Jamaica’s Wilkinson, Wheeler at World Seniors

JAMAICA DEBUTS AT WORLD SENIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS!

Jamaica Jamaica Jamaica

Six-time Jamaica Chess Champion Robert Wheeler and Jamaica Chess Federation (“JCF”) President Ian Wilkinson, QC left the island yesterday to participate in the 25th World Senior Chess Championships being held in Acqui Terme, Italy November 9 – 22, 2015.

This much-anticipated event is being staged by the Italian Chess Federation in association with the World Chess Federation (“FIDE”). The official welcome of the players is scheduled for Monday, November 9 while the first round of the eleven-round tournament will get underway at 3 pm on Tuesday, November 10. There are four sections: Open for players fifty years and older; Open for players sixty-five years and older; and two equivalent sections for women. The respective winners will be awarded the title of International Chess Grandmaster.

CM Robert Wheeler (L), Jamaica Seniors Champion, and Ian Wilkinson QC, Jamaica Veterans Champion, with their national trophies in the SDF board room on Thursday, November 5. Photograph courtesy of the Jamaica Chess Federation.

Wheeler, a FIDE Candidate Master and also Jamaica’s reigning Seniors Champion, is among one hundred and eighty-nine (189) players registered in the section for players 65 years and older. Wilkinson is Jamaica’s reigning Veterans Champion and is among one hundred and three (103) players who will battle in the section for players fifty years and older. This is the first time that Jamaica will be represented in this prestigious event, another sports landmark for the country.

Jamaica’s participation was made possible by sponsorship from the Sports Development Foundation (“Developing the Nation through Sports”), Supreme Ventures Limited (“Games people love to play…and more”), General Accident Insurance Company Limited, Kasparov Chess Foundation, the JCF and the Magnificent Chess Foundation (“Building a nation of thinkers”).

Jamaica Chess Federation
2015 November 7

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

4 Comments

  1. JAMAICA NOTCHES FIRST WIN AT WORLD
    SENIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ITALY!

    World Chess Federation (FIDE) Candidate Master Robert Wheeler, Six-time Jamaica Chess Champion and reigning Jamaica Seniors Champion, produced a positional gem with the white pieces to defeat Finland’s Raine Heikkila in today’s second round of the 65 year-old and over section of the 25th World Senior Chess Championships being held in Acqui Terme, Italy November 9-22, 2015. This was Jamaica’s first win at the event, after play started yesterday.

    Wheeler shrugged off the effects of his marathon 95-move draw against Italy’s Luigi Catalano in yesterday’s first round to outclass his opponent and set up an interesting encounter in tomorrow’s third round against the Brazil-based Dutch International Master Herman Van Riemsdijk who, curiously, visited Jamaica and gave a simultaneous exhibition forty years ago!

    In the fifty year-old and over section Jamaica Chess Federation (“JCF”) President and reigning Jamaica Veterans Champion, Ian Wilkinson, recovered from his first round loss to Monaco’s Karl Johann Ribbegren to register a hard-fought 40-move draw with the black pieces against his much higher rated Italian opponent Marcello Astengo. In tomorrow’s third round he will have the white pieces against Sweden’s Peter Korning.

    The championships are being staged by the Italian Chess Federation in association with FIDE and will be held over eleven rounds. The respective winners will be awarded the title of International Chess Grandmaster. Over three hundred players from more than thirty countries are participating in the event. This is the first time that Jamaica is being represented in this prestigious tournament, another sports landmark for the country.

    Jamaica’s participation was made possible by sponsorship from the Sports Development Foundation (“Developing the Nation through Sports”), Supreme Ventures Limited (“Games people love to play…and more”), General Accident Insurance Company Limited, Kasparov Chess Foundation, the JCF and the Magnificent Chess Foundation (“Building a nation of thinkers”).

    Jamaica Chess Federation
    2015 November 11

  2. BITTER-SWEET ROUNDS FOR JAMAICA
    AT THE WORLD SENIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ITALY!

    The last three rounds have been “bitter-sweet” for Jamaica at the 25th World Senior Chess Championships being held in Acqui Terme, Italy November 9-22, 2015.

    ROUNDS 5 AND 6

    In rounds 5 and 6 in the 65 years old and over section (played November 14 and 15, respectively), the calm (“tranquilo”) CM Robert Wheeler, Jamaica’s reigning Seniors Chess Champion, registered draws against Finland’s Antti Pihlajamaki and France’s Dominique Metras, respectively.

    Jamaica Chess Federation (“JCF”) President and reigning Jamaica Veterans Champion, Ian Wilkinson QC, suffered two disheartening set-backs in the 50 years old and over section, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory twice against Italians Marco Venturino (after Wilkinson was two pawns up) and Angelo Benazzo (Wilkinson missing a forced mate/win!).

    ROUND 7 ACTION

    In today’s round seven action, Wheeler fought doggedly with the black pieces in a French Defence (Tarrasch variation) but blundered in a promising position and eventually succumbed to Israel’s Avraham Lotsov after 80 moves and five hours play. Wheeler will have the white pieces in tomorrow’s 8th round against Ireland’s Patrick Daly.

    Yesterday’s rest day served Wilkinson well as he rebounded in today’s 7th round, renewing his love for “Italian cuisine”, by wielding the black pieces in a Modern Defence to defeat yet another Italian Federico D’aste in 35 moves in just under three hours. Prior to today’s round, Wilkinson had played four games of five hours or more against four different Italians!

    In tomorrow’s 8th round Wilkinson will have the white pieces against the higher rated Brazilian Roberto Sopko.

    The championships are being staged by the Italian Chess Federation (Federazione Scacchistica Italiana) in association with FIDE and will be held over eleven rounds at a time control of forty moves in ninety minutes with thirty minutes to complete the game. There are increments of thirty seconds per move from the first move. The respective winners will be awarded the title of International Chess Grandmaster. The games start at 3:00 pm local time (Italy is six hours ahead of Jamaica) except for the final round on November 21 which will start earlier at 2:00 pm to facilitate the closing ceremony.

    Over three hundred players from more than fifty (50) countries are participating in the event. This is the first time that Jamaica is being represented in this prestigious tournament, another sports landmark for the country.

    Jamaica’s participation was made possible by sponsorship from the Sports Development Foundation (“Developing the Nation through Sports”), Supreme Ventures Limited (“Games people love to play…and more”), General Accident Insurance Company Limited, Kasparov Chess Foundation, the JCF and the Magnificent Chess Foundation (“Building a nation of thinkers”).

    Jamaica Chess Federation
    2015 November 17

  3. MIRACULOUS ROUND 8 WIN FOR JAMAICA
    AT THE WORLD SENIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ITALY!

    When the dust settled on today’s eighth round of the 25th World Senior Chess Championships being held in Acqui Terme, Italy (November 9-22, 2015) Jamaica was unscathed, emerging victorious in one of the matches played and drawing the other.

    In the 65 years old and over section CM Robert Wheeler, Jamaica’s reigning Seniors Chess Champion, drew with the white pieces against Ireland’s Patrick Daly who uncorked the Dutch defence to surprise his opponent. Apparently, as Wheeler earlier mused, Daly had “the luck of the Irish”! Wheeler will have the black pieces in tomorrow’s 9th round against Norway’s Erland Henrichsen.

    Jamaica Chess Federation (“JCF”) President and reigning Jamaica Veterans Champion, Ian Wilkinson QC, had another five-hour long game (his 5th of the event!!) – this time against the higher rated Brazilian Roberto Cassio Sopko. At 3 pm when the clocks were started Wilkinson essayed 1.e4 and the Petroff/Russian defence was deployed by the man from Pele’s country.

    The Jamaican opted for the Nimzowitsch variation (after 5.Nc3) and a wild game ensued with opposite-side castling and the Brazilian seizing the initiative. At the first time control (move 40), the Brazilian was a pawn up in a queen-pawn ending. He continued to rain body blow after body blow upon the Jamaican who, although battered and bruised, employed the “rope a dope” a la Muhammad Ali and some Floyd Mayweather “escapology” tactics.

    Both players, with the clocks running down, exchanged blunders as rapt spectators gathered to watch the enthralling encounter unfolding on the chess battlefield. As the undertakers were being called in and the “phat lady” was clearing her throat to sing to the high heavens, the Jamaican was “fortified” by his alma mater’s hallowed motto fortis cadere cedere non potest (“the brave may fall but never yield”!) and fought even harder.

    A miracle happened as the Jamaican’s prayers were answered. Sopko missed a win (failing to exchange queens at the appropriate moment) and then offered an ill-advised queen exchange.

    Wilkinson displayed true Jamaican hospitality, embraced the opposing queen with ultra-warm open arms and both regal ladies left the chessic battlefield. Thereafter his c-pawn headed for touchdown in the style of the Patriots (no “deflate gate” around here!) and the amiable and gracious Brazilian, a truly worthy adversary, resigned at 8:00 pm, after seventy-nine (79) moves!

    In tomorrow’s 9th round Wilkinson, now ranked ten places above his starting position, will have the black pieces against the higher rated Norwegian Terje Melkeraaen.

    The championships are being staged by the Italian Chess Federation (Federazione Scacchistica Italiana) in association with FIDE and will be held over eleven rounds at a time control of forty moves in ninety minutes with thirty minutes to complete the game. There are increments of thirty seconds per move from the first move. The respective winners will be awarded the title of International Chess Grandmaster. The games start at 3:00 pm local time (Italy is six hours ahead of Jamaica) except for the final round on November 21 which will start earlier at 2:00 pm to facilitate the closing ceremony.

    Over three hundred players from more than fifty (50) countries are participating in the event. This is the first time that Jamaica is being represented in this prestigious tournament, another sports landmark for the country.

    Jamaica’s participation was made possible by sponsorship from the Sports Development Foundation (“Developing the Nation through Sports”), Supreme Ventures Limited (“Games people love to play…and more”), General Accident Insurance Company Limited, Kasparov Chess Foundation, the JCF and the Magnificent Chess Foundation (“Building a nation of thinkers”).

    Jamaica Chess Federation
    2015 November 18 (Wednesday)

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