There is a love for chess in Bhutan

Email

The Bhutanese chess team showed impressive results at the recent Chess Olympiad.

The Bhutan Chess Federation was founded in 2004 and was functional until 2013. Then, it went inactive for eight years due to a lack of equipment and professional trainers. 

The good news is, after eight years of inactivity, the Chess Federation has been revived in Thimphu! Now, the organisation is known as the Bhutan Chess Club. The Bhutan Chess Club has professed its goal — to bring together chess-lovers and spread the love of chess among the people of Bhutan. 

As of now, the Bhutanese youth are not particularly exposed to chess. Thus, Ugyen Wangchuk, the general secretary of Bhutan Chess Club, says that the club plans to collaborate with schools and institutions to promote the sport, emphasising that chess enhances creative thinking, planning skills, concentration, and helps cognitive abilities.

At present, the Bhutan Chess Club has around 30 members who meet regularly at Changangkha. The club also has over a hundred online members.

For their dream to become a reality, the Bhutan Chess Club has to first get equipment, then identify players who have the potential to become trainers. Last but not least, they will pick out centres to collaborate with schools. On top of that, the club plans to establish chess centres all over Thimphu, including at bus stops and taxi stands. 

The club also plans to hold online chess competitions.

Bhutan’s impressive chess results at the Chess Olympiad

Bhutan’s potential in chess was on display at the 44th Chess Olympiad held in Chennai, India, from 28 July to 9 August 2022. This was their second appearance at the Olympiad. The first time was in 2014 in Norway. 

More than 2,000 participants from 180 different countries participated in this 2022 tournament.

Source: Kuensel

On 7 August, the women’s team lost 1-3 to Eswatini. The one victory was achieved by Sonam Choden, and it was her fifth consecutive win. On 8 August, the women’s fate took a turn for the better when they thrashed South Sudan 4-0, earning high praise from the Bhutanese and international spectacles alike.

Their strong standing set them up for a final showing against Cape Verde on 9 August, of which they beat 3-1. 

Meanwhile, the men’s team consistently faced strong opponents but gave their best. They lost 0-4 to Malawi on 7 August. They again lost 3.5-0.5 to Mali on 8 August. The half a point was from Ugyen Wangchuk who managed to chalk up a draw. 

Nonetheless, it was smiles for the men’s team when they celebrated a win on the final day, beating Comoros 3-1. 

In total, the women and men’s teams played 10 matches each. The women beat four teams, whereas the men beat three. Every team member won at least one match. 

At one point, the men’s team was in the second position for the category E prize. Unfortunately, they suffered two consecutive losses and the opportunity was gone. 

One of the women players, Sonam Choden achieved the Women’s Federation Master (WFM) norm with eight wins. Sadly, she did not have enough FIDE (International Chess Federation) rating for the WFM title.

Similarly, men's player Bhakta Monger won six matches and achieved Candidate Master (CM) norm. But once again, he did not have enough FIDE rating. Thus he was not awarded the CM title.

Despite that, having two members of the team almost achieve the Master level title was an impressive feat for the Bhutanese team.

Equally impressive is the teams’ jump in rankings. The women went from 149 in the beginning to 136 at the end of the tournament, while the men’s team shot from 183 to 172.

Another record for the books is the achievements of Pema Yangsel and Lhundrup Namgyal Dorji, the youngest players of the team. They became the youngest Bhutanese chess players to win at a Chess Olympiad.

The captain of the Bhutanese chess team, Captain Palden, is of the opinion that the good results shown by the Bhutanese team is proof that given resources and support, the Bhutanese have the potential to reach great heights in chess.



Related Posts

What are the traditional sports of Bhutan?

The Bhutanese have a variety of traditional sports. Some test your aim and skills, whereas with others, it’s about pure...

Jul 13, 2021 11:15

More Bhutanese youths are engaged in football

Sitting at the 186th position in the FIFA rankings, Bhutan looks to improve its rankings in the years to come.

Aug 03, 2022 20:19

Rifles and Rituals: Satire and Societal Shifts in Bhutan as...

Pawo Choyning Dorji, whose film "The Monk and the Gun" offers insight into the Himalayan nation's modernization process.

Feb 20, 2024 11:04

All You Need to Know About Gelephu Mindfulness City

The kingdom of Bhutan is planning to develop a "mindfulness city" covering about 2.5% of its land, which is larger than...

Feb 08, 2024 10:42

Bhutanese artist wins one of Asia's top art contests

The International Artist Grand Prize Competition is held in Taipei, Taiwan.

Oct 04, 2023 18:19

Art United: A Contemporary Vision' Exhibition Now Open to Public

'Art United: A Contemporary Vision' Exhibition was unveiled by Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck

Sep 19, 2023 18:56

Latest

News

Bhutan Receives Annual Special Travel Destinations Award

This is Bhutan's second tourism award in China, reaffirming its status as an extraordinary travel destination.

Feb 02, 2024 11:12

Bhutan Waives SDF for MICE Events

Bhutan seeks to establish itself as a prime destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events in the region.

Jan 24, 2024 14:34

Features

Rifles and Rituals: Satire and Societal Shifts in Bhutan as Portrayed in 'The Monk and The Gun

Pawo Choyning Dorji, whose film "The Monk and the Gun" offers insight into the Himalayan nation's modernization process.

Feb 20, 2024 11:04

All You Need to Know About Gelephu Mindfulness City

The kingdom of Bhutan is planning to develop a "mindfulness city" covering about 2.5% of its land, which is larger than the size of...

Feb 08, 2024 10:42

Business

Brand Bhutan: Karma Yangchen

Karma Yangchen, a distinguished artisan from Bhutan exemplifies a profound commitment to the art of handwoven textiles.

Dec 14, 2023 10:22

Brand Bhutan: Bhutan Herbal Tea

Bhutan Herbal Tea is the brainchild of two Bhutanese individuals who first crossed paths in New York during a Bhutanese New Year gathering...

Nov 25, 2023 13:56

Sports

Bhutan Cricket's New Milestone: The Inaugural Indoor Cricket Academy

The Bhutan Cricket Council Board (BCCB) inaugurated its inaugural indoor cricket academy on 20th December, with the objective of ensuring...

Dec 21, 2023 14:57

Paro FC Clinches Third Consecutive Victory in BOB Bhutan Premier League

Paro FC has once again claimed the BOB Bhutan Premier League championship, marking their third consecutive title victory during the season's...

Dec 12, 2023 10:26

Travel

Alii Palau Airlines Inaugural Flight From Singapore to Palau via Drukair

On November 23, 2023, Alii Palau Airlines made history with its inaugural flight to Palau.

Dec 04, 2023 10:32

Singapore to Palau: Alii Palau Airlines Launches Historic Route With Drukair

You can now visit the Palau Paradise directly from Singapore!

Oct 27, 2023 16:17

Lifestyle

Chunipa Losar: Bhutan's Timeless Celebration of Traditions and Offerings

Chunipa Losar is a day of offerings, a moment when communities come together to express gratitude, seek blessings, and strengthen bonds.

Jan 12, 2024 12:31

Bhutan's Time-Honored Tradition: Exploring the Nyilo Season and the Lolay Ritual

Approximately 750 children recently took part in the traditional practice known as "lolay" in Bhutan, marking the beginning of the Nyilo...

Jan 04, 2024 14:18

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!