2015 Millionaire Chess Satellite (Kingston, Jamaica)

    Jamaica Jamaica Jamaica

    “MILLIONAIRE CHESS” COMES TO JAMAICA!

    History will unfold in Jamaican Chess at 6:00 pm on Wednesday August 5, 2015 when the first round of the Millionaire Chess Qualifier (“MCQ”) pawns off at the Christar Villas Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. This tournament is being held under the auspices of the Jamaica Chess Federation (“JCF”) to determine who will represent Jamaica officially in the second edition of the Millionaire Chess Open (“MCO”) scheduled to be held October 8-12, 2015 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America.

    The winner of the event will earn a spot in the MCO, the entry fee valued at United States One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars (US$1,500.00) as at the 1st July, 2015.

    In addition to gaining entry to the prestigious event in Las Vegas, the winner of the MCQ will also receive other benefits – fully covered airfare and accommodation – courtesy of sponsorship from the JCF and the Kasparov Chess Foundation (“KCF”).

    THE GLADIATORS!

    The event was open to Jamaican players with a local rating of at least 1900. Twelve players have been registered to do battle for this winner-take-all tournament. They are as follows:

  • FM Warren Elliott – the rating favourite and joint record seven-time Jamaica champion;
  • CM Robert Wheeler – International Arbiter, six-time Jamaica champion and winner of the first Jamaica Seniors Championship that ended on August 2, 2015;
  • WIM Deborah Richards-Porter – Jamaica’s ten-time women’s champion and the sole female in the field;
  • NM Andrew Mellace – former Jamaica champion and Chess Olympian;
  • CM Ras Malaku Lorne – one of Jamaica’s best performers at the 2014 Tromso, Norway World Chess Olympiad;
  • NM Geoffrey Byfield – Chess Olympian, pioneering chess coach and winner of many open tournaments;
  • NM Daren Wisdom – former Jamaica Junior champion and Chess Olympian;
  • CM Mark Holness – Vice-President of the JCF and Chess Olympian;
  • Eton Chin – durable, combative candidate master who can beat anyone on his day;
  • Michael Diedrick – former President’s Cup winner, candidate master and silver medal winner in the inaugural Jamaica Veterans Championship that ended on August 2, 2015;
  • Markland Douglas – candidate master and silver medal winner in the inaugural Jamaica Majors Championship that ended on August 2, 2015; and
  • Ian Wilkinson QC – JCF President and winner of the first Jamaica Veterans Championship that ended on August 2, 2015.

The tournament will be played over six rounds. The second round will also be held at Christar Villas Hotel on Friday, August 7 at 6:00 pm before the event moves to the Jamaica Olympic Association (“JOA”) on Saturday, August 8 for rounds three and four, respectively. Rounds five and six will round out the tournament at the JOA on Sunday, August 9.

Each player will have ninety minutes with increments of thirty seconds per move from the first move. Interestingly, the “Sophia rules” are in effect, meaning that players cannot offer draws to each other until after they have made at least forty (40) moves. Any such draw offer has to go through the arbiter. This should ensure that there is fighting chess. Additionally, having regard to the stakes there must be a sole winner. Consequently, if there is a tie at the top at the end of the regular rounds, tie-break games will be played.

The Jamaican MCQ is sponsored by the Millionaire Chess Open organizers, the KCF, the JOA and the JCF.

THE MILLIONAIRE CHESS OPEN

Planet Hollywood
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

The MCO is the brainchild of Jamaican-born US-based international Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley (the first black Grandmaster in the history of Chess) and his business colleague Amy Lee, the Canadian-based entrepreneur and millionaire.

There are different sections offering significant prizes to the participants. These are the Open or main section (the winner receives US$100,000); the Under-2200 section (the winner gets US$38,000); the Under-2000 Section (the winner gets US$36,000); the Under-1800 section (the winner gets US$34,000); the Under-1600 section (the winner gets US$30,000) and a section for Unrated/Provisional players, the winner getting US$3,000.

In the various sections, except for the unrated/provisional players, there are cash prizes for the top twenty players. There are many other “special prizes” including the best female player in the various sections and the best dressed female and male players! The total prize fund for the various sections is United States One Million Dollars (US$1,000,000) hence the name “Millionaire Chess”.

Winners in the various rating categories who make it to “Millionaire Monday”, the last day of the competition, will have a chance to win an additional United States One Million Dollars (US$1,000,000) – the “Millionaire Square Prize”!

RE-IGNITING THE CHESS WORLD!

It is an event that has re-ignited tremendous interest in the chess world and kudos have to go to Ashley and Lee for this bold and tremendous project. The first MCO was held in Las Vegas October 9-13, 2014 and the Open, or chief, section was won by Filipino GM Wesley So who now represents the United States of America.

Jamaican-born Chess GM Maurice Ashley during his visit to Jamaica in 2011. Photograph by I. Wilkinson

Jamaican-born Chess GM Maurice Ashley during his visit to Jamaica in 2011.
Photograph by Ian Wilkinson.

Millionaire Amy Lee who helped to make “Millionaire Chess” a reality. She is Chinese, born in Vietnam but raised in Canada. Photograph courtesy of her website – www.amylee.biz.

* * *

Report by Ian G. Wilkinson QC
President
Jamaica Chess Federation

August 4, 2015

26 Comments

  1. 2015 Millionaire Chess Satellite

    August 5th-9th 2015
    (Christar Villas Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica)
    Results (Round #1)
    1 Elliott, W
    JAM
    1-0
    Wisdom, D
    JAM
    2 Richards, D
    JAM
    0-1
    Lorne, M
    JAM
    3 Mellace, A
    JAM
    1-0
    Holness, M
    JAM
    4 Diedrick, M
    JAM
    1-0
    Byfield, G
    JAM
    5 Chin, E
    JAM
    ½-½
    Wilkinson, I
    JAM
    6 Douglas, M
    JAM
    BYE (1)
    7 Wheeler, R
    JAM
    BYE (½)
    Chess-Results.com

    “Fire on Board” in Round #1 in Jamaica’s Millionaire Qualifier!

    Jamaica’s Millionaire Chess Satellite tournament has begun with a bang. Four decisive games out of five capped off an exciting round of chess. Despite none of the games lasting past move 40, the games were hard-fought. The format of this tournament is a six-round Swiss with all players having to have Elo of 1900+.

    FM Warren Elliott started off on the right foot with a walkover against Daren Wisdom. Out of a Slav Defense, black played an overambitious line with 8…O-O 9.e3 g5? 10.Bg3 Ne4 11.Nd2 f5?! and black’s kingside was like Swiss cheese on the light squares. Elliott immediately took advantage with 14.h4 seizing the h-file and castling queenside. The move 18.f4! was a resource prying the kingside open further and initiating a deadly penetration on the h-file. Black lasted a few more moves after donating his queen and a rook.

    Elliott ruthlessly exploited Wisdom’s daring play.

    In Richards-Lorne, white got nothing out of the opening and wasted some time with queen moves allowing black to gain an edge. While white wasted more time moving the queen, black’s pieces begin to dominate the board… bishops slicing, knights controlling and rooks pounding. Lorne’s coup de grace 24…Nxf2! ended the matter and out of white’s 28 moves, 1/4 were with the queen. White rightfully resigned before seeing the beautiful 29.Ng1 Qxg4 30.Bf4 Qf3! mating.

    Lorne pounced on Richards-Porter like a lion on his prey.

    Mellace was very fortunate not to drop the point against Holness.

    Mellace-Holness was a French Rubenstein-Fort Knox variation. It appeared that white has a strong attacking position, but erred with tempting 20.f5? Black could have played 20…Nxe5! pocketing the exchange and a couple of pawns, but apparently feared pressure on b1-h7 diagonal. White had a 25-move romp after 23…f6?? 24.Bxg6 Red8 25.Qh5 an academic attack crashes through and black is mated.

    An interesting piece sacrifice by Byfield gave him a winning attack, but he missed a couple of ways to win quickly. Wilkinson missed a nice geometric win against veteran Eton Chin. All photos courtesy of Ian Wilkinson.

    Diedrick-Byfield was a strange game. Byfield’s early piece sacrifice actually produced a mating attack with 10…Rd5! but he bungled it and gave white many resources to defend. After the black attack was parried, white seized the initiative with an extra exchange and got the full point. (Editor: The game score was incomplete but white is completely winning after c5!)

    Wilkinson missed 29…Qh6+! winning!

    Chin-Wilkinson was also a game of missed opportunities in a Sicilan Paulsen. Black fell under heavy pressure after 14…g6? 15.Bh6 since the rook cannot be moved. Black initially had little compensation for the exchange, but deftly plugged up the position with minor pieces. White was finding it hard to make use of his exchange.

    Then a critical moment… white’s king was exposed and black had a chance to turn the tables. “I missed a win in my game. I played 29…c4 (Black is better) but the immediate 29…Qh6+ was winning!” said Wilkinson. The point being that 29…Qh6+! forces white to play 30.Kg1 when 30…Bxe4 produces a winning stroke. Chess is a tough game!

    Standings: Elliott, Lorne, Mellace, Diedrick, Douglas, 1; Wheeler, Chin , Wilkinson, ½; Byfield, Wisdom, Richards, Holness, 0.

    Results: https://chess-results.com/tnr182833.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=1&wi=821

    1. on Diedrick-Byfield: Jeff’s sac is optimistic, but black seems to be in trouble if he moves the bishop, the g3 reply from Diedrick doesn’t make sense. Probably the queen is misplaced on h5. Tough break

      1. Not sure why he played g3, but of course Nd4 or Ne5 is looming (as in the Morra Gambit trap). The move g3 loses. After 10.Ne4 Rd5! followed by swinging to h-file is deadly. It comes fast! Also 10…Nd4 wins.

  2. Great report Daaim!

    In my game against Chin I actually decided to play 14…g6 aiming for complicated, double-edged play to try and open the g or h-file. I felt the White king must be “uncomfortable” after his pawns were pushed up the board. I was never worried about losing the exchange and Chin, in a brief post-mortem, said that he agonized whether to part with his dark bishop. When I played 14…g6 I actually saw my knight on f4 and reasoned that (in the style of Capablanca) White had to give back the exchange at some point to have any chance of winning especially as I now had control of the dark squares. I was thinking long term. In fact, I parted from my initial plan to play an early Rfd8 (that would have kept the exchange) but decided to develop the Bb7 etc.

    When I played 28…c5 it was with an eye on swinging the queen to h6, not so much to attack White’s bishop on d3 with the imminent c4. Before I played 29…c4 (instead of the deadly 29….Qh6+) my “spider sense” told me that there was something in the position but I just did not look long and hard enough. That is what happens after a tough full work day and having to play at 6:00 pm! I was disappointed later when I saw what I missed as I solve much harder combinations. You are right – chess can be tough. Back to the tactics books!

    1. Interesting insights. The way I saw it, after 14…g6 15.Bh6, it appears to be a dream attacking position for white… at least for an attacking player. No way you can create that kind of dark-square weakness against a strong attacking player. It’s a white brilliancy waiting to happen. Chin grabbed the exchange and allowed the dark-square blockade. He can even play Ne2 preventing Nf4. I believe white still was on top after 22…g5 since he can always trade knights and your bishops are hard to coordinate. Meanwhile the h-file will be vulnerable to white’s queen and rooks. Black later got compensation with 28…c5, but I believe Mr. Chin panicked. To your credit, those geometric tactics like …Qh6+ are not always easy to see… and you would have to see all the way to the winning pawn endgame!

    2. This game is another reason you cannot allow this type of weaknesses on the kingside… Wei Yi vs. Lazaro Bruzon is instructive.

      Commentary by GM Jan Jan Gustafsson (chess24.com).

  3. g6 simply loses. The white player lacks knowledge and finesse to explore these golden positions. An exciting prospect would be 16. f6, if Bxf8 is too easy. Any why did white 0-0 so early?

    1. Well… 16.f6 releases the dynamism in the position too soon. As an attacking player, you want to keep the levers on the f-file to attack f7-square if rook moves. That is why Qf3 instead of Bxf8 was much stronger. There is no attack after 16.f6.

  4. correct Daaim, Qf3 is the master strike.
    BxF8 is ???. 16. f6 Rd8, and 17.Qd2 looking at Qg5 was a snapshot of why white should keep the dark square bishop.

    Black position is busted after 17.Qf3

  5. 2015 Millionaire Chess Satellite

    August 5th-9th 2015
    (Christar Villas Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica)
    Results (Round #2)
    1 Douglas, M
    JAM
    0-1
    Elliott, W
    JAM
    2 Lorne, M
    JAM
    1-0
    Mellace, A
    JAM
    3 Wilkinson, I
    JAM
    ½-½
    Diedrick, M
    JAM
    4 Wheeler, R
    JAM
    1-0
    Chin, E
    JAM
    5 Byfield, G
    JAM
    1-0
    Richards, D
    JAM
    6 Wisdom, D
    JAM
    ½-½
    Holness, M
    JAM
    Chess-Results.com

    Elliott, Lorne break out on top!

    The 7-time national champion continues his dominance.

    Two of the presumptive favorites jumped ahead of the field with wins in the historic Millionaire Chess Qualifier held at Christar Villas Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. FM Warren Elliott got everything he wanted when his opponent neglected the center and allowed an early thematic 7…d5 in the Sicilian Paulsen. Black had no problems wresting the initiative with active piece play. Under severe pressure, white overlooked a tactical trick 26…Rxd4! 27.Nxd4 Qxd4 28.Qxd4 Ne2+ a with massive gain. Total demolition!

    Another anti-climatic game was Lorne-Mellace with the two gladiators looking to go all-out for the win. Unfortunately for Mellace the game turned into a comedy of errors as he sacrificed a pawn with 7…e5 which was easily refuted. White simply pocketed the pawn and consolidated as they approached the ending. However, black had the two bishops and it is hard to see how white would convert his advantage. For some reason, black gave up his two bishops and allowed white to win another pawn. This would be too much. Lorne pressed the advantage and uncorked a winning shot with 36.Ne6! The point is 38.Rxe8! nets a piece. Lorne would move up to 2/2 with Elliott.

    Eton Chin roared to a decisive advantage
    only to suffer a shocking loss to the wily Robert Wheeler.

    In Wheeler-Chin, the game entered the theoretical 6.Be2 Sicilian which was accented by black shuffling a knight back and forth on the queenside between b4 and c6. Perhaps Wheeler was amused or lulled to sleep, but overlooked a small combination after 26…Nbd3 27.Qf1 Qa5 28.Rxd3 Nxd3 29.Qxd3 d5! winning material. At this point black was completely better with two exchanges to the good. Then something horrific happened. White was able to muddy up the game by threatening a mating pattern and pitching a pawn forward with 35.a5 to distract his opponent for just a moment.

    After 35…Qxa5 36.dxe6 (36.Bxg6!=) 36…Rd1+ (36…Qa1+!) 37.Kg2! white had risen from the dead. Chin’s adrenaline was probably running as he was focusing on the kill not realizing that his own king lie in mortal danger. How many of us has this happened to? He carried on with 37…Rd2+ 38.Kf3 Rcd8 overlooking the thunderbolt 39.exf7+! And just like that, he had to resign due to several mating patterns. What a turn of events!! The wily deer escaped the jaws of the tiger, turned around and gored its predator!

    The Jamaican President is fighting hard, but with two draws to show for it.

    Geoffrey Byfield score a stifling victory over Deborah Richards-Porter.

    Geoffrey Byfield trotted out the London System against the 10-time women’s champion of Jamaica and got a positional grip on the queenside. Like a boa constrictor squeezing its prey, white never allowed black a semblance of counterplay and the black pieces were simply a huddled mess protecting the queenside. White’s queenside pawns steamrolled up the board and flattened every black soldier in its wake. Richards-Porter will try to bounce back with a vengeance against Mark Holness in round three.

    Daren Wisdom and Mark Holness drew their encounter.
    Photos courtesy of Ian Wilkinson/Jamaica Chess Federation.

    Standings: Elliott, Lorne, 2; Diedrick, Wheeler, 1½; Mellace, Douglas, Wilkinson, Byfield, 1; Chin, Wisdom, Holness, ½; Richards, 0.

    Results: https://chess-results.com/tnr182833.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=1&wi=821

  6. 2015 Millionaire Chess Satellite

    August 5th-9th 2015
    (Christar Villas Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica)
    Results (Round #3)
    1 Elliott, W
    JAM
    0-1
    Lorne, M
    JAM
    2 Diedrick, M
    JAM
    1-0
    Wheeler, R
    JAM
    3 Mellace, A
    JAM
    1-0
    Wilkinson, I
    JAM
    4 Byfield, G
    JAM
    1-0
    Douglas, M
    JAM
    5 Chin, E