ROUND 9 REPORT – JAMAICA IN MEDAL CHASE!

Jamaica’s Women’s team showed good form on August 11 in the 9th round of the (41st) World Chess Olympiad being held in Tromso, Norway. Wins by WIM Deborah Richards-Porter and the Smith sisters, Melisha and Annesha, led Jamaica to a 3-1 victory over Malta. This excellent result has earned the team a match-up against a very strong Turkey in tomorrow’s 10th (penultimate) round. In their rating category (“D”) the Jamaicans are currently second behind Tajikistan and are fighting for a podium place.

In other West Indian matches Barbados lost 1-3 to Thailand while Trinidad & Tobago drew 2-2 with Qatar and will next face Zimbabwe and Namibia, respectively.

THE RUSSIANS ARE ALMOST THERE!

The Russians were fortunate to avoid defeat (after GM Kateryna Lagno lost on board 1 to GM Elina Danielian) and also to win their match against Armenia 2 ½ – 1 ½. They maintained their sole lead in the Women’s section with 18 points. In tomorrow’s round Russia will face Ukraine, the team from Kiev in clear 3rd on 15 points after defeating India 2 ½ – 1 ½.

China is in clear 2nd on 16 points (after defeating France 3 ½ – ½) and will clash with Spain (14) who defeated Argentina 3 ½ – ½. Other matches featuring possible medal contenders are Germany-Romania (14 points each) and Georgia (13) – Poland (14).


In the Open Section the Jamaicans competed well, missed a glorious opportunity to beat Zimbabwe, and actually lost 1-3 after Andrew Mellace and CM-elect Brandon Wilson lost on boards 2 and 4, respectively. Draws by the reliable CM-elect Ras Malaku Lorne and Daren Wisdom secured draws on the other two boards. The Jamaicans, still in with a chance to win medals in their category as well as more individual titles, will face Mauritius in tomorrow’s 10th and penultimate round.

The Bahamas continued its good showing with a fantastic 3-1 win over the much higher rated San Marino team; Trinidad & Tobago beat Hong Kong 2 ½ – 1 ½ and Barbados had a solid 2-2 draw against Algeria.

A HUMDINGER FINISH IN STORE!!

Draws (2-2) between China-Ukraine and Azerbaijan-Romania have left things tantalizingly poised at the top of the standings with just two rounds to go. France made a big move forward by defeating Czech Republic 2 ½ – 1 ½, Hungary defeated Israel 3-1 and Bulgaria dealt Cuba’s medal hopes a serious body blow with a 2 ½ – 1 ½ win.

China and France are tied on 15 points closely followed by several teams on 14 points each – Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The event is headed for a bang-up finish and is too close to call right now. After the smoke clears at the end of tomorrow’s top matches (France-China, Ukraine-Azerbaijan, Hungary-Romania and Bulgaria-Poland), a better picture will emerge of the likely medal winners.


Jamaica’s Annesha Smith – Board 4
Jamaica’s Annesha Smith – Board 4