The best invited for National Champs
Claire Clarke, Contributor
Volume 1. No. 17
It is a hot year for chess all over the world as most countries are in the throes of selecting national representatives for the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, this summer. Jamaica is no different.
The top 24 players in the island and the top eight female players have been invited by the Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) to play in the 44th annual National Championship from which final selections on who will be on the Olympiad squads will be finalised.
The JCF has already done a preliminary selection of the Olympic squads for the open and women's sections who must among four criteria, play in the National Tournament and place in the top 10 for the Open or top six for the women to make the final cut for the team to represent Jamaica.
The 24 players invited to participate in the National Champion-ships Open are: National Cham-pion 2011, National Master (NM) Damion Davy, National Junior Champion 2011, Miguel Asher, National Junior Champion 2012 Stuart James, Fide Candidate Master (FCM) Mark Holness, FCM Duane Rowe, NM Malaku Lorne, NM Andrew Mellace, Women's Fide Master (WFM) Deborah Richards, International Master (IM) Jomo Pitterson, Fide Master (FM) Warren Elliot, FM Shane Matthews, NM Peter Myers, NM Mikhail Solomon, Ian Wilkinson, Amari James, Mark Henry, Paul Brooks, Zachary Ramsay, Kenroy Smith, Sheyras Smith, Andrew Soares, Peter Thomas, Walter Williams and Markland Douglas.
Invited to play in the National Championships Women are: Ariel Barrett, Alethia Edwards, National Junior Champion girls 2012 Krishna Gray, Zhu Hui, Rachel Miller, Annesha Smith, Melisha Smith and Kadian McGlashan.
Note that WFM Richards has been invited to play in the National Open Championships, and JCF selection committee representative Robert Wheeler explained that by virtue of this invitation she is an automatic selection for the women's Olympiad team if she were not to qualify for the Open team.
The deadline for registration in this tournament is today and play will start on April 13 and continue to April 19.
National Junior champion
The 2012 National Junior Champion is Stuart James, who beat Tewana Mellace when the tiebreak was played last weekend at Kingston College. Both players ended the tournament on 6.5 points each two weekends ago, which forced the tiebreak that James won by 2.5 to 0.5.
Next weekend, the Challenge, the Mind Chess tournament, the first in a series of tournaments designed to spread chess across the island, kicks off at Dinthill Technical High School, Linstead, St Catherine.
The tournament caters to children ages 6-20 and is organised by Chess Unlimited, an outfit run by IM Pitterson and FM Elliot.
National Commercial Bank Insurance Company (NCBIC) is on board as a sponsor of this tournament. Joseph Montaque, senior marketing officer at NCB Insurance Company Limited, said: "The partnership with the Jamaica Chess Federation to host the Challenge The Mind Youth Chess Championship allows us to foster the development of the minds of the over 400 children expected to enter the championship."
More from the official rules of chess: Rule 4.2. Except as provided in Article 4.1, the player having the move deliberately touches on the chessboard: a. One or more of his own pieces, he must move the first piece touched which can be moved.
March 24: Queen's Prep one day Chess tournament at The Queen's School, deadline for entries March 21.
March 31: Challenge the Mind Chess Championships at Dinthill Technical High School
April 6-April 10: Carifta Chess Tournament in Trinidad.
April 13-19: National Chess Championships (Open and Women) at the Norman Manley Law School.
Email feedback, send in your games or upcoming tournaments to firstname.lastname@example.org and join thefacebook page chessmate.Claire Clarke is a former women's national champion, three-time Jamaica women's team chess Olympiad representative, trained journalist and editor.