CHIEF MINISTER Fabian Picard said that “Gibraltar opens its doors to the people of chess”. Visiting the Tradewise Gibraltar International Chess Festival yesterday he spoke of the Rock of Gibraltar being the home of chess in January and February every year.
In an interview streamed live on the Tradewise Festival website with International Master Tania Sachdev the Chief Minister said Gibraltar was being inspired by the number of people who participate in the tournament year on year.
Local children in particular, he said, were also seeing that “this thing called chess” attracted hundreds of players to visit Gibraltar.
“They too are being inspired to look at chess and to understand why they should take an interest. To have in Gibraltar the calibre of some of the players in this year’s event and be a part of it demonstrates the overall quality of the festival,” he commented.
Picardo was proud of the fact that Gibraltar generally had seen chess grow and make its way into the schools. This, he said, had been on the initiative of those who run the festival on the Rock and in particular its main promoter Brian Callaghan.
“As a government we are very keen to encourage that growth and interest in chess in the schools, and chess is now a reality in Gibraltar schools which I feel will prove very positive,” he added. .
AT THE START OF ROUND 3
Addressing all the players in the Augustus Suite today at the start of Round 3, he said, “we are delighted that you are joining us to enjoy your ten days of chess and we hope you take a lot from this fantastic place we call home.”
The Chief Minister thanked all the players for “inspiring more generations of Gibraltarians to think about the sport of chess.”
With Tradewise being constantly in the news during the ten days of competition, Mr Picardo was convinced, everyone on the Rock of Gibraltar now realised what an important sport chess was.
“I hope many more of our children will turn to the sport as a result of the work that is done throughout the year by the Tradewise Festival,” he addressed the players.
Alice Mascarenhas, John Saunders and Leontxo Garcia, Tradewise Press Chess Officers