1st Jamaican Qualifier (2011)

Jamaica Jamaica Jamaica

The first qualifier for the 2011 National Chess Championships will take place May 21-22, 2011 at the Half Way Tree Entertainment Centre.

NOTE CAREFULLY: Winning or placing in the tournament does not guarantee qualification, instead it may allow you to place higher on the selection index, and provides an opportunity for additional games.

To register or for more information:

10 Swallowfield Road, Kingston 5 (322-2143)
JCF Vice-President NM MARK HOLNESS (375-7733)
JCF Secretary MICHAEL RAMSAY (562-0952)

Sections: Group A– Closed to players with a rating above 2200; Group B– Open to players with a Jamaica Chess Federation rating above 1800 and a FIDE rating under 2200

Time controls: Game in 60 minutes with 30 second increments. The tournament is to be FIDE and locally rated. Entry fee to be decided.


Note: There will be no monetary prize fund

For even more information: https://tinyurl.com/43rq2hb



    Denton Cockburn, the Jamaican-born Canadian rating favourite, Jamaica Chess Federation President (JCF), Ian Wilkinson, Zachary Ramsay and Michael Diedrick each scored 4/6 to share first place in the JCF national chess championship qualifier held May 21 and 22 at the Half Way Tree Entertainment Centre in the heart of the Jamaican capital.

    Cockburn, playing his first event in his native country, defeated Michael Diedrick, Melisha Smith and Peter Thomas, respectively, and had draws against Wilkinson and Ramsay. In the final round, however, he suffered a crushing defeat to the journeyman and underdog Markland Douglas to dash his hopes of winning the event outright.

    The tournament, sponsored by Burger King, also saw the rapidly improving 14 year-old Shreyas Smith being the top junior while Melisha Smith was the top female player.

    The next event on the JCF calendar is the widely anticipated Robert Wheeler Open set for May 28 and 29 at the National Housing Trust Car Park, Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston. All roads lead to this tournament which is the last chance for players to qualify for the 2011 Jamaica Chess Championships.

    Ian Wilkinson
    President, Jamaica Chess Federation
    Jamaica Chess Federation
    May 2011

  2. Daaim,

    Thank you for the coverage. As you can see I am “trying” to play some chess again (representing the “old school”!) after forced breaks due to work pressure etc. John Tobisch laments repeatedly about the absence of regularly published analyses by chess players, especially those from Jamaica. I’d include other parts of the West Indies and the African diaspora. Trying to bridge the divide!

  3. Ian,

    There is certainly a scholarly dearth of analyses by players in the Diaspora. I’m not sure why that is. I have found that most Black players do not even put their games in the database, not to mention analyze them! I have an account of just about every tournament game I’ve played (except for one or two scores I’ve lost) and most of them are annotated. When I did the “Fire on Board” segment, that was somewhat of a joy for me since I love analysis and it is my favorite chess activity apart from playing in tournaments.

    What I have seen is players play their games in tournaments and then go and play blitz. This is why we continue to have players with low ELO ratings. I do not emphasize the titles because without an ELO, the respect of the title is not granted. There was an IM in the recent tournament in Angola who was rated 2089 (and he lost more points). There is no excuse for this. Unless there is a serious approach to the game, we will not see an improvement in play amongst our brethren and sistren in the Diaspora. It is disappointing because it means I have less to write about.

  4. Interestingly, apart from playing, one of the things that give me sheer joy is to analyse – without the computer and then to check stuff with the silicon beast. In fact, I also get pleasure out of reading the books by the greats (especially the word champions), playing over the moves and checking the analyses myself even without the aid of any engine. I feel as if I am taken back in time and am present when the moves are made, watching the drama unfold.

    Blitz is fun but I have rarely played it over-the-board. I can count those games on my two hands in the ten or so years I have been involved in chess. I have also stopped playing blitz online and spend any time I can find playing over games from the past, doing analyses etc.

    The intensity with which I see the leading (serious!) players analyse, especially at the Olympiad, is instructive. A number of players annotate/analyse their games deeply (I know that Jamaica’s IM Jomo Pitterson is one such player) but do not publish them for obvious reasons. A balance needs to be struck between protecting “secrets” and educating the public, especially young juniors hungry for a diet of good, instructive analyses.

    By the way, apart from lines, variations etc. I keep emphasizing to a number of players in Jamaica that their analyses are important for the mental element, so that they can give guidance re the thought process.

    One will simply not get better and get the elo points without doing the “work”…but this is “fun” work. That is how I see it. It is the age-old “preparation”, nothing short of that will do. I get great fulfilment after preparing and seeing the benefits of this unfold. My recent “decent” performance in the Qualifier for the Jamaican championships is an example. Although I did not have as much energy as I would have liked, I prepared a number of lines (and did a lot of analysing) and got to play them in a few instances.

    In this internet age, players from the West Indies, Africa etc. have no excuse justifying the absence of analyses. Let us hope that some of the more famous players like Simutowe, Gwaze, Kobese, just to name a few, will remedy this matter sooner than later.

    Some time ago on this site you had an analyst competition going. I specifically remember a “clash” between Jamaica’s FM Warren Elliott and Trinidad’s FM Ryan Harper. Perhaps we need more of that kind of thing.

  5. Yes! Yes! The “annotation clash” was a novel idea that I thought of and ChessBase helped me on one of them. I believe I stopped after three because I could not find a good challenger to Kenny Solomon who beat Ryan Harper (who beat Warren Elliott). Many of the players I approached either could not deliver or did not analyze well.

    Simutowe analyzed several games for The Chess Drum. I have had other players, but the analysis was not detailed. I like the gamecast analysis I have done… https://www.thechessdrum.net/gamecast/tate-bercys/tate-bercys.html. I’m sure you’ve seen these.

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