Johnson focused on the finals

It has been almost exactly two weeks since Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Daijah Johnson made chess history for The Bahamas, becoming the first Bahamian to qualify for a final in the International School Sports Federation (ISF) Virtual World Schools Championship Online Tournament. Looking ahead, the teenager is confident as she competes tomorrow morning.

Johnson got to this point after scoring 5.0 points (five wins) to finish 38th overall in the under-17 girls division. The top 40 participants advanced to the finals.

“I think that I am better prepared and more confident going into the finals than I was going into the qualification tournament, due to the mere fact that I have had some more training and practice apart from the practice that I often do alone,” Johnson said.

The tournament will be broadcasted live on 1PlaySports Facebook page and YouTube channel from 10 a.m.

Johnson has been working on her tactics in hopes of making the most of her game, given the short period of time the tournament allows. The tournament uses the three-minute blitz with a two-second increment format.

That format is not what Johnson is accustomed to as she usually plays the longer-timed format. She said she has been practicing the blitz format on chess websites so she can prepare herself more for tomorrow’s tournament.

Johnson is The Bahamas’ first FIDE (International Chess Federation) titled female – WCM. She was also a member of The Bahamas’ first female Chess Olympiad team that traveled to Batumi, Georgia, to compete in 2018.

“My expectations in this tournament is nothing short of my expectations for myself in any other thing that I do. The goal is to always do my absolute best, and to make myself and my family proud,” Johnson said.

Coaching Johnson is Bahamas Chess Federation (BCF) President Elton Joseph. He expects her to do her best.

“We know she will do her best as she has been preparing for this event,” Joseph said. “She has already made The Bahamas proud. It will be a very difficult tournament, but we are all behind her.”

Johnson was one of 15 players to be selected to participate in the qualifying stages of the tournament. However, due to technical difficulties, only 13 were able to compete. They were all part of history as they were the first Bahamian student-athletes to participate in an ISF competition since The Bahamas became a part of the ISF back in July of this year.

Johnson will be competing against players from countries such as Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Argentina, France, China, Romania, Nigeria, Brazil, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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