This report was written by Bert Scott from the Jamaican Ambassadors Academy.
National Master Jomo Pitterson retained his National Blitz Chess Title with a pulsating narrow 12.5 - 11.5 win over many-time champion National Master Shane Matthews on Saturday at the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) in New Kingston.
Pitterson's narrow victory in the best of 24 game contest was one the most exciting National Blitz finals in years. The defending champion jumped to an early 5-1 lead after 6 games, but Matthews fought hard to stay in the match and brought the score to 7-5 at the half-way point. Jomo Pitterson played well to hold his lead until a series of errors allowed Shane Matthews to level the score at 9.5 - 9.5 at the end of the crucial 19th game.
The match was still tied after game 21 at 10.5 -10.5, and the score was again leveled at 11.5 - 11.5 after game 23 in what can best be described as an in tense epic struggle between the two most seasoned and experienced national representatives in Jamaica. However, controversy raised its ugly head in Game 23 as the temperamental defending champion, Pitterson, adamantly claimed that Matthews had made an illegal move. After some deliberations, the Arbiter, National Master Robert Wheeler, ruled in favor of Matthews.
At the beginning of the penultimate 25th game of the exciting match, the score was level at 11.5 - 11.5 with Pitterson scoring 11 wins and 1 draw, and Matthews also scoring 11 wins and a 1 draw (1 point for a win and 0.5 point for a draw).
The script could not have been better written. The 2001 Jamaica National Blitz Chess Championship would be decided by the winner of the last game between arguably the two strongest chess players in Jamaica. Although Shane Matthews had the advantage of playing with the White pieces in the 24th and final game, the younger and more prepared defending champion, Jomo Pitterson, played a fine defensive game to seal the victory and retain his national crown 12.5 - 11.5 . The 2002 National Blitz qualification cycle begins in January 2002.
Jamaican Ambassadors Chess Academy (a comprehensive site on Jamaican chess)