Hakeem Cops Scholarship

The Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) is beaming proudly, as one of their top junior players, National Master Akeem Brown, a business administration major at the University of Technology, Jamaica, is one of the first four beneficiaries under the Jamaica Olympic Association's (JOA) new scholarship programme launched earlier this year. Each of the scholarships is valued up to $500,000 per annum, for three years.

JCF President Peter Myers has only high praises for the JOA's decision to choose Brown as one of the first four recipients of the award. Myers explained that “this is what we in chess call a 'double exclam' move.” In chess, a brilliant move is signified with a double exclamation mark [!!]. “This is a big deal, because we see it as the first of many to come. We want our players, funders and other stakeholders to start to make the important connection between chess and scholarships. It is no secret that many of our players are very intelligent, but we lose many of them to other endeavours, which more significantly reward their intellectual capacity.”

Myers added: “When Akeem came to me to ask for the JCF's support and I saw what he wrote about his circumstances, I was immediately moved. I always saw Akeem as an extremely successful young master, with many chess achievements under his belt from a very young age, but I didn't fully understand what he had to go through to become one of the top players in the country. He is very deserving of this scholarship.” Brown, in addition to being the youngest player ever to attain the title of National Master in Jamaica, is also the only chess player to win seven National High School Chess Championship titles, which he achieved with his alma mater St Jago High School, from 2014 to 2020.

Notwithstanding his achievements as a junior, Brown's most notable achievement to date is at the senior level. In February of this year, he finished third in the National Chess Championships and in the process qualified for the National squad preparing for the 44th Chess Olympiad, originally scheduled for August 2020, but which has now been rescheduled for summer 2021 in Russia.