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Launch of Power Pawns Chess Club

GrandMaster (GM) Gulko playing FIDE Master Dr. Philip Corbin Women's Grandmaster (WGM) Anna Gulko playing Barbados junior players

History was created in Barbados Chess circles when Boris and Anna Gulko, two highly rated Grandmasters, played simultaneous demonstration games at the launch of Barbados Light & Power's newly formed Power Pawns Chess Club at Light And Power's Garrison Hill Complex on 22 January, 2004.

Grandmaster Boris Gulko, with a current world (FIDE) rating of 2607 and an American (USCF) rating of 2748, is the highest rated Grandmaster to play publicly in Barbados. He is the only person to hold both the Russian Championship (in 1977) and the US Championship (in 1994 and 1999) titles and has beaten the world's highest ever rated player, Gary Kasparov, on three occasions and only lost to him once, with four draws.

Gulko's wife and Women's Grandmaster, Anna (with a FIDE world rating of 2400) is also the only woman to hold the Russian Championship (in 1976 and 1985) and US Championship (in 1987) ladies titles.

The Gulkos played in total 14 persons each in simultaneous demonstration games. GM 
Gulko played against a number of top local players, including the promising juniors Martin Del Castilho and Felix Huggins from Lodge, and Dominic Del Castilho from Community College. He was also matched against some of the players from the newly formed Power Pawns Chess Club, namely Rawle Polius (the winner of last year's internal tournament), Corrie Harris, Nicole Hinds, Andrew Collymore, and Dr. Philip Corbin. Meanwhile Mrs Gulko played against several of our leading local juniors from the Lodge, Queens College, St Leonards, Alexandra, Louis Lynch, and St Matthews schools. GM Gulko won 12 of his games with two draws against FIDE Master and Barbados National Chess Champion Delisle Warner and FIDE Master and former Champion, Dr Philip Corbin. Similarly Mrs Gulko, whose games included 4 females, won 12 of her games with draws against male students Justin Blackman (Queens College) and Sumant Nanduri (Alexandra School), while Craig Clermont from the Lodge School also put up an exceptionally good fight against her before going under. 

The event was organised at short notice by the Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd. working jointly with the Barbados Chess Federation (BCF), with the chess equipment being provided by the Lodge School chess club. Also facilitating the event were International chess arbiter Mr. Rohan Waithe and the BCF Secretary Mr Kelvin Daniel. 

In welcoming the Gulkos and the participants, Light & Power's Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Stephen Worme indicated that Light & Power was pleased to facilitate this historic event at the same time as the launching of the Company's newly formed Power Pawns Chess Club. He congratulated Dr Philip Corbin, President of the Power Pawns, members of the Company's Employee Relations Council, members of the Barbados Chess Federation and all the others who were able to get these two highly rated grandmasters to take time out of their brief vacation to Barbados to participate in this historic event. 

In their final remarks before leaving, the Gulkos thanked the Barbados Light & Power Company, and the Barbados Chess Federation, in particular their President Dr. David Jordan, for facilitating this opportunity for them. They were full of praise of the quality of Chess in the country and promised to return to Barbados on future vacations and would be happy to participate in a similar exercise.

The following are the newly elected committee members for the Power Pawns Chess Club: President Dr. Philip Corbin, Vice President Rawle Polius-Alleyne, Secretary / Treasurer Corrie Harris, and PRO Andrew Collymore. 

The logo for the Power Pawns Chess Club, designed by Dr. Corbin, is as shown above. The red, yellow and blue colours are those conventionally associated with the phases of the three phase supply of electricity which the company generates and distributes throughout the island. Black and White are the colours of the chess pieces, and the white flash of lightning through the black pawn in the middle of the logo epitomises the fact that the club aims to be a base for raising up powerful lightning-sharp chess players.