The Liberia Chess Federation (LCF) has removed from office its leadership led by Mr. Winston Ireland and replaced it with an interim leadership headed by Mr. William Thompson. This surprising ‘move’ was made on Thursday March 15, 2018 at a Special General Assembly held on the V.P. Road, Old Road.
Delegates at the assembly, representing all 11 chess clubs in Liberia as well as individual members and members of the Executive Council, voted unanimously to pass a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE which effectively ended the leadership of Mr. Ireland.
Making a brief statement following his election as President of the interim team, Mr. William Thompson (a member of the Arabian Knights Chess Club) promised to uphold the constitution of the LCF and guaranteed the holding of general elections at the annual General Assembly in November 2018.
Also elected at the special assembly to serve as interim leaders are: Mr. Richmond Yarkpah, Vice President; Mr. Clarence Buigbo, Secretary General; Mr. Beauford Okai, Financial Secretary and Mr. Ivan Cholopray, Treasurer.
According to Mr. Thompson, the induction ceremony of the interim leadership will take place this Saturday at the V.P. Road, Old Road.
The Liberia Chess Federation was revamped in 2014 under the leadership of Hon. Samuel D. Tweah—now Minister of Finance and Development Planning. It was recognized a year later by the world chess body (FIDE) and received official accreditation in 2016. Liberia currently has five Candidate Masters, one of which is Anthony D Waylea Jr, Liberia highest rated player with 2028 ELO, one FIDE Master (the current National Champion, Mr. Barcon Harmon) and four FIDE Arbiters. The 2017 edition of the West African Individual Chess Championship, called Zone 4.4, was hosted in Monrovia by the Liberia Chess Federation during the tenure of Mr. Winston Ireland— the controversial handling of which served as one of the reasons for his removal from office.
With average ELO rating of 1832, Liberia ranks 153rd out of 179 FIDE recognized countries. Among many things, the interim leadership has the unenviable tasks of finding an office, reactivating chess activities at school, club and community levels, taking the body to general elections and ensuring a crack team represents Liberia at the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Georgia in September.