Wed | Nov 25, 2015

Jamaica players dominate Carifta Chess

Published:Friday | April 12, 2013
Shreyas Smith (right) squares off against defending champion NM Stuart James in the Carifta Chess tournament which ended on Monday. Smith won the tournament. - Contributed

Claire Clarke, Contributor

Volume 2, No. 16

Jamaica ended the 2013 Carifta Chess tournament amassing the most points and taking home the best team title last weekend along with three of the six official titles that were up for grabs.

The second best team was Barbados and third went to Trinidad and Tobago, the defending team champions from 2012. Trinidad hosted the tournament last year. In the unofficial title categories, Jamaica came close to a clean sweeping securing seven of the eight titles that were available.

The official titles were in the sections absolute and female for Under-20, Under-16 and Under-12. The unofficial titles were in the sections absolute and female for Under-18, Under-14, Under-10 and Under- 8.

The five-day tournament was played at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. Regional territories in attendance included Barbados, Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas the US Virgin Islands, alongside Jamaica.

Jamaican victories were registered by Sheryas Smith who emerged the absolute Under-20 champion with a score of 51/2 points from seven rounds. Second place also went to Jamaican Horace Sinclair who was awarded the second place after also ending on same score as Smith. Smith is also the Under-18 absolute Carifta champion.

Smith's victory represented a Jamaican title defence as last year in the inaugural tournament National Master Stuart James won this section. NM James was present in the tournament but was in clearly not in the same form as he was last year and he finished in eighth spot.


Abigail Wong secured another Jamaican win as she was crowned the female Carifta Under-20 champion with two points. Wong is also the Under-18 female Carifta champion.

Yet, another Jamaican title was secured by Rachel Miller who garnered five points in to be the female Carifta Under-16 champion. Miller is also the Under-14 female Champion

Gabrielle Simpson won the female Under-10 Carifta title while Gordon Desouza got the absolute title in that age group. Amanda Lettman got the Under-8 female title, while Hamilton Brik was crowned the absolute champion in that age group.

Barbados' Yu Tien Poon (BAR) was grabbed the Under-16 Carifta title after beating Jamaican Alistair Walker on tiebreak as they both ended on six points from seven games.

Aruba's Brian Diaz took home the gold medal for the absolute Under-12 category again beating Jamaica's Jaleel Thorpe and Joshua Christie on the tiebreak.

Trinidad and Tobago's Della-Marie Walcott got the top honours for the female Under-12 category also edging out a Jamaican on the tiebreak.

Upcoming tournaments

Wisynco Queens Prep Open: April 13, Queens Prep

National Championships and Presidents Invitational: April 26-May 12 (venues to be announced)

Robert Wheeler Open: May 25-26 (venues to be announced)

Claire Clarke is a former Women's National Champion, three time Jamaica Women's team Chess Olympiad representative, trained journalist and editor. Email feedback, send in your games or upcoming tournaments to and join the Facebook page Chessmate.