2007 CMMB Caribbean Chess Carnival (Port of Spain, Trinidad)

The Trinidad Chess Foundation is hosting the CMMB Caribbean Chess Championships on August 8th-11th. Edison Raphael has been publicizing this event and an announcement was made on The Chess Drum last month. I am scheduled to be in attendance and possibly IM Amon Simutowe. While there, I hope to be able to interact with the chess community in addition to battling with the likes of FMs Ryan Harper and Christo Cave.

Some of you may remember that Simutowe and I went to Jamaica for the Hale Chan Open in 2004 and we were warmly received. We both played in the tournament and the Zambian ace gave a simultaneous exhibition. (Here’s the photo essay) Caribbean chess has been making attempt to reach out and expose its players to a high quality of competition. Bermuda and Curaçao have been able to attract world-class competition and been able to offer good conditions. Trinidad and islands such as Barbados and Jamaica hope to do the same.

Many talented Caribbean players suffer from stagnation due to lack of resources to travel, but it may make sense to bring strong players to the islands. I don’t know many people who would mind spending some time on a tropic island playing chess.

Full announcement here!


  1. Following statement in an e-mail from Edison Raphael

    We have confirmed participation from Jamaica, Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, Venezuela, Guyana, USA and Zambia. There is a possibility that a player may come from Nigeria. In all we have 36 visiting players coming.

    Should be a great tournament. The Chess Drum will be there! Read press release here!

  2. Hi Daaim ,
    We the community of Kids Chess Academy extend a wam welcome to you and all our visitors to the beautiful island of Trinidad and Tobago.Do hope your stay will be a relaxing and memorable one.
    As they say at the olympics- may the game begins….

    Keeping the Beat ,
    Lesley-Ann Nelson
    Kids Chess Academy

    😆 😆 😆

  3. Great Work Edison.
    You have shown great vision and overcome the challenge of sponsorship. Hopefully this event will be a huge success and sponsors will take note.
    Best of luck!!

  4. We arrived in Trinidad and Tobago at about 10:00pm EST. We were received by a Trinidadian contingent, had a quick dinner and then settled into our hotel. Our host Edison Raphael set up an interview with TV 4 with Ruskin Mark the next morning.

    At 6:30am, we headed to TV 4 to give the interview. Mr. Mark proved to be an able interviewer as he asked relevant chess questions and not the most simplistic ones such as “how many moves do you see ahead.” We discussed the chess environment in Trinidad, chess education & promotion, politics in chess and parallels with other sport. The show was run live at 7:00am and the feedback we got from the viewers was positive.

    Ruskin Mark (left) speaking with Daaim Shabazz,
    Edison Raphael and Amon Simutowe.

    After the interview, we got a bit of rest and than went to the Trindad Chess House, a quaint house adorned with chess paraphanelia and memorabilia. While Amon and I fiddled over some opening analysis, Edison would give another interview to Channel 3. They asked Amon (who has had three hours of sleep in 48 hours) and he obliged. After the interview, the technicians from the television station wanted Amon to sit down at the board and I urged Christopher Raphael to play since I was photographing. The 14-year was impressive, but was unable to nick the IM.

    Amon Simutowe and Chris Raphael in a blitz battle!

    The games start on tomorrow on August 8th at 9:00am for the Juniors and 10:00am for the Seniors. The tournament will extend until the August 11th. There are several contingents coming to the tournament, so the excitement is building into what should be a special tournament.

  5. Here are a couple of shots from the registration site:


    Surinamese team registering for the Junior tournament.
    Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

    Tournament Venue… Nice!

    Trevor Griffith, International Arbiter (Barbados)

  6. The first day of the Trinidad & Tobago Chess Championships was memorable more for its assemblage of players than it was for the chess that followed. Delegations from nine federations registered and national pride was exhibited through the colorful shirts and other paraphanelia. More than 100 players registered for the event including approxmiately 40 in the Senior section. Top seed IM Amon Simutowe was on board #1 with fellow-IM Humberto Pecorelli-Garcia holding the second postion. Trinidadian champion FM Ryan Harper was flying the home flag for the ‘Soca Warriors.’ WFM Zuzana Borosova of Slovakia was a late entrant and should make the field more intriguing.

    Edison Raphael posted a full report here.

  7. Here are some photos and one game from August 9th.


    At table #1, Cuba’s IM Humberto Pecorelli-Garcia plays Jamaica’s Russel Porter and on table #2, Zambia’s IM Amon Simutowe plays Venezuela’s Cesar Ramos.

    Roger Matoewi, National Champion of Suriname


    Jamaica’s Jomo Pitterson battling with Trinidad’s Marcus Joseph while
    Eddison Chang battles Kishore Ramadhar.



    Amon Simutowe – Cesar Ramos

    1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nge2 Nc6 5.h3 Be7 6.g3 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Bg2 Nxc3 9.bxc3 f6 10.0-0 0-0 11.f4 e4 12.f5 Qd5 13.g4 Bd6 14.Nf4 Qc4 15.Qe1 Re8 16.Bxe4 Ne7 17.Bd5+ Nxd5 18.Qxe8+ Bf8 19.Ba3 1-0



    Edison Raphael has a full report here.


  8. Participants of the Senior section

    Roderick Noel, Trinidad and Tobago Chess Association President; Alex Jackman (under-14); Jonathan Chong (under-10); Robert Mayers, CMMB; Brandon Wilson (under-20)


    The tournament has ended and the results are:

    1 Pecorelli-Garcia, Humberto CUBA (2386) 6½
    2 Simutowe, Amon ZAMBIA (2421) 6½
    3 Harper, Ryan TRINIDAD (2300) 6
    4 Pitterson, Jomo JAMAICA (2211) 5½
    5 Matoewi, Roger SURINAME (2150) 5½

    1 Wilson, Brandon JAMAICA (2116 FIDE)  7
    2 Salloum, Justin TRINIDAD 6
    3 Noreskal, Slomy MARTINIQUE 6
    4 Sanches, Romario SURINAME 5½
    5 Malgie, Avikaar SURINAME 5½

    1 Jackman, Alex BARBADOS 1798 7
    2 Pryce, Phillip JAMAICA 6½ 
    3 Guerrero, Rafael TRINIDAD 6
    4 Paul, Jarryon TRINIDAD 6
    5 Dos Ramos, Geryen SURINAME 5½

    1 Chong, Jonathan TRINIDAD 7
    2 Kafiluddin, Alexander SURINAME 6½
    3 Tjong Tjin Joe, Cavin SURINAME 5½ 
    4 Nelson, Ronnie TRINIDAD 5
    Dos Ramos Jr., Carlos SURINAME 4½

  9. Iam proud of the Jamaican team. Moreover I am convinced the Caribbean will be the future mecca for chess tourism. The Curacao Open is a great precedent. Hopefully I will be able to organise a
    Linares style tournament in Jamaica in 10 Years time.

  10. John,

    If you wait ten years, such a tournament will already exist in Jamaica.

    There are already plans for a tournament brewing with a proposed chess federation of Caribbean countries… Edison Raphael (Trinidad) mentioned it in our interview and both Allan Herbert (Barbados) and Ian Wilkinson (Jamaica) are on board. Gilles Suez-Panama (Martinique) also mentioned collaborative efforts within the Caribbean in our interview.

    Bermuda (not technically the Caribbean) and Curaçao have done well, but I believe Jamaica has greater potential than either of these islands. However, I would say that the Caribbean cannot afford to wait ten years for such a tournament. There has already been much serious discussion about this idea for at least the past three years, so it is perhaps time to make it happen.

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