JAMAICA’S CHESS TEAMS HEAD TO WORLD CHESS OLYMPIAD IN NORWAY
Jamaica’s Chess Teams are in their final preparations to represent Jamaica at the (41st) World Chess Olympiad scheduled for Tromso, Norway August 1 – 14, 2014. The teams, which are scheduled to leave the island on July 30, have been in training for the past two months. The squads are being led by Technical Director FM Warren Elliott and NM Russel Porter, coach and captain of the female team. Both come with considerable experience locally and internationally and are confident the teams can do well this year.
“Our absolute (Men’s) team does not have the usual faces this year but it’s a vibrant youthful team with a lot of energy. I expect good things”, said Technical Director FM Warren Elliott. He continued, “I also believe the female team provides much promise, fielding 3 internationally titled players. I have strong hopes of seeing the best performance from both teams”.
Jamaica became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to win a category prize when the female team won Gold at the 2010 Olympiad in Russia.
The Absolute team consists of CM Damion Davy, NM Malaku Lorne, NM Andrew Mellace, NM Daren Wisdom and NM Brandon Wilson. The Female team members are WIM Deborah Richards-Porter, WFM Rachel Miller, WCM Melisha Smith, Annesha Smith and Krishna Gray. Both teams will be accompanied by two very promising players, namely Shreyas Smith and Ariel Barrett who will be assistants to the coaches and teams and will gain valuable experience.
The head of the delegation is President of the Jamaica Chess Federation Ian Wilkinson QC, and his deputy chef de mission will be Mr. Donald Miller, a Vice-President of the Federation. Our very own International Arbiter Robert Wheeler will also be at the Olympiad representing Jamaica in another capacity as one of the Arbiters of the Olympiad.
President Wilkinson said:
“I am delighted that Jamaica will be sending its largest-ever delegation to the Olympiad scheduled for Tromso, Norway. This attests to the continued, amazing growth of Chess as a sport; the strengthening of the local governing body and the increased support from our sponsors. We hope to make Jamaica proud”.
Chess is the fastest-growing sport in Jamaica with approximately 20,000 new players in the past few years. This has been due, inter alia, to the sterling effort of the Jamaica Chess Federation to market and popularize the sport. Additionally, there has been increased support by sponsors (including Burger King and Digicel) and influential persons such as the legendary former World Champion Garry Kasparov who visited Jamaica twice recently.