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Richards-Porter rewrites regional chess history - First Jamaican female to win Sub-Zonal title

Published:Tuesday | May 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica's own Woman International Chess Master (WIM) Deborah Richards-Porter created history by becoming the first Jamaican to win the Women's Sub-Zonal 2.3.5 Tournament, which was hosted this year by the Barbados Chess Federation between April 28 and May 2.

Richards-Porter scored an impressive and almost perfect 8.5 points out of a maximum nine, winning by a clear two points to dominate a field that comprised 25 other players from nine countries, 10 of whom were titled.

The Jamaican's only blemish came when she was held to a draw by the higher-rated WIM Danitza Vazquez of Puerto Rico. Her compatriots, 2015 Jamaica women's champion, Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Ariel Barrett, and 2014 Jamaica women's champion, Candidate Master Rachel Miller, also represented Jamaica well by finishing in the top 10.

Miller continued her impressive rise up the ranks when she finished tied for third (sixth on tiebreak) with six points. Her only losses were against the much-higher-ranked players, WIM Richards-Porter and Vazquez.




Barrett also did well by scoring five points out of a maximum of nine to tie for seventh (eighth on tiebreak). Her most notable victory came against second-place Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Maria Diaz. Barrett narrowly missed earning the WFM title by half a point.

The Sub-Zonal is a biennial tournament used to select the region's best to challenge for the Women's World Chess Championship. This Sub-Zonal win puts Richards-Porter into the next round of qualifiers for the Women's World Chess Championship. The other countries and territories that competed include Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venezuela.