Sunday, December 23, 2012

Big hit for Scholastic Chess in Jamaica

National Junior Club Champs a big hit 
Published: Saturday | December 22, 2012

The inaugural staging of the National Junior Club Championships ended with many players and many trophies for one of the largest junior tournaments to be held outside of the city for 2012.

Spearheaded by president of the St Catherine Chess Association and head honcho for the Royale Chess Academy based in Linstead, St Catherine, National Master Mikhail Solomon, the tournament proved again that once there are competitions, players and in this case, parents too, will turn up in numbers.

The sponsor for the event held at the St Jago High School last Saturday was the Royale Chess Academy.

There were just under 200 players in action representing clubs and themselves in the following sections: Under-6, Under-8, Under-10, Under-12, Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18. The introduction of the Under-6 section is somewhat of novelty and there were only three players there. However, NM Solomon said at the event's prize-giving that he was pushing for development of this section because the younger they start in chess the better are the prospects for playing well internationally.

In fact, the current world number-one rated player, GM Magnus Carlsen, started chess at age five, and top-flight Hungarian female player Judith Polgar started at age four.

Winners last week were as follows: Royale Chess Academy won private chess club of the year, and R and D chess run by principals Women's Fide Master Deborah Richards-Porter and FCM Russell Porter came in second. Bread of Life Christian Academy was school chess club of the year and Ewarton Primary was second. The St Jago Chess Academy was the intermediate chess club of the year.

Winner of the under-8 was Nathan Walsh, for the under-10 it was Lontae Walker, and the under-12 went to Elias Issa.

Trophies and medals went to second and third place in each section, as well as provisions for the top girls in each category and the top players from each club or school that was represented. Overall, more than 40 prizes were handed out.

Upcoming tournaments

Fred Cameron Open Tournament: December 22-23, Spanish Court Hotel, Kingston.
Email feedback, send in your games or upcoming tournaments to yourchessmate@yahoo.com and join the facebook page chessmate. Claire Clarke is a former Women's National Champion, three-time Jamaica Women's team Chess Olympiad representative, trained journalist and editor.

Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com

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