TRINIDAD and Tobago begins its quest in Group D of Division III of the FIDE International Online Chess Olympiad on Friday from 10am.
The national team will have their work cut out for their opening matches as the nations in this pool are rated much higher on average.
The other nine teams in this group include Aruba, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Dominica Republic, Haiti, Suriname, Cyprus and Malawi. These matches run from Friday to Sunday from 10 am and can be accessed via chess.com.
Over the past weekend, TT won ten of their 11 Group E matches, finished second behind leaders Puerto Rico and thus advanced to Group D. TT completed the last round on 20 points, two points behind group leaders Puerto Rico, who also advanced.
The other teams in the group were third-placed Haiti, Antigua & Barbuda, Togo, Mauritania, St Lucia, Bermuda, Guyana, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles and the Bahamas.
Exceptional performances from TT’s FIDE master Joshua Johnson, who scored 9.5 out of ten points, and Jennika Lynch, who scored a flawless four out of four, were integral in securing the second spot.
Other top performances came from woman candidate master Shemilah James with 8.5 out of ten points, FIDE master Adrian Winter Atwell, who ended on five out of seven points and Daenon Ramsumair with 4.5 out of six points.
TT Chess Association president Sonja Johnson was thrilled by the result and congratulated the national team on their elevation into Group D.
“I know we had a good chance to advance but this was hinged on ensuring optimal team selection based on the actual opponents who are only selected a few minutes before the round. I sincerely thank the players for their commitment as we had little lead time prior to this event.”
Johnson also thanked team captain Roderick Noel, deputy Keelan Hunte and the wider community that continues to support the team.
The Online Chess Olympiad began in 2020 as a response to the pandemic and the inability to have an in-person event. The 2021 edition continues to be well-attended and has attracted participation from 153 federations across the world and more than 1,000 players.