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.
WEST INDIAN “WAR”!!
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.
FRANCE LEADING THE OLYMPIAD!
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.