A 13-member delegation from the Liberia Chess Federation (LCF), has left the country to participate in the 44th World Chess Olympiad.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will take place from July 28 to August 10, 2022, in Chennai, the Capital City of the Tamil Nadu region located on the Southeastern coast of India.
The team’s departure followed the federation's completion of its squad, which included 10 players.
The ten players include five males on the Open Section Team and five females on the Female Team who are expected to represent the country in the most significant chess competition of this year.
The male players include Liberia’s 2022 national champion, Bobby Ballah, Candidate Master; Daniel Kolliemenen, Fidi Master; Barcon Harmon, Joel Ebiekuta, and Arnold Smith.
The female squad includes Abigail Karyah (current champion), Teta Thompson (former champion), Windor Tarplah (former champion), Meleh N. Davis, and Princess Banney.
Other members of the delegation are Thomas Karyah, President Of the Liberia Chess Federation and FIDE Congress Delegate, Tamba William Saa, Captain of the open session team and Foday Kondoh, Captain of the female team.
The selection of participating players was done based on a five-day qualifier, which was held in the A. Nanuh Manly Memorial Library at the William V.S Tubman High School Campus from May 28 –to June 5, 2022.
While in India, Liberia will participate in the Chess General Assembly which is expected to be held from July 31 –to August 9.
According to the International Chess Federation (FIDE), this year’s edition will witness an increased number of participating teams from the number recorded in the last edition which took place in 2018 in Batumi, Georgia.
In the open section, two participating teams have been added from the last edition to make it 187 while 11 teams registered for the Women’s event to make it 162.
Meanwhile, before the team’s departure on Monday, July 25, 2022, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee urged the team to represent Liberia well on the world stage and make the country and themselves proud.
“As you prepare to embark on this journey to India, I urge you to do more as you look for a second consecutive World Chess olympiad appearance,” the mayor said.
“As you go, bear in mind you are not representing yourself but the entire 4.5 million people of Liberia so, as you get on the board, you should know that you are lifting the flag of our nation high.
“Give your all when you are given the opportunity, follow the directives and instructions given to you by your technical team so that the objective that we have set together with the hard-working President (George Weah), will be achieved.
“You are not just going to India to represent but to make an impact by at least winning something or your category.
“I have no doubt in this team due to the good leadership ability of Thomas Karyah as president of the LCF to make things work out while away from home,” Mayor Koijee said.
He used the occasion to applaud the federation's first president, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah, for his tremendous effort to revamp the chess sector by capturing them in the budget.