Ja team triumphs at 2015 CAC Youth Chess Festival
Jamaica won the recently concluded Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Youth Chess Festival held in Trinidad and Tobago between August 14 and August 19.
In doing so, Jamaica became the first English-speaking country to win this prestigious annual chess tournament.
The tournament featured more that 180 players, aged seven to 17, from 14 countries who share the Caribbean Sea, including Colombia and Venezuela. Jamaica accumulated the most points from the final positions of its players after nine gruelling and closely fought rounds. Top-five finishes in each of the nine sections contributed to the country's cumulative points tally. In second place were Colombia followed by hosts Trinidad and Tobago.
In the Under-8 female category Jamaica's Jaya-Rene Richards finished third and in the Under-8 Absolute category, Anthony Lyn and Kishan Clarke of Jamaica were third and fourth respectively, behind Rayden Rampersad of Trinidad and Ashly Carolina of Venezuela who topped the section.
In the Under-10 female category, Jamaica's Johmoi Blake was fifth and in the Under- 10 Absolute category, David Thomas placed first ahead of Leigh Sandiford of Barbados, David Ramirez of Colombia and Mikhail Bond of Jamaica who were second, third and fourth, respectively.
Jamaica's Adani Clarke finished second, behind Luisa Diaz of Colombia and ahead of Daijah Johnson of the Bahamas in the Under-12 female category. Jamaica's Leighton Barrett finished second, behind Pavas Avila of Colombia, and ahead of Angel Gonzalez of Venezuela in the Under-12 Absolute section.
HIGHEST NUMBER OF TITLES
In the Under-16 category, Women's Fide Master Rachel Miller finished first in the Female section and second in the Absolute section.
Due to their top-three finishes, Anthony Lyn, David Thomas, Leighton Barrett, Adani Clarke and Rachel Miller are expected to be awarded with the Candidate Master title by FIDE, the world governing body of chess. This would represent the highest number of such titles to be awarded to Jamaican players from a single tournament.
The Jamaica team also included Aidan Rampair, Kennedy Brown, Lontae Walker, Nicholas Lyn, Joshua Christie, Akeem Brown, Jhustice McDonald, Jaleel Thorpe, Jordan Mckoy, Nickaylah Curwin, Nathan Belinfante, Michael Christie and National Master Alistair Walker each of whom contributed to the team's overall success. Head coach was National Master Mikhail Solomon. He was assisted by Fide Master and National Champion Warren Elliott and Odane Hall.
Jamaica's participation was made possible by the Kasparov Chess Foundation, the Jamaica Chess Federation, Glen Christian, contributions from parents of representatives and the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Federation.