Jamaica’s Powell gets FM title posthumously
The World Chess Federation (FIDE) recently awarded 9 titles to Jamaican chess players for past and recent performances. The titles awarded were 1 FIDE Master (FM), 4 Candidate Master (CM), and 4 Woman Candidate Master (WCM).
Former Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) president, John Powell, who died in 2007, was recently awarded the FIDE Masters (FM) chess title, posthumously, based upon his outstanding board 4 silver medal performance at the 1984 Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Jamaica’s team at the opening ceremony of the 23rd World Students’ Chess Olympiad in Caracas, Venezuela, 7-22 August, 1976. From left: Bob Wheeler, John Powell (deceased), Peter Mundell, David Hunt (deceased), Enos Grant (Captain/delegate, deceased), Orrin Tonsingh (deceased), and Sheldon Wong. Photo from Jamaica Ambassadors Chess Academy.
FM Powell scored 7/9 on board 4 with 6 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss, and earned a FIDE ELO rating of 2201, with a performance rating of 2421. At the time of his death in 2007, FM Powell was a FIDE International Arbiter.
This is something for which the Jamaica Chess Federation (“JCF”) advocated and agitated for several years and, fortunately, this was fruitful a short while ago.
John Powell was a titan in the chess world – not only in Jamaica – as a player and administrator. His passing six years ago left a massive void that is unlikely to be filled! He was an all-round individual, being a professional accountant; an academic who read widely and wrote a lot with many interesting ideas; and an athlete par excellence who, in addition to being an outstanding chessplayer, was a former heavyweight boxing champion in Jamaica.
This recognition that FIDE has bestowed on him posthumously is most welcome, has given the JCF great satisfaction and is a credit to his memory, his family and to the chess fraternity in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Long may his legacy and contribution continue and be recognised!