Last weekend’s rounds of the 2004 KRYS
FINANCIAL SOFTWARE-sponsored 36th Jamaican national chess championship were
bloody with only one draw in eight games.
(20th March, 2004)
FM Warren Elliott
maintained his great form to notch his sixth straight victory with a ruthless
demolition of candidate master Daren Wisdom’s Benoni which ran into mate on the
29th move. NM Russel Porter stayed in contention for the title by profiting from
NM Duane Rowe’s error (36…Rxh2??) to win a piece, and the game (with
37.Rxc7+) in what was a watchful English opening.
champion NM Shane Matthews won his fifth straight game easily defeating NM Ras
Malaku Lorne’s listless Caro-Kann. Deborah Richards, the second woman to play in
the championships after the pioneering Dr. Hope Anderson, will have to wait
another day for her first victory as her King’s Indian defence was no match for
the Montegonian NM Mark Holness who had his first win of the campaign. NM Robert
Wheeler and Bertram Scott had
NINTH ROUND (21st March,
With Bertram Scott again “resting”
and Deborah Richards getting some respite, interesting events unfolded on the
battlefield. Elliott played the Tarrasch variation of the Queen’s Gambit
Declined but gained nothing against Lorne’s solid play with the white pieces and
had to settle for a draw on the 28th move, bringing his winning streak to a
Porter handed the veteran Wheeler his first defeat
of the tournament after Wheeler, playing the English opening, blundered with
40.Kh2?? and resigned three moves later when the loss of his queen was
imminent. The correct 40.Kg1 would have given him a chance for a draw. Holness,
after going winless for five straight games, had his second win in a row, his
French defence (Tarrasch) easily routing a hapless Wisdom who is obviously in a
The marquee game of the round was the clash between Rowe
and Matthews (pictured below), reprising their epic, decisive encounter in the final round of the
2003 championships. Rowe, again with the White pieces, faced the Sicilian
Scheveningen and gained sweet revenge, blowing Matthews off the board, the
defending champion resigning after Rowe’s 32.Bg5+ with mate just a few moves
away. After the smoke had cleared the points standings are as follows:1. Elliott
6½/7; 2.Porter 6½/8; 3.Rowe 5/7; 4.Matthews 5/7; 5.Wheeler 3½/7; 6.Lorne 3½/8; 7.Holness 2½/7;
8.Scott 2/7; 9.Wisdom 1½/8 and 10.Richards
In the tenth round, scheduled for
Saturday 27th March, 2004, Porter and Wisdom have byes, Shane has white against
Wheeler, Holness moves first against Lorne as does Scott against Richards.
Probably the game to decide the tournament winner will see Elliott “pawning off”
against Rowe in what is likely to be a bruising encounter. The four top places
for the Olympiad seem decided, while Wheeler is a good bet for the fifth spot.
Lorne will have to defeat Holness or at least draw to give himself a chance of
nabbing the sixth and final place to Mallorca in October.
final round on Sunday 28th March, 2004 Lorne and Richards will be idle while
Wisdom plays Scott for pride, Wheeler faces Elliott, Porter battles Matthews and
Rowe tackles Holness. The players with white are named first.
FIDE (Olympiad) time control (90 minutes to complete with an increment of thirty
seconds per move from move one) is being used.
director is one of the JCF vice-presidents, Markland Douglas. All games begin at
2 pm local time.
Ian Wilkinson, President,
Jamaica Chess Federation 26th March,