Claire Clarke, Contributor
Volume 1. No. 42
He left as a National Master but returns with the shiny Fide Candidate Master title under his belt after doing battle at the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. Meet Jamaica's newest FCM, Damion Davy.
Only one other Jamaican, Melisha Smith, earned a FCM title at the Olympiad.
Like any good chess player, FCM Davy had a plan before he even arrived in Istanbul in late August. On leaving Jamaica to wear the national colours and represent the country, the national champion who was playing in an Olympiad for the first time had his goals.
"First, I wanted the Fide Master title," FCM Davy said. Pressed further on the details of his plan before his first move in the Olympiad, he added: "I wanted to beat at least an International Master, which I did and maybe draw with a GM, also increase my FIDE ratings."
And on the score of slicing internationally titled players down to size, FCM Davy delivered well. Master scalps sorted out included a win over Algerian International Master Lies Dekar, a draw with Syrian IM Basher Iyti and a victory against Barbadian Fide Master Delisle Warner.
Predictably, FCM Davy lists his trouncing of the Algerian in round 2 as his favourite game. He said: "I showed good understanding of the position and showed complete dominance, he never had a chance."
While not all his goals were achieved, on reflection FCM Davy is a happy man. He is not totally disappointed to have not realised his full dream of returning to Jamaica as a Fide Master, he believes it is only a matter of time. "The title will come .... I went off track when I lost to the guy from Zimbabwe in a completely winning position."
It is over and FCM Davy describes as "priceless" the experience of playing chess on the international quality Olympiad platform, matching wits against the world's best. "I beat an IM, came very close to drawing with the GM, narrowly missed the FM title ... so I guess it was good, was a wonderful learning experience."
FCM Davy has gained a wealth of experience from his Olympiad adventure, and while he complains that the food was not up to par and adjusting to the new time zone was a bit uncomfortable, lessons learnt as pillars for the future are clear for him. "The discipline and endurance one needs to play good and consistent chess .... and that more work needs to be done, as well as playing high-level tournament consistently," he indicates, are the key takeaways from the experience.
Harold Chan Open: September 29 and 30 at the NHT Car Park
Email feedback, send in your games or upcoming tournaments to firstname.lastname@example.org and join the facebook page chessmate. Claire Clarke is a former Women's National Champion, three-time Jamaica Women's team Chess Olympiad representative, trained journalist and editor.