Claire Clarke, Contributor
Volume 2 No 20
Sts Peter and Paul Pre-paratory school rose to the top of the primary and preparatory school championships that was held at Campion College last weekend, and with this feat, defended their 2012 title. This win represents the school's fifth lien on the title.
Organiser of the tournament, National Master Adrian Palmer, from Chess Enterprise and also coach of the Sts Peter and Paul team, is extremely pleased about the outcome of the tournament and not merely because his team won.
"It was very, very competitive," NM Palmer told ChessMate. He describes this as the most competitive season of this tournament that he has ever seen. NM Palmer added: "It was a nail biter. You weren't sure who was going to win. It went down to the last round to decide it."
The fierce competition was between the Sts Peter and Paul from St Andrew and Bread of Life from St Catherine. Bread of Life led the field up to the final round by a neck, but in the final set of games, Sts Peter and Paul managed to eke out all-important victories to steal the top prize and be winners yet again.
In that final round, all of the top players were pitted against each other in what seemed like the ultimate showdown.
The tournament, which started in 2000, attracted 30 schools this year. These schools fielded 51 teams in what has become one of the most anticipated tournaments in the Jamaican junior chess calendar. Participating teams this year were from the Corporate Area and St Catherine. NM Palmer says he looks forward to an expansion in the number of parishes to be represented next year.
The strong contingent of schools from St Catherine, while not able to capture that top spot, populated the four slots below the champions. Bread of Life Christian Academy were second and were also awarded the top rural school. Ewarton Primary also featured in the top tier and Trinity Preparatory were recognised as the top new school and placed third overall.
With the showing from St Catherine, the top coach also went to St Catherine, coach NM Mikhail Solomon, who is the coach for all the teams that represented the parish.
Immaculate Preparatory topped the girls' section with the best female team, which is coached by WFM Deborah Richards.
Showdown and Invitational Chess tournament (where every child is a winner) - June 22 at Immaculate Conception High.
St Jago Open - July 6-7.
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.