Pre-Tournament Report - Ian Wilkinson (Jamaica)


Lasco Foods Limited has demonstrated true corporate leadership and vision in becoming the Jamaica Chess Federation’s biggest financial supporter. The corporate titan, led by Mr. Lascelles Chin, recently unveiled a sponsorship package of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) which is to be used to assist the JCF during the current financial year with chess equipment and the staging of several events including the prestigious 2005 National Chess Championships, the 2005 Women’s National Chess Championships, the 2005 President’s Invitational tournament and the inaugural Chess League.

Mrs. Teri Thomas, the general manager for Lasco Foods Limited, has expressed delight at her company’s involvement in chess and hopes to forge a lengthy and mutually-beneficial relationship with the fast-growing and intriguing sport.


The sponsorship will be put to use immediately as on Saturday 2nd April, 2005 the JCF will be hosting the opening ceremony of the 2005 National Chess Championship at the Norman Manley Law School on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies. Members of the chess fraternity, family, friends and well-wishers will be treated to a bonus fare as the JCF will be simultaneously staging its awards ceremony for 2003. This ceremony was scheduled to be held in September, 2004 but was postponed because of Hurricane Ivan and the subsequent departure of Jamaica’s chess ambassadors to the 36th Chess Olympiad in Mallorca, Spain.

First round action in the national championships and the President’s Invitational is slated to commence on Sunday 3rd April, 2005 at 1 pm at the same venue. Both tournaments will continue every Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm except for the final round on Sunday 8th May, 2005 which will commence at 10 am.


One of the undoubted highlights of this year’s award ceremony will be the crowning of Deborah Richards, Jamaica’s three-time national women’s chess champion, as Jamaica’s first-ever Woman National Master (WNM).

Richards attained and maintained a rating of over 2000 points for the required number of tournaments to create history. She will now set her sights on breaking the 2200 ratings barrier and becoming the first Jamaican female player to obtain the (Men’s) National Master (NM) title.

Other highlights of Saturday’s programme will also see the naming of Jamaica’s chess player of the year for 2003. The favourites vying for this marquee award include record seven-time national champion NM Shane “the magician” Matthews, Fide Master Warren Elliott the defending national champion and NM Duane Rowe.

30th March, 2005
Ian Wilkinson