Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Jamaica produce big upset at World Chess Olympiad

Published:Wednesday | September 7, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Jamaica’s players (left side of table, from left) Brandon Wilson, Shreyas Smith, Damion Davy and Warren Elliott, focus during their match against Nigeria at the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, yesterday.

Jamaica's men's chess team produced an 'epic' fourth round upset yesterday morning, defeating Nigeria 21/2 - 11/2 in fourth round Open section of the 42nd World Chess Olympiad, currently under way in Baku, Azerbaijan.

It was a fighting performance, carved out by Jamaica's reigning champion, FM Warren Elliott, who outclassed FM Bomo Kigigha on board one.

Brandon Wilson, in the meantime, recovered from a poor showing in yesterday's round.

He unleashed a chess master class called Benko (Volga) gambit on board four to which his counterpart, Ochuko Emuakpeje, had no answer.

Olympiad debutant NM Shreyas Smith, who was promoted to board three in place of veteran FM Malaku Lorne, who was the only causalty for the Jamaicans.

The decider was a fight to the death on board two between Nigeria's FM Daniel Anwuli and three-time Jamaica champion, FM Damion Davy.

The game, which spanned more than 80 moves, went the distance, but Davy was as solid as a rock and gained victory.

AVENGED

The win avenged Jamaica's loss to Nigeria at the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden, Germany.

Jamaica's men were due to play Uruguay last night.

Meanwhile, in women's competition Chinese Taipei, ranked a lesser 125 in the world, held Jamaica to a disappointing 2-2 draw.

Jamaica's women (ranked 75) with WIM Deborah Richards-Porter being rested, saw CM Rachel Miller moved up to board one.

After a couple of rounds, reigning Women's champion, WCM Annesha Smith, outclassed Ingrid Wu on board three, delivering checkmate and tying the game.

In round five action, Jamaica had a chance to claim a good position in the standings, when they faced Zambia (ranked lower at 90).

The major upset of the tournament so far saw Russia's men, the rating favourites in the Open section, beaten 21/2-11/2 by former champions Ukraine, while among the women, former champions China defeated Latvia 21/2 - 11/2.

Ian Wilkinson, President, Jamaica Chess Federation, who is at the Olympiad, credited the Government of Jamaica, through the Sports Development Foundation, for making Jamaica's participation possible, along with sponsorship from the Jamaica Chess Federation and the Kasparov Chess Foundation.