Jamaica Chess Team Impresses at Carifta Champs
Jamaica’s five-member team captured the most medals at the 2014 Carifta Chess Championships in Martinique, despite being one of the smallest contingents.
The team of WCM Rachel Miller, Jaleel Thorpe, Adani Clarke, Kishan Clarke and Nishani Clarke took a medal haul of three gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze, placing third overall behind Trinidad and Tobago, and host country Martinique.
Jamaica’s national Under-16 champion Rachel Miller was the Carifta defending champion in her section. After a good start, winning three from three games, she faltered in a crucial game vs Trinidad’s Della-Marie Walcott. This loss meant she had to settle for second place with 5.5 points from seven games. Trinidad’s Shannon Yearwood won the section with six points.
National Under-12 female champion Adani Clarke made her international mark by continuing an excellent year so far to win the Under-12 section of the tournament. She did this with 5 points from seven games. This fete is even more remarkable as she had to compete with both boys and girls, since her section was unusually merged. She emerged the top female in the section.
The brother/sister duo of Kishan and Nashani Clarke rounded off the medal tally and brought home gold for Jamaica in the sub categories Under-8 and Under-10 sections, respectively.
National Under-12 champion Jaleel Thorpe finished a respectable sixth from 34 participants with 5 points. He narrowly missed the medal table by only half point. That section was won by Sean Yearwood with 6.5 points.
Mikhail Solomon was the coach for the contingent and he believes this is a sign of the growth of chess talent in Jamaica. The group returned home on Thursday and will continue preparation for the various upcoming tournaments.