Davy and Gray… 2018 Jamaican Champions!!

Jamaica Jamaica Jamaica

Davy Cops Fourth National Chess Champion Title

The 2018 National Chess Championship of Jamaica ended last weekend at the Christar Villas Hotel, with FIDE Master Damion Davy capturing the National Champion title for the Absolute section. This was Davy’s fourth hold on the title, which he won in 2011, jointly in 2012 and 2013.

FM Damion Davy

FM Damion Davy

Davy took the lead from Round 4 of the 11-round Championship and never looked back, eventually ending undefeated on 8.5 points, two points ahead of his nearest rival, CM Shreyas Smith, who ended on 6.5 points. Also ending on 6.5, but finishing third and fourth respectively on tiebreak were FM Malaku Lorne and NM Paul Brooks. NM Stuart James rounded out the top five on 6 points.

Despite Davy securing the title before the final round, the rest of the field continued to fight hard through to the end, as they sought to secure a place on the national team, which will participate at the 43rd Chess Olympiad later this year in Batumi, Georgia.

Defending Champion CM Smith recovers in time

Shreyas Smith

The 2017 champion, CM Shreyas Smith couldn’t reproduce his performance of last year, after suffering unexpected losses to schoolboys Raheem Glaves and NM Akeem Brown early in the tournament.

CM Smith fought until the end however, with his final game against NM Paul Brooks also being a tricky affair. The game constantly swung in each player’s favour due to time trouble experienced on both sides, along with positional complications. After 4 hours and 38 minutes and 69 moves, both players agreed to a draw, in what was the longest game of the final round of the tournament.

FM Lorne finishes strong with second half surge

After a lacklustre start, with only one point after five rounds of play, FM Malaku Lorne made a remarkable recovery with a late surge which saw him scoring a near-perfect 5.5 points from his last 6 games, to finish tied in second place. His final game against NM Brown displayed his passion for an aggressive game and accurate play, all with a calm demeanour, despite the stakes at hand. This final victory put FM Lorne in third place on tiebreak.

The final standings for the championship is as follows:


1. FM Damion Davy (8.5 points)
2. CM Shreyas Smith (6.5 points)
3. FM Malaku Lorne (6.5 points)
4. NM Paul Brooks (6.5 points)
5. NM Stuart James (6 points)
6. FM Joshua Christie (6 points)
7. Raheem Glaves (5.5 points)
8. CM Duane Rowe (5.5 points)
9. NM Kevin Merritt (5 points)
10. NM Akeem Brown (4 points)
11. NM Andrew Wallace (4 points)
12. Malik Curriah (2 points)

The sponsors of the 2018 National Chess Championship included the Sports Development Foundation, the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christar Villas Hotel and the Magnificent Chess Foundation.

Krishna Gray is Jamaica’s Women’s Champion for 2018

The 2018 National Chess Championship of Jamaica ended last weekend at the Christar Villas Hotel, with Krishna Gray capturing the National Female Champion title for the first time since 2012. Every year since 2012, she has come very close, even tying for first last year and losing out in the playoffs that took place to decide the 2017 championship. This year Gray was strong from the start, leading the tournament at the midway point on 5 points from 6 games. She continued her performance until the end, not losing a single game in the 11 Round Robin Tournament. Gray commented “This prestigious 11-round competition was truly grueling, but I was really proud that I competed and ended undefeated.”

FM Damion Davy

Krishna Gray

With this win, Gray secured her place on the national team, which will participate at the 43rd Chess Olympiad to be held later this year in Batumi, Georgia. This will be the fourth time that Gray will represent Jamaica at the biennial Chess Olympiad, where she will be seeking to gain a much sought after FIDE title if she is able to achieve a minimum of 3.5 points from 7 games.

Historic Ladies National Championship

WIM Deborah Richards-Porter, who did not play the Championship this year, but qualifies for the National Team by virtue of her current rating and performance over the year, pointed out that “in many ways this was an historic ladies championship for Jamaica, being the first time that the there was a full field of 12 players, enabling an 11 game Round Robin format”. It is also encouraging to note that 7 of the 12 players are actually juniors, all of whom are currently playing in the PCJ National High Schools tournament, and will be playing in the upcoming Serge Island National Age Group Championships to be staged this weekend.

WCM Ariel Barrett secures 2nd spot

WCM Ariel Barrett who was the Female National Champion in 2015, was one of the favourites for the 2018 title being the top-rated player in the field. After 3 rounds she was on a perfect 3 points, and then had draws with youngster WCM Adani Clarke, Sheanel Gardner and the eventual champion Krishna Gray in Round 6.

Ariel Barrett

In Round 7 she suffered her first loss to school girl Aulanni Kidd, who performed very well in this tournament ending on fourth place on 6.5 points, creating many upsets along the way in only her second attempt in a Nationals tournament. After this round WCM Barrett gained momentum winning three of the final four games, to end the tournament in second place with 7.5 points.

WCM Margoe Williams returns to chess with intensity

After a long hiatus from chess, WCM Margoe Williams returned to competitive play with intense determination. Overcoming personal challenges with the recent loss of her partner, WCM Williams had an amazing performance which was topped off by a win against the tournament favourite WCM Ariel Barrett in the final 11th round, ending on 7 points, with a spot on the national team. This result also denied WCM Barrett a tie with Gray, a playoff opportunity, and what would have been a chance to win the Championship.

The final standings for the championship is as follows:

1. Krishna Gray (8.5 points)
2. WCM Ariel Barrett (7.5 points)
3. WCM Margoe Williams (7 points)
4. Aulanni Kidd (6.5 points)
5. WCM Adani Clarke (6 points)
6. WCM Annesha Smith (5.5 points)
7. Sheanel Gardner (5 points)
8. WCM Melisha Smith (5 points)
9. Raehanna Brown (4.5 points)
10. Alliyah Yankana (4.5 points)
11. Rochelle Porter (4 points)
12. Ashanti Blackwood (2.5 points)

The sponsors of the 2018 National Chess Championship included the Sports Development Foundation, the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christar Villas Hotel and the Magnificent Chess Foundation.

~Rowena Coe
Chair of Public Relations Committee
Jamaica Chess Federation
Email: jamchessfed.public.relations@gmail.com

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