Jamaica is Top English-speaking Caribbean Country in 2021 FIDE Online Chess Olympiad

by L Bronson

jamaica chess
FM Joshua Christie

Jamaica got off to a brilliant start in the 2021 FIDE Online Chess Olympiad, outplaying English Caribbean and several Latin American rivals and finishing third in Division Three, Pool E with 14 points, behind Venezuela with 18 points and El Salvador with 15 points.

Jamaica had seven match wins against two losses and were the only team from the English-speaking Caribbean to advance to the next stage of the event. The top three countries from Pool E, along with qualifiers from other pools, went on to play in Division Two.

Jamaica’s Candidate Master (CM) and Woman International Master (WIM) Rachel Miller, with 8/9 points, and FIDE Master (FM) Joshua Christie with 7.5/9 points, were specially recognised by the organisers as the overall top scorers in Division Three, Pool E play.

Jamaica faced greater challenges in Division Two as they played much higher-rated teams. Division Two consisted of five pools with 10 teams each, competing over three days, with the top three teams from each pool qualifying for the top division from which only eight teams will advance to the knockout phase.

Jamaica did well in Division Two by finishing with five points, defeating Guatemala and El Salvador 5-1, and tying with the strong Chilean team 3-3. Colombia went on to win Division Two with 17 points and, along with Cuba with 16 points and Paraguay with 12 points, moved on to the top division.

Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Raehanna Brown played consistently well throughout the tournament, finishing with 7/9 points in Division Three and 6/9 points in Division Two.

Jamaica Chess Federation President NM Peter Myers was thrilled by the result and congratulated the national team on its accomplishment and qualifying for Division Two.
T
eam Captain IM Jomo Pitterson also had high praises for the team. “The players played exceptionally well. Congratulations also to a very supportive Jamaica Chess Federation Executive Committee. Jamaica was the only English-speaking Caribbean nation to move forward to Division Two,” he said.

Team Manager Terence Lindo further stated, “Our team is made up of primarily players 21 years old and younger (9/12). The future of Jamaican chess is bright.”

The team’s preparation for the Olympiad benefited significantly from development funds provided by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which was used to boost the coaching.

The FIDE Online Chess Olympiad began in 2020 in response to the pandemic and the inability to have an in-person event. The 2021 event has thus far been well-attended and has attracted participation from over 153 federations across the world and more than 1000 players.

The Jamaica team and management comprised the following individuals: FM Shreyas Smith, FM Joshua Christie, WCM Adani Clarke, CM WIM Rachel Miller, FM Raheem Glaves, WCM Raehanna Brown, IM Shane Matthews, FM Ras Malaku Lorne, Nickaylah Curwin, Ashanti Blackwood, CM Akeem Brown, Alliyah Yankana, IM Jomo Pitterson (captain) and Terence Lindo (manager).

Shaw, Brown: top performers at 2021 FIDE World Cadets Youth Chess tourney

Wolmerian Jaden Shaw emerged with the top overall score of 6.5 points out of 10 possible points at the 2021 FIDE World Cadets Youth Chess Tournament was held online via Tornelo.Com Chess platform.

The competition started August 1, 2021, with the Open Under-10 and the Girls’ Under-18 over 10 rounds, played two rounds per day over five days with 36 juniors taking part from Jamaica.

Jaden contested the Under-14 Open section competed by 214 juniors worldwide in his section, where he finished in number 37, having a starting rank of 102. In second position was Campion College’s Darren McKennis, who contested the Under-16 Open where he ended with 5.5 points followed by Wolmerian John Stephenson on five points also in the Under-16 Open Section.

Campion College’s Women’s Candidate Master Raehanna Brown contested the Under-16 female section where she emerged as the top female with 5.5 points from a possible 10 points, while finishing in 43rd position from 110 participants in her section. In second position was Immaculate Conception High School’s Gabriella Watson on five points in the Under-14 section followed by Wolmerian Amy Stephenson on four points in the Under-16 female section.

FIDE invited federations to send 30 players, three per age group, after which they were offered six wild cards. As Jamaica had no Under-18 girls, the Under-8 players were invited to play in the Under-10 section. Jamaica’s team was selected from the champions and the top finishers from the recently concluded Online National Age-Group Chess Championships 2021.

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