Jamaicans shine at 2021 Chess Sub Zonals


(From Left to right , Darren McKennis, WIM Rachel Miller and FM Joshua Christie)



Kingston, Jamaica – In their long-awaited return to chess over the board, the Jamaican representatives of FIDE Master
(FM) Joshua Christie, Woman International Master (WIM) and Candidate Master (CM) Rachel Miller and Darren
McKennis excelled at the Subzonal 2.3.5 held last week in the Dominican Republic.

National Junior Chess Champion, FM Christie, closed out a successful tournament, as he beat the Dominican Republic’s
International Master (IM) Manuel Dominguez in the final round. This allowed FM Christie to finish in third place overall,
an outstanding performance providing an anticipated IM norm consideration. He finished tied with Puerto Rico’s Jaime
Rodriguez Santiago on 6.5/9 points, finishing higher on tie break. Christie commented, “It’s a very good feeling to get an
International Master norm in this very tough tournament, where I faced strong players in every round.”

After starting out as the 64th ranked player, Darren McKennis, the youngest member of the Jamaican contingent, finished
on 6/9 points, ending up tied for fifth place, and in 13th place on tie break. This came after incurring only one loss in the
entire event, and drawing his final game against Trinidadian FM Joshua Johnson.

McKennis netted 190 rating points after starting out with a 1735 FIDE rating. His amazing performance qualifies him to become Jamaica’s latest FM-elect subject to passing the 2100 rating bar. McKennis commented that it was a very competitive tournament but thankfully there was room for a few draws to enable him to attain his goal of FIDE Master Elect.

As the sole female player in the Absolute section of this Sub-Zonal, WIM and CM Rachel Miller finished on a very
respectable 5/9 points. She added 15 rating points to her international rating, gained a wealth of experience, and truly
enjoyed getting back to over the board chess on the international stage. Miller said, “It was really nice to play in-person
chess again. I was so happy to be able to actually move the pieces again, and the tournament was a lot of fun!”
The Sub-Zonal is the first step in the qualification cycle leading up to identification of the next World Championship
Challenger. Seventy-three (73) participants, representing more than 10 countries, played in this 9-round event in the
Dominican Republic. Jamaica Chess Federation President Peter Myers stated, “Well done Jamaica! And well done to our
Caribbean neighbours!”.

See official press release