The “land of wood and water” is singing the praises of FM Jomo Pitterson who placed joint first in the 2.3.5 subzonal held in the Bahamas this past week. This tournament was attended by players from 10 countries.
Pitterson played solidly with an undefeated 7/9 along with WGM Serai Sanchez-Castillo of Venezuela outpacing a field that also included four other FIDE Masters. He becomes the first Jamaican in history to earn the International Master title after earning the FM title at the Dresden Olympiad in 2008. In subzonal competitions, the first-place finishers earn the IM title with 6/9. Keron Cabralis of Trinidad and Martyn Castilho earned the FM title.
Jamaica’s Federation President Ian Wilkinson posted a laudatory comment at The Chess Drum:
Jomo is a true chess “phenom” and very few players, if any, in the region work as hard as he at chess. Among other things, he is a serious opening theoretician and has coninued to grow from strength to strength. His inexorable upward climb was evident since December, 2007 when he won the Frederick Cameron Open in Kingston, Jamaica ahead of a big and tough field including the celebrated Jamaican-born GM Maurice Ashley.
His sparkling play at the 2008 Dresden Olympiad for Jamaica saw him being the star of the show with an unbeaten 7/9, for which he earned the FM title. He has continued to play and train hard with excellent results and it is no surprise that he mirrored his olympiad success with another unbeaten 7/9 in the Bahamas.
In the past two years, Pitterson has played in several norm tournaments in the Caribbean and in the U.S. trying to sharpen his game. The results have been fruitful and Jamaica will send their Olympiad team to with a newly-titled player. It is hopeful that Pitterson will take this new plateau to higher heights and inspire others to compete internationally.