The 2nd Bahamas Youth Chess Championship 2008 was held on Saturday 16th and 23rd February at C.R. Walker Senior High School Auditorium. This two day tournament was divided into six (6) sections – U21, U18, U16, U14, U12 and U10.
Main Hall of The 2nd Bahamas Youth Chess Championship
The BCF President, Kean Alfred Smith, said that the Bahamas Youth Chess Championship is quickly becoming a major tournament and will hopefully be a tournament from which a National Chess Team can be selected.
The tournament produced outstanding performances from Elton Joseph, Akini Morris and Polina Major who went undefeated in their respective divisions. Of particular note was the performance of Bradesha Duncombe and Polina Major who won their respective division. They both participated in The 1st Bahamas Junior Girls Chess Championship 2007 (BJGC).
The BJGC was organized by the BCF to promote chess play with girls. Smith said that the participation of girls in chess tournaments are slowly becoming common place. Four girls that played in this year’s Youth Championship. Two girls each played in the Under 12 and Under 10 Divisions. They have made there mark in this tournament and are expected to do the same thing next month in the Scholastic Individual Chess Championship which is schedule for Saturday 15th March at C.I. Gibson Senior High School Gymnasium.
Polina Major playing Kelsie Thomas in the Under 10 section.
Kelsie’sister Nelissa participated in the Under 12 section.
BCF President pointed out that the tournament was comprise of players from various schools, which show that there is wide interest in the sport and talent is not isolated or restricted to any school. A review of the tournament results support Smith’s claim.
1. Elton Joseph (College of The Bahamas) – Undefeated 5-0
2. Khristian Plakaris (College of The Bahamas)
1. Lincoln Knowles (St. Augustine)
2. Chris Curry (C.V. Bethel)
1. Jesse Wheeler (St. Andrew’s)
2. Jamaal Springer (C.R. Walker)
1. Akini Morris (Nassau Christian Academy) – Undefeated 4-0
2. Dante Delaney
3. Travis Davis (A.F. Adderley Jr. High)
1. Bradesha Duncombe (Yellow Elder Primary)
2. Ricardo Knowles (Gerald Cash Primary)
3. Devaughn Williamson (C.R. Walker Primary)
1. Polina Major (Queen’s College) – Undefeated 6-0
2. Tre Rolle (South Haven Christian Academy)
3. Brad Duncombe (Yellow Elder Primary)
The efforts of the BCF to promote Chess play amount young Bahamians have gotten the attention of The Ministry of Sports. The Minister of Sports, Hon. Byron Woodside, brought remarks at the Awards Ceremony of the Youth Championships. Minister Woodside was the first Minister of Sports of The Bahamas to attend any Chess event that was organized in The Bahamas by the BCF.
At the Awards Ceremony, the BCF President said that he was grateful that the Minister accepted the invitation of the BCF and attended the ceremony. He continued saying that the BCF needs the Ministry of Sports assistance with funding much needed programs that will give young chess players opportunities to develop their skills and game.
Hon. Byran Woodside – Minister of Sport
The Minister acknowledged the founders of the BCF who made invaluable contribution to the development of Chess. He further congratulated the BCF for persevering over the years despite developmental challenges. He noted some of the major and recent accomplishments of the BCF including Antoinette Seymour and Juliette Storr winning the Women Chess Championship in the English Speaking Caribbean in 1983 and 1985 respectively.
After his formal address the Minister expressed interest in learning the game and ask that BCF representatives inform him when the next beginner’s classes start! Since the time of that comment, I understand that a special introductory session is being planned for the Minister.
~Kean Smith, Bahamas Chess Federation
National Champions – Camperdown: (L-R) Peter Thomas (captain),Warren Cornwall, Damion Davy and Rayon Walters touch fists in celebration. Coach National Master Equitable Brown (background left) and reserve O’Shane Reid (backgrond right).
Camperdown defeated defending champions Glenmuir 2.5 – 1.5 on Saturday at the RBTT Headquarters in New Kingston, to claim their fourth hold on the RBTT National Schools Chess Championship title.
Having defeated favourites Campion College in the Corporate Area finals last weekend, Camperdown came into all-island finals full of confidence. They however started badly as their Board 1 Rayon Walters lost after only twenty-six moves to reigning National Junior champion, Onaje La Mont.
The Camperdown team members never looked worried by the early setback and went on to take the next two games through Damion Davy and Warren Cornwall on Boards 3 and 4 respectively. With the score at 2-1 in favour of Camperdown, it was left to their team captain Peter Thomas on Board 2 to avoid defeat against Glenmuir’s Laurence Davey.
After a marathon 80 moves, Thomas was able to neutralise all Davey’s checkmating possibilities and force a draw. This result left the final score at 2.5 – 1.5, giving Camperdown the National title.
At the awards ceremony that followed the final, Glenmuir’s Board 1 Onaje La Mont was named tournament MVP and Best Board 1, Campion’s Zachary Ramsay was Best Board 2, and Camperdown’s Damion Davy and Warren Cornwall were adjudged the Best on Boards 3 and 4 respectively. Wolmer’s Girls received the award for being the top female team.
The top players from the schools championship will now turn their attention to the RBTT National Junior Championship, scheduled for the last two weekends in March.
~Peter Myers, Jamaica Chess Federation