The Orange Bowl Scholastic Tournament has become a "Rites of Passage" for many young players in the Caribbean and Central America. It gives these players a chances to expand their horizons in a different environment and test their skills against other top juniors. Ecuador sent a couple of players rated over 2350. Curaçao of the Dutch Antilles sent six players including Olympiad player, Valentino Martis. The 7-round tournament was held in Miami from December 27-29 and attracted players from nine countries.

The most active English-speaking Caribbean nations sent contingents and scored well in the different categories. Jamaica's Liguanea Chess Club took 18 players to Miami.  Trinidad and Tobago sent 14 players while Barbados sent 11. According to the Barbados Chess Federation website,

"Barbados Team won the 13-15 division & placed third in 16-19 division.  Justin Blackman came 2nd in 10-12 division, Shamel Howell was 3rd and Martyn Del Castilho was 6th in 13-15 division and Muralidhar Areti came 8th and Dominic Del Catilho was 9th in 16-19 Division. T&T won both U9 & 10-12 divisions."

Trinidad's Keron Cabralis won the under-9 section with an sterling 6½-½ and Jamaican under-10, under-12 and under-14 champion, Tewana Mellace coming in with a 4th place finish at 5½-1½… losing only to the highest-rated player. Caribbean chess appears to be thriving!!


Barbados Youth Team (including four coaches)
(Photo courtesy of Barbados Chess Federation)

Posted by The Chess Drum: 4 January 2005