Nine new female teams to compete in 45th Chess Olympiad

The Women’s Commission National Female Team Initiative, a significant step in promoting women’s chess, reached its penultimate stage on Sunday, June 23, 2024. Led by the FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess (WOM), this initiative aims to help countries establish female teams for the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Budapest.

The online closing ceremony celebrated the successful completion of the first phase of training for these new Olympiad participants. Notable figures like Khader Sami (Chair, Trainers Commission) and Jose Carillo (President, Chess Confederation of America) joined coaches and new Olympiad participants.

The training program, running from March 15, 2024, to June 16, 2024, featured an impressive lineup of coaches, including FM Ricko Depaune, WFM Anu Bayer, FI Ryan Blackwood, WIM Denise Bouah, IM Jomo Pitterson, WIM Natalija Popova, WIM Deborah Richards Porter, WIM Knarik Mouradian, and FI Russel Porter. Their expertise and guidance have been instrumental in preparing these teams for their international debut.

The initiative, spearheaded by WOM Chair Anastasia Sorokina and WOM Councilor Tris-Ann Richards, along with team members Yilmaz Kartal, Paris Klerides, Akua Kosife Esse, and Monalisha Khamboo, began in August 2023. It has successfully fostered the development of female teams from nine countries: Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, the US Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Nauru, and the Cayman Islands.

This initiative provides these countries with a team captain and financial travel support, ensuring they are well-prepared to compete in the Olympiad for the first time.

Looking ahead, the final stages of the initiative will involve collaboration with the FIDE Trainer Commission (TRG) to enroll these countries in the Olympiad Training Support Program (July-August 2024). This program is set to provide further support and resources to these debutants.

This initiative represents a significant step towards gender equality in chess, empowering female players from underrepresented countries to participate in one of the sport’s most prestigious events.