2011 Bahamas National Open

Bahamas Bahamas Bahamas

Yan Lyansky
Photo courtesy of Andre White.

The Bahamas National Open took place April 15th-17th in Nassau. The round started out on Friday evening with a brief ceremony as the CW Sawyer Primary School. There were 26 players participating with 16 in the Candidates section and 10 in the Scholastic section. There were several national champions in the field including: Ken Gibson – 2008 and 2010; Yan Lyansky – 2009; Charles Duncombe – 2006; NM Byron Small – 1992 and 1997.

The Bahamas Chess Federation invited The Chess Drum’s Daaim Shabazz to participate. He led with wins in the first three rounds and would need a draw to clinch a tie for first. Shabazz started with 1.e4 against Yan Lyansky and perhaps unwisely, immediately entered complications. Lyansky played solidly, but Shabazz may have missed chances to gain favorable attacking chances. In the end, a tactical melee ensued and Shabazz ultimately got the worst of the sequence. Lyansky would win the game and tournament.

Scholastic winners with former national player, Antoinette Seymour! From left to right – Henderson Cartwright, Uriah Cartwright (twin brothers), Rajdeep Gali, and Daanish Kanza. Seymour was six-time Bahamas National Champion and she won the Women’s Championship of the English Speaking Caribbean in 1985 at the Caribbean Chess Festival, Jamaica. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Lyansky had 3½ points while Small, Shabazz, Chappel Whyms and Charles Duncombe ended on 3/4. Sandeep Gali of St. John’s College won the Scholastic section with 4/4 while the 2010 Bahamas Junior Chess Champion David Bullard finished with 3/4 while 2011 Individual Scholastic Champion Travis Miller finished with 2/4. Miller was joined by Aaron Rollins, Daanish Kanza and Geovanni Robinson also on 2/4.

Despite the change of venue to the Sheraton Hotel in round two, the tournament ran smoothly under the stewardship of Warrren Seymour. At the closing ceremonies, the attendees got a surprise as former national player Antoinette Seymour was received to a warm reception. She spoke briefly about her chess-playing days and the way that it benefited her. She assisted in handing out the trophies. Organizers are aiming for 40 players in next year Bahamas National Open.

Selected Games from Bahamas Open (PGN)
Final Standings (Candidates, Scholastic)

* * *

Historic Moment for the Bahamas

The Bahamian Youth Team at the 1983 World Youth Team Championship, Chicago Illinois. L-R: Juliette Storr, Anthony Moss, Percy Rolle, Antoinette Seymour.

The Bahamian Youth Team at the 1983 World Youth Team Championship, Chicago Illinois. L-R: Juliette Storr, Anthony Moss, Percy Rolle, Antoinette Seymour.


  1. [Event “2nd Bahamas National Chess Open 2011”]
    [Site “Nassau, Bahamas”]
    [Date “2011.04.16”]
    [Round “3”]
    [White “Major, Wilshire”]
    [Black “Scott, Robert”]
    [Result “0-1”]
    [ECO “A40”]
    [PlyCount “40”]
    [EventDate “2011.??.??”]

    1. d4 Nc6 2. d5 Ne5 3. f4 Ng6 4. e4 e5 5. Nf3 exf4 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. Qe2 Qe7 9. e5 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Ng4 11. Nd4 Qh4+ 12. g3 fxg3 13. Nf5 g2+ 14. Nxh4 gxh1=Q+ 15. Kd2 Qxh2 16. Ng2 N6xe5 17. Ba3 Qh6+ 18. Ne3 Nxc4+ 19. Qxc4 Qxe3+ 20. Kd1 Nf2# 0-1

  2. Mr. Seymour told me an interesting story after I interviewed him. During the 1983 World Youth Team Championship, he mentioned that Percy Rolle was playing in the blitz tournament against GM Artur Yusupov (Jussupow) of the then Soviet Union. Rolle was having a hard time dealing with top Soviet player who had used only one minute of his time. Rolle had used four minutes, but complained that something was wrong with the clock. While Yusupov didn’t say a word, he picked up the clock and turned it around giving Rolle four minutes to his one minute! The result was never in doubt as Yusupov won handily. I believe Jaan Ehlvest won that blitz tournament for the Soviet Union.

  3. Hello Daaim and greetings from The Bahamas Chess Federation (BCF).

    On behalf of The BCF, thank you for accepting our invitation to participate in the 2nd Bahamas Open 2011 and share in our experince as we continue to develop Chess in our country. As you would have seen and heard, we have been part of the World Chess community since 1974. We have plans of developing this tournament into one of the major amateur chess events in this region. Next year we hope that the tournament would double in size. Hopefully, you will visit The Bahamas again soon for chess, business or vacation.

    I was inspired by the information you shared during our many conversations and am encouraged to continue reaching out to other chess federations in this region and around the world.

    Best Regards,

  4. Kean,

    Thanks for inviting me to the Bahamas. I certainly will be visiting the Bahamas soon! I’ll keep your number handy. I enjoyed the time spent with you and your wife. I’ll have to exchange more Kenyan stories with her! 🙂

    I shall be coming back to win! Keep me posted!


  5. Scenes of Nassau
    Photos by Daaim Shabazz.

    Kean Smith and wife showing me some Bahamian hospitality…
    even though she is Kenyan! 🙂

    What a view!

    Colonel Sanders’ recipe is popular in Nassau. I think I opted for Subway.

    Neighborhoods 🙂

    Flowers are a mainstay in the Caribbean.

    “Ghetto Children Productions” 😐

    Only in the Caribbean will you find buildings that look like this!

    Lots of places to shop in the downtown area.

    Steel pan artist playing pleasant tunes.

    University Library – College of the Bahamas

    New stadium apparently being built by a Chinese company.

    The moment we’ve all been waiting for! 😎

    Birds of a feather…flock together!

    All kinds of fun things to do!

    Interesting textures on the beach.

    No caption needed.

    Sister burying her brother. It must be great growing up on an island.

    Birds swoop up popcorn tossed at them. Impressive!

    Sand crab… can you see it?

    She sells seashells by the seashore.

    The board game of the Caribbean. There is a World Champion in Barbados.

    Tabby the Cat at the resort. Looks well-fed.

    Hotel Atlantis

    Scenes away from tourist areas. Always more revealing.

    Someone is building a house!

    Goodfellow Farms was expensive!

    At Goodfellow Farms look what I found! I buy this in the U.S. However it twice as expensive here because of the VAT taxes. I saw an Amy’s pizza in another store for US$19.00!! In the U.S. it is $7.99.

    A white knight! 🙂

    “Checking” me out!

    The historic Gambier community was settled by liberated slaves in 1807.

    A Bahamas sports team settling in.

    Fort Charlotte… a British colonial era fort. The fort was never used in battle.

    Junkanoo Beach

    Central Bank of the Bahamas

    Downtown area… is this the site of the old capitol?

    Relic from the past.

    Junkanoo School

    College of the Bahamas

  6. 2012 Bahamas Open
    Photos by Andre White.

    2011 Bahamas Open, Nassau, Bahamas.

    National Master Byron Small.

    Daaim Shabazz on the move.

    Warren Seymour counseling one of his junior players.

    * * *

    More photos from 2011 Bahamas Open
    Photos by Daaim Shabazz.

    After moving from the hotel for the first round, we moved to this venue.


    That’s all the pictures I could take… too busy playing Andre White! (right)

    Scholastic winners with former national player, Antoinette Seymour! From left to right – Henderson Cartwright, Uriah Cartwright (twin brothers), Rajdeep Gali, and Daanish Kanza.

    Open Section winner Ian Lyansky

    * * *

    One last trip to the beach!!

    Drummer sculpture outside of the airport.

    Culture inside airport to greet travelers! Goodbye Bahamas!

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