Claire Clarke, Contributor
Volume 1, No. 49
Fide Master Warren Elliot settled the crown of the 2012 Jamaica Open Chess Champion on his head earlier this month when the tournament was renewed at a new venue in Negril Escape Resort and Spa, in Negril, Westmoreland.
He went into the tournament with the clear intent to win and seemed to have been buoyed by the new venue.
"It was refreshing to play a local tournament outside of Kingston and St Andrew again," FM Elliot said.
And it would appear that venues outside of the city are kind to FM Elliot, whose last tournament win was at the St Jago Open held in Spanish Town, St Catherine, in July. He also won the Robert Wheeler Open in May.
His return to active chess after a notable absence began in May of this year with the Robert Wheeler tournament. He failed to win Nationals, which was held in June, finishing far from the winners' enclosure. He did not play in the Harold Chan Open in September, held soon after the return of the national team from Olympiad duties in Istanbul, Turkey. He was on the chess team which represented Jamaica in the Open section of the 2012 Olympiad between August and September.
FM Elliot captured the Jamaica Open Championships with 3.5 points from games. His only draw coming against Women's Fide Master Deborah Richards.
After FM Elliot, six players ended on three points in the four-round tournament. These are Fide Candid-ate Master Russell Porter, FCM Damion Davy, National Master Andrew Mellace, NM Peter Meyers, NM Devlin Sinclair and NM Ryan Blackwood. On the computer-generated tiebreak, FCM Porter was adjudged second.
FM Elliot picks his duel against NM Blackwood as his best game.
"Ryan put up strong resistance, and the pressure of being in a must-win situation last round added to the thrill of the game. The game was very complicated throughout … . I tend to enjoy those the most," he said.
As a recent first-time father, time spent on chess for Elliot has been curtailed.
"I have a beautiful baby boy and it was important to be active in his early months of life."
But still in the glow of new-found fatherhood, FM Elliot even describes his offspring as his "new lucky charm", as baby FM Elliot made the trek with dad to Negril to play in the Jamaica Open.
FM Elliot, the Glenmuir High School Chess coach, points out, however, that he is no stranger to the chess winners' circle.
He said: "Winning several consecutive tournaments is always a blessing. The records will show it's not exactly new for me locally."
On his trek to the Jamaica Open 2012 title, FM Elliot also beat USA Candidate Master Tyrell Harriot and young high-school prodigy Shreyas Smith.
High School Chess tournament preliminary rounds continue
National Junior Club Champion-ships: December 15-16, St Jago High School, St Catherine
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.