Article provided by: César Augusto Blanco Gramajo
The first efforts to promote CC in Guatemala date back to the early 1970s, when Paul Dougherty, through his magazine “Tablero” (Chessboard)- published adverts on CADAP. Back then, he played in some postal events and managed to line-up a national team for some events, but they lacked continuity.
As a result of those efforts, some other players were initiated into the activity and by the end of the 1970s, after consistent participation in some tournaments, Antonio Lascurain from Argentina proposed that César Blanco Gramajo should take over LIGUAP’s activities in order to have an official representation and try to increase the number of CC players in Guatemala.
By the mid-1980s, the first national tournaments were organised and the first winner was Joachim Dorner, whilst the second event was won by Jaime Briz. Sadly, the local postal service became worse and many players started to quit.
As a result of those tournaments, Guatemala managed to line-up a national team for the Panamerican tournament and the Olympiad for the first time.
In 1996 and 1997, Guatemala obtained its first International Masters through the achievements of Messrs Dorner and Blanco Gramajo, and in 1999 the latter also achieved the Senior International Master Title. Before these, Guatemala had also obtained some good results such as the second place in the CADAP Zonal tournament, the leadership in CADAP’s ranking, and representation at ¾-Finals of the World Championship.
It is in the year 1997 that Joachim Dorner was elected President of LIGUAP and began strong work in order to raise Latin American correspondence chess. This led him to the Presidency of CADAP in 1998 but, surprisingly, he retired a couple of months later from all chess activities, leaving LIGUAP without a proper representative too. After that, Mr. César Blanco took responsibility of being LIGUAP’s President.
Mr. Blanco won two titles of CADAP zonal tournaments between 2001 and 2005 (XIII and XIV) and also got the first postal GM title for the Central America and Caribbean region in 2003.
Guatemala has participated in team (Olympiad and Panamerican) tournaments actively since the 90′s.
Also, and additional SIM title was got by Mr. Francisco Guevara in 2005.
By 2005, LIGUAP change his name to LIGUAD to reflect a more flexible field of action (P = postal, D = distance).
Finally, Guatemala has also already participated in three world championship finals (XXII, XXIV and XXVI) though GM César Blanco.
César Augusto Blanco Gramajo