Team Bahamas competed valiantly at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad held in Batumi, Georgia from September 23 to October 6.
The Olympiad is the largest chess tournament in the world, with over 193 countries participating in two sections.
There were two amazing teams that represented The Bahamas in the Open and Women’s section at the 2018 Olympiad.
Now that all of our brave competitors are back home we can now celebrate what has been a historic year for chess in The Bahamas. While it has been a tough year for The Bahamas Chess Federation (BCF), it was all worth it to bring the federation up to a new level.
We are happy to congratulate National Master (NM) Byron Small, the current Bahamas National Champion, for qualifying for his first international title of Candidate Master (CM).
On the same day, long time Archivist, proud COB alumina and daughter of Warren Seymour the “Father of Chess in the Bahamas”, Antoinette Seymour qualified for her Woman Candidate Master (WCM) title.
Not unnoticed by the international community was 17-year old WCM Polina Karelina. She has been participating in BCF tournaments since she was five and played board one for the Open team, one of only two females in the Open section.
Karelina along with WCM Daijah Johnson of Aquinas College, the first female to attain an international title in Bahamian history, have been role models for girls in the country. They have consistently competed in the Open section against the strongest the country has to offer, with good results.
Proving that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have, Trinity Pinder, a former resident of Bain and Grants Town and who attained a scholarship to Kingsway Academy, qualified for the Olympiad Female team. Thanks to great sponsors, all of her expenses were paid and she performed well against international competitors.
Coming out of retirement to participate on the Bahamas’ first Female Olympiad team were Antoinette Seymour, Dr. Juliette Storr, an esteemed University Professor and Erica Seymour. Along with Pinder and WCM Johnson two juniors, they reached a beautiful balance of experience and youth. The Women’s team on their First Olympiad trip came seventh place in Group E.
In the Open Section, the Bahamas’ first and highest titled player FIDE Master (FM) Carver Moncur, performed worthy of his impressive title gaining five wins against other countries’ top players. Along with junior WCM Karelina, NM Small, Chapell Whyms, and Francis Skinner, the Open team faced extremely strong and well-prepared competitors but still brought victory for the country.
We must congratulate our amazing team, made up of university professors, school administrators, network engineers, archivist, professional chess coach, active military and enthusiastic juniors.
We again must thank the very supportive sponsors who made this possible. They are Lindroth Development Company, the Mednet Group of Companies, the New Providence Development Company, James Lyle, William Hunter and Michael Philips.
We would also like to congratulate the hardworking executive board members; International Arbiter (IA) Andre White, Whyms, and Dr. David Sands, for the great effort they put in to make this trip successful.
The next Olympiad will be in held in the Russian city of Khanty-Mansiysk in 2020. Anyone can qualify, there are spots open for five Open and Female section members. If you feel that you have what it takes then meet your destiny over the board.
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