TRINIDAD AND Tobago just missed out on qualifying for Division II of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad after placing fourth in Division III last weekend.
The national team won all three matches against Cyprus, Aruba and Paraguay. Their performance of 14 match points was able to secure a tie for third place with Paraguay, but the tie break (game points) pushed them to fourth overall.
Joshua James scored seven out of eight points in Division III matches, woman candidate master Shemilah James accumulated seven of nine points and woman international master Gabriella Johnson and Zara La Fleur, both scored six of nine points.
Out of five points, fellow national players such as FIDE master Ryan Harper scored three – which included a round four win against grandmaster Uruguayan Andres Rodriguez – FIDE master Adrian Winter Atwell two and Daenon Ramsumair, one.
Candidate master Sean Yearwood scored two and a half out of four points.
Bolivia topped the group with 16 match points and Uruguay, which also scored 16 match points, came in second due to the tie-break.
A statement issued by the TT Chess Association (TTCA) congratulated the nation’s top performers.
“Congratulations to all teams who participated and especially those who have advanced to the next Division. We want to thank all members of team TT whose concerted efforts and tremendous team spirit allowed the team to achieve such success in this event.”
The TTCA also credited team captain Roderick Noel and deputy Keelan Hunte for their support for these players and the positive roles they played in the team’s success.
Though the team was so close to advancing yet again, TTCA president Sonja Johnson was pleased with the team’s performance.
“I know some may be a bit disappointed that we played so well and still did not advance to the next round, but what I saw was a team that was driven committed and genuinely exhibited true camaraderie.
“The team is a young team with nine of the 11 players under the age of 23. This performance can only set the stage for even greater victories to come,” said Johnson.