The Jamaican Nationals are underway and perhaps the most interesting observation is that none of the top players are playing. The field is missing FM Warren Elliott, Shane Matthews, Duane Rowe, Jomo Pitterson and Russel Porter, all past Olympians and national team members.
The field has a mixture of players with several junior players looking to make an impact. Jamaican Chess Federation President Ian Wilkinson is throwing his hat into the ring as well as National Master Andrew Mellace, father of talented phenom Tewana Mellace. National Masters Equitable Brown and Brandon Wilson are also looking to win their first title.
The tournament, sponsored by LASCO DISTRIBUTORS LIMITED, started on Friday, July 4 and is scheduled to end on Sunday July 20. The tourney is being played at two venues, Shirley Retreat Hotel on Wednesdays and Fridays, games starting at 6:00pm, and at the Norman Manley Law School, UWI on Saturdays and Sundays, games starting at 1:00pm.