Category Archives: Int’l Tournaments



Roughly two-thirds of the (41st) World Chess Olympiad being held in Tromso, Norway have gone and it is clear that (pardon the pun!) the players have stepped up their game! After the smoke had cleared in yesterday’s 7th round action Russia’s women team had taken a huge step towards defending their title with an emphatic 3-1 victory over the favourites China. In the top board game GM Kateryna Lagno continued to prove her weight in gold for her new federation by using the white pieces to great effect to hand the reigning Women’s World Champion GM Hou Yifan her first defeat of the tournament. Another victory by WGM Olga Girya on board 4 backed by two draws sealed the deal.

The Russians are now on 14 points and have placed one hand on the winners’ trophy, leading by two clear points ahead of China, Hungary and Poland, each on 12 points. In the 8th round tomorrow Russia will face Hungary (10), China must try to recover against Poland and France and the USA (each on 11 points) will clash.


Although Jamaica’s Women’s champion 14 year-old WFM Rachel Miller won her game, Jamaica fell behind 1-2 to a determined Dominican Republic team. The West Indians were rescued by WIM Deborah Richards-Porter who won on the top board to secure a 2-2 draw. In the 8th round Jamaica will face Sri Lanka, a curious repeat of the fixture between the Open/Men’s teams from the same countries in the 7th round!


Jamaica’s “Reggae Chess Ambassadors” fought gallantly but lost 1 ½ – 2 ½ to a tough Sri Lanka team. Ras Malaku Lorne continued to show that he is “solid as a rock”, drawing on board 2 while Brandon Wilson won the sole game for the Jamaicans on board 4. With Lorne scoring 3 ½ points from seven games and Wilson scoring 3 ½ points from 5 games, it appears that the Jamaicans have qualified for the “Candidate Master” title. This would mean three new titles for the country so far including Annesha Smith’s accomplishment in the Women’s section. Jamaica will face an unpredictable Ivory Coast team in the 8th round.

Barbados beat Gambia 3 ½ – ½ and will next face Liechtenstein. Trinidad & Tobago overcame Honduras 2 ½ – 1 ½ thanks to 15 year-old CM Joshua Johnson’s sole victory of the match. The “Soca Chess Warriors” will battle Syria tomorrow. Bahamas lost to Guam 1-3 and will try to win against Tanzania tomorrow.


Although on the top board Cuba’s GM Leinier Dominguez handed Azerbaijan’s GM Shakriyar Mamedyarov his first defeat of the event, Capablanca’s men succumbed 1 ½ – 2 ½ to the Azeris due to victories by GMs Teimour Radjabov (over GM Lazaro Bruzon) and Gadir Guseinov (over GM Reynaldo Ortiz) on boards 2 and 4, respectively.

In what must be considered a major upset the Czech Republic humbled a Kramnik-less Russia 3-1 with victories by GMs David Navara and Viktor Laznicka over GMs Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler, respectively, on the top 2 boards. This painful loss leaves Russia’s chances of gaining top honours (for the first time since Chess legend Garry Kasparov led them to their last Olympiad victory in 2002 in Bled, Slovenia) hanging by a thread as they are stuck on 10 points and have been passed by a number of potential title contenders.

The World Champion Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen suffered a shock defeat with the white pieces to the German supremo GM Arkadij Naiditsch in the only decisive game as Germany won 2 ½ – 1 ½ against Norway. This defeat for the Norwegians has put a major dent in their hopes of medaling on home soil.

Azerbaijan are in the clear lead on 13 points followed by China, Czech Republic and Bulgaria all on 12 points. The tournament is wide open with the gold, silver and bronze medals still up for grabs. Key round 8 matches that will have a bearing on deciding the ultimate winners are: China-Azerbaijan; Romania (12) – Czech Republic; Ukraine (11) – Bulgaria; France (11) – Poland (11); Germany (11) – Cuba (11) and India (11) – Armenia (11).






Round 4 Report! Jamaican Men Win West Indian War


The fourth round of the (41st) World Chess Olympiad being held in Tromso, Norway was a pulsating affair especially for traditional Caribbean rivals Jamaica and Barbados. These two teams clashed in a mouth-watering “West Indian War” that had many onlookers riveted. Although this was only the 4th round and the teams were in the lower half of the table, one could easily have thought that this match was for the gold medals as both camps prepared feverishly.

Barbados drew first blood (a la Sylvester Stallone!) on board 2 after FM Orlando Husbands defeated Malaku Lorne, the rastaman’s Herculean efforts in the previous rounds eventually telling as his Caro-Kann could not survive his opponent’s aggressive play.

With supporters from “the land of wood and water” biting their nails, the “Reggae Chess Ambassadors” found another gear and rallied with National Champion Andrew Mellace using the white pieces to deliver a deadly blow to IM Kevin Denny’s solar plexus to force the Barbadian’s capitulation on board 3. It was Mellace’s first victory of the campaign.

On the top board three-time Jamaican Champion Damion Davy outclassed his adversary IM DeLisle Warner in an exciting French Defence to send his team in front. On board 4 Brandon Wilson fought tenaciously to repel FM Martyn Del Castilho’s threats to secure a draw thus gifting Jamaica victory 2 ½ – 1 ½ and repeating the 2012 Olympiad scoreline against the men from Bridgetown.

Jamaican men, ranked 122 out of 177 countries, have climbed to 84th approaching the halfway stage of the event They will face the much higher rated Ireland team, led by Grandmaster Alex Baburin, in tomorrow’s 5th round. Barbados (rated 106) has plummeted to 146 but still have many rounds to recover and finish the event on a high. They face Haiti (rated 157) in tomorrow’s 5th round.


Some of Jamaica’s Caribbean neighbours engaged in some bruising battles. Trinidad & Tobago (# 116) were outclassed 0-4 by Lithuania. The “Soca Warriors” are now 106 and will face Nepal in the next round.

The Bahamians (#158) continued their fighting return to the Olympiad arena, drawing 2-2 with Fiji (#142) Chappell Whyms (who plays in Jamaican tournaments from time to time) getting the only win for the men from Nassau. In the next round they will face Togo ranked 165.

Cuba, the top Caribbean country (ranked 13th!) played well to defeat India 2 ½- 1½, GM Reynaldo Ortiz scoring the sole win of the match against GM Babu Lalith. The former Cuban World Chess Champion Jose Capablanca must have looked on from above smiling! The “Havana Knights” will face Israel (#9) in the next round.


The French, leaders after the previous round, were brought back down to earth as they were defeated by Azerbaijan who now lead the event ahead of Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia, respectively, all the teams winning their 4 matches. The Azeris will now face Serbia in the top board match tomorrow while Bulgaria will battle Russia, a match-up that will see former World Champions Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik renewing their bitter rivalry.


In the Women’s Section of the Olympiad the Iranians (# 21) played very well to defeat Slovakia (# 18) 3 ½ – ½ to show that they are the real deal! In the next round they will face the Hungarians (#13).

China, ranked number 1 and obviously one of the gold medal favourites, comfortably defeated Azerbaijan (# 22) led by a nice win on the top board by Women’s World Champion Grandmaster Hou Yifan. The Chinese women will next face another surprise package, Indonesia (#23) who smashed perennial challengers and 10th-ranked Armenia 3 ½- ½.

Russia, another favourite being ranked 2nd, defeated Germany (#12) and will play Georgia (# 4) who drew 2-2 with the Netherlands (#16).

Jamaica’s women (#88) fought gallantly but were defeated 0-4 by Australia (# 51), the scoreline being every flattering to the victors. Tragedy occurred on board 3 as WCM Melisha Smith lost on time although she outplayed her opponent throughout the game. The Jamaicans, now 92nd, will face New Zealand (#73) in the next round.


Barbados (#112) with two wins and two draws defeated Fiji (#115) 3-1. The West Indian women, now in 86th position, will have the privilege of playing Norway top team (#38) on board 2! The host teams always play on board 2 to facilitate broadcasting of the event on television. As is now customary, the hosts have three teams in each section of the event.

Trinidad & Tobago (# 103) were no match for Paraguay (#74) losing 0-4. The “Trinis”, in 94th position, will next meet the 95th-ranked United Arab Emirates.

China, Indonesia, Hungary, Russia, and Iran have won all their four matches and leading the standings.

Jamaica locked in battle against Barbados
Jamaica locked in battle against Barbados



The third round of the (41st) World Chess Olympiad being held in Tromso, Norway saw Jamaica’s women’s making a very positive step towards trying to win the Gold in its category and repeating their historic achievement at the 2010 Olympiad in Russia.


The “Reggae Chess Ambassadors” notched their first win with a 4-0 thrashing of Sudan on Monday August 4, 2014. Ten-time Jamaican Women’s Champion WIM Deborah Richards-Porter won her second consecutive victory after earlier wins by National Women’s Champion 14 year-old WFM Rachel Miller and Krishna Gray who was playing her first game. In the last game to finish, Annesha Smith rounded off the results with her second straight victory after turning the tables in a difficult game.

In the 4th round the women will face a stern test against the much higher rated Australians with Jamaica having the black pieces on the 1st and 3rd boards. The Jamaicans, ranked 88 out of 136 countries, are currently in 74th position.

Jamaica’s men fought gallantly against the much higher rated Tajikistan after falling behind 0-2, CM Damion Davy and Daren Wisdom losing to their higher rated opponents on boards 1 and 3, respectively. NM Brandon Wilson won his second straight game on board 4 and then the “Rock”, Ras Malaku Lorne, continued to show superb form with a hard-fought draw on board 2.  The Jamaican men, ranked 122 out of 177 countries, hold down the 96th position.


Jamaica’s Caribbean neighbours had mixed fortunes. Trinidad & Tobago thumped Seychelles 4-0, a scoreline mirrored by the Netherland Antilles against the British Virgin Islands and Surinam over Gambia; Aruba defeated Macau 3-1; the strong Cuban team had a solid 2-2 draw against European powerhouse Poland, so did the US Virgin Islands against Togo; Barbados and Haiti lost 0-4 to Singapore and Ecuador, respectively; Bahamas, playing in its first Olympiad in a couple of decades, lost 1-3 to Bermuda, the Jamaican Clevert Bacchas scoring for the victors on board one and Cecil Moncur sparing the losers’ blushes with a win over Gary Cooper on board 3.




An interesting scenario has developed as in tomorrow’s 4th round there will be an early “West Indian war” as Jamaica’s men will face their Barbadian counterparts with the Jamaicans having the white pieces on boards 1 and 3. The two teams also met in the last Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey (2012) with Jamaica winning 2 ½ – 1 ½ behind victories from CM Damion Davy and CM Duane Rowe who is not in the squad.






In the chief section of the Olympiad (the Absolute or Open section with roughly nine hundred players including a handful of women), the French lead on tie-breaks ahead of Serbia and Russia. All three teams have won their three matches to date. On the top boards in the 4th round France will battle Azerbaijan, Serbia the Czech Republic and Russia will face China.


In the Women’s Section of the Olympiad the Iranians (who defeated Jamaica in round 1) surprisingly lead ahead of China and Armenia with the defending champions Russia in 4th.  Some interesting match-ups will unfold in the 4th round as Iran face Slovakia, China battle Azerbaijan and Armenia will tackle Indonesia. Russia face a tricky test against Germany.

 Jamaica vs Sudan


Jamaica’s Open (Men’s) team to the (41st) World Chess Olympiad being held in Tromso, Norway notched its first win with an emphatic 3 ½- ½ display against Kuwait on Sunday August 3, 2014.
Victories by CM Damion Davy, NM Malaku Lorne and NM Brandon Wilson on boards 1, 2 and 4, respectively, were accompanied by a defiant defence from Jamaican champion Andrew Mellace who drew on board 3. The Jamaicans will have the black pieces on boards 1 and 3 when they face a tough Tajikistan aggregation in the third round on Monday August 4.


In the Women’s section, victories by 10-time Jamaican Women’s Champion WIM Deborah Richards-Porter and Annesha Smith on boards 1 and 4, respectively, ensured a 2-2 draw with Namibia. WFM Rachel Miller, having a rough Olympiad debut, and WCM Melisha Smith lost on boards 2, and 3, respectively. Jamaica will have the white pieces on boards 1 and 3 when they face Sudan in the third round on Monday.
The Jamaican women led the English-speaking Caribbean to glory in 2010 winning the Gold in its category at the Olympiad in Russia.

Jamaica ® drew 2-2 with Namibia in round 2 of the Olympiad.
Jamaica ® drew 2-2 with Namibia in round 2 of the Olympiad.




WIM Deborah Richards-Porter before her victory in round two.
WIM Deborah Richards-Porter before her victory in round two.




Annesha Smith beaming before her first round match.
Annesha Smith beaming before her first round match.