 out of the last 10 years of the tournament’s existence.

According to Agency & Operations Manager of EC Global, Anne Marie Herman, “This investment for us at EC Global, is a sound one, which continues to have a positive impact on the academic performance and the holistic development of our students. We remain committed to the growth of this programme. This incredible programme has continued to support the development of the critical thinking and reasoning ability of our young people – skills which of course have a direct, positive impact on the academic performance of our students – as evidenced by the remarkable performance of previous tournament participants in the achievement of their educational and career pursuits.”

From the point of view of EC Global, all the students are winners as their avid participation in the games will continue to make a difference in their critical thinking and reasoning abilities. Special thanks were extended to the staff of NCF, teachers, students, facilitators and former students of the programme, who continue to give of themselves towards the development of the chess programme in Saint Lucia.


Nov 03, 2020

Speed Chess campaign starts today

World Champion Magnus Carlsen will take on 2018 World Junior Champion Parham Maghsoodloo today in his first Speed Chess Championship match since he won the tournament in 2016 and 2017. He defeated Hikaru Nakamura in the finals of the tournament back then, while in Carlsen’s absence Hikaru beat Wesley So in the final in 2018 and 2019. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was the first player into the quarterfinals after beating Nihal Sarin 16.5:11.5 in Sunday’s opening match.

The Speed Chess Championship is a 16-player online knockout tournament that features 3-hour matches consisting of 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz games, 60 minutes of 3+1 blitz games and 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet games. The players play as many games as fit in the allotted time, with a short break between the sections. A tie at the end is decided by 4 more bullet games followed, if required, by an Armageddon game.

Half of the 16 players in this year’s event were invited, while the other half made it through a series of qualifiers. The field is as follows:

See also:

  • Magnus Carlsen vs. Parham Maghsoodloo | All the games
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Nihal Sarin | All the games
Nov 25, 2021

World Chess Championship match is back!

Three years and one pandemic since Magnus Carlsen defeated Fabiano Caruana in London to defend his title for a 3rd time, the World Chess Championship match is back! This time Magnus faces Russian underdog Ian Nepomniachtchi, whose late surge into the Top 5 has been perfectly timed to win the Candidates Tournament and earn the right to challenge Magnus to a €2 million showdown. The 14-game match kicks off on Friday, November 26th in Dubai and we’ve got an amazing commentary line-up, featuring Anish Giri and Judit Polgar.

Let’s take a look at some of the details.

Who are the players?

30-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen became world no. 1 at the age of 19 and in 2013, aged 22, he defeated Vishy Anand to become the World Chess Champion. He’s held onto the title ever since, recently celebrated 10 years unbroken as the world no. 1, and has dominated in fast and online chess as well. He’s one of a handful of players spoken of as the greatest of all time.

Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi is just four months older than Magnus and held the edge over his Norwegian rival in junior events before 12-year-old Magnus took over on the rating list in October 2003 and never looked back. Ian had impressive performances, including winning the Russian and European Championships in 2010, but remarkably it wasn’t until 2019 that he finally entered the Top 10. He’ll start the match as the world no. 5.

How did they qualify?

Magnus Carlsen plays as the reigning World Champion. Since first winning the title in 2013, he’s defended it three times: against the same opponent, Vishy Anand, in 2014, then against Sergey Karjakin in 2016 and Fabiano Caruana in 2018.

Ian Nepomniachtchi qualified for the 8-player Candidates Tournament by finishing in 2nd place in the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix. The 2020 Candidates in Yekaterinburg, Russia started just as the pandemic was forcing lockdowns around the world and had to be stopped at the midway point, with Ian in the joint lead but having lost his last game. The event finally resumed only 389 days later, but Ian’s nerves held strong as he won with a round to spare — earning the right to play Magnus.

Where are they playing?

The match is taking place in the Dubai Exhibition Centre as part of Expo 2020 Dubai, an event which, as the name suggests, was delayed by the pandemic. Preparations are well underway!

Follow the Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi World Chess Championship live here on chess24 from Friday November 26th!

See also:

  • Official website
Nov 14, 2016

Carlsen: “I’ll punch him until he finally knocks over”

World Champion Magnus Carlsen was in good form at the opening press conference of the 2016 FIDE World Chess Championship in the Fulton Market Building in New York. He talked up Sergey Karjakin’s resilience in defence, only to express the desire to knock him down, and answered a question on the best player in the world: “If I may be so bold, I would say myself!” Karjakin had some good lines of his own, though, as they prepare to face off tomorrow in Game 1 of the match.

The seven participants spoke first in the order in which they were seated: FIDE VP Israel Gelfer, Agon CEO Ilya Merenzon, Phosagro CEO Andrey Guryev, EG Capital Advisors’ Michael Stanton (both representing sponsors), Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin and Chief Arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos. That meant we had to wait a while to get to the players, and there were some awkward moments. Gelfer became the second person at a press conference about the match to refer to the Kasparov-Karpov match in New York in 1990, which makes it seem that the 1995 Kasparov-Anand clash on the top of the World Trade Center is being airbrushed out of history as not an “official” FIDE match.

The most substantial answer of the day was when Carlsen was asked about his opponent’s best quality:

Sergey is very well-prepared. He has studied the game very well, is very knowledgeable and, most of all, he’s extremely resilient in defence. He’s very, very good in finding resources even in difficult positions – finding positions he can defend. For me, it’s a matter of when I get the chance I’ll try to punch him until he finally knocks over!