Great Yarmouth chess tournament secures sponsorship deal

Daya Thayan and wife Sumi with Khartik and finance director Ian Jarvis.Submitted by Stephen Pullinge

Daya Thayan and wife Sumi with Khartik and finance director Ian Jarvis.Submitted by Stephen Pullinger - Credit: Submitted by Stephen Pullinger

Lowestoft-based Kingsley Healthcare has stepped in as headline sponsor to safeguard the future of a popular Great Yarmouth chess tournament.

The Yarmouth congress, traditionally held over a weekend in April at the town hall, regularly attracts more than 150 players, including grandmasters and international masters, from all over the country.

However, the loss of its major sponsor had cast doubts over whether the event could continue at the town hall, recognised to be one of the best chess venues in the country.

The decision of Kingsley to step in as headline sponsor was immediately welcomed by Yarmouth Tourism Officer Alan Carr who described the congress as “a great early season boost to the local economy”.

He said: “We always look forward to welcoming back the chess players to Great Yarmouth. The event brings welcome trade to local hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.”

Kingsley CEO Daya Thayan signalled his company’s involvement with the event by inviting local chess prodigy Karthik Saravanan to the national care home group’s new headquarters, Kingsley House, in Clapham Road South, Lowestoft.

Karthik, 15, who lives in Gorleston and goes to the town’s Lynn Grove Academy, is a junior international chess player and won a prize at this year’s Yarmouth congress.

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Mr Thayan said: “As a company, we take great pride in supporting the local community and one of our care homes, Eversley, is in Yarmouth.”

Congress organiser John Wickham, chairman of Norfolk County Chess Association, said: “Kingsley’s sponsorship is fantastic news.

“Despite generous support from the council and town centre partnership we may not have been able to continue at the town hall without a major sponsor for a second year.”

He said they would now be able to increase prize money to attract even more players to the event which will take place on the weekend of April 22 and 23.