ROUND ONE REPORT- A TOUGH DAY FOR JAMAICA’S TEAMS

The favourites prevailed as Bulgaria and Argentina defeated Jamaica’s Women and Open teams 4-0 and 3 ½ - ½, respectively, as action got underway in round one of the 42nd World Chess Olympiad being held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

 JAMAICA’S WOMEN – MISSED CHANCES!

The Bulgarians (ranked 9) rested one of the world’s top female players (former Women’s World Champion Grandmaster Antoaneta Stefanova) but still had enough fire-power to defeat Jamaica 4-0. The massive 500-point rating difference showed as the more experienced Bulgarians outclassed their game opponents who started much better on a couple of the boards but missed their chances. Jamaica (ranked 75) deployed WIM Deborah Richards-Porter, CM Rachel Miller, WCM Ariel Barrett and WCM Annesha Smith on boards 1 to 4 but they succumbed to IM Iva Videnova, WGM Adriana Nikolova, WIM Elitsa Raeva and WGM Margarita Voiska, respectively.

Jamaica’s West Indian neighbours Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados were also overwhelmed, losing 0-4 to Serbia (match 27) and Norway (match 47), respectively.

In the second round on Saturday, September 3 (starting 3:00 pm Baku time) Jamaica will have a chance to rebound when they face Barbados in match 51. The Jamaicans will have the white pieces on boards 1 and 3 and Black on boards 2 and 4, respectively. WCM Melisha Smith will replace her sister (WCM Annesha Smith) on board 4.

Jamaica’s WIM Deborah Richards-Porter, CM Rachel Miller, WCM Ariel Barrett and WCM Annesha Smith (L) face Bulgaria’s IM Iva Videnova, WGM Adriana Nikolova, WIM Elitsa Raeva and WGM Margarita Voiska, respectively.

FM DAMION DAVY OUTPLAYS ARGENTINE GRANDMASTER AS JAMAICA GOES DOWN!

Jamaica’s male gladiators (ranked 115) battled 26th-ranked Argentina but the South Americans (boasting an average rating of 400 points higher than the West Indians) prevailed 3 ½ - ½.

Jamaica (Right from top) - FMs Warren Elliott, Damion Davy, Malaku Lorne and NM Shreyas Smith (making his Olympiad debut) face Aregentina’s Grandmasters Sandro Mareco, Federico Perez, Diego Flores and Alan Pichot, respectively.

On board 2, three-time Jamaica champion FM Damion Davy (rated 2117) totally outplayed his opponent GM Federico Perez (rated a massive 468 points higher at 2585!) but blundered in the ending and allowed the Argentine to escape with a draw. On the other boards – 1, 3, and 4 - FM Warren Elliott, FM Malaku Lorne and debutant NM Shreyas Smith lost to Grandmasters Sandro Mareco, Diego Flores and Alan Pichot, respectively.

In the second round Jamaica will face Oman in match 55 with CM Brandon Wilson replacing NM Shreyas Smith on board 4. The “Reggae Chess Ambassadors” will have the white pieces on boards 1 and 3 and Black on boards 2 and 4, respectively.

Each player has 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, an additional 30 minutes thereafter, plus 30 seconds per move from move 1. A point is awarded for a win; a half-point for a draw and zero for a loss on each board. When the points are tabulated the team with more will be declared the winner and awarded match points. No player is allowed to offer a draw until after 30 moves have been completed.

Jamaica’s participation was made possible chiefly by sponsorship from the Government of Jamaica (via the Sports Development Foundation), the Jamaica Chess Federation and the Kasparov Chess Foundation.

MCGES

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