TT earn mixed results at World Chess Olympiad
Friday, September 23 2016

TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s team of five players competed in the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan from September 2-13.

In the Open category, the men earned 10 match points. This earned them 104th place, an improvement from their initial ranking of 113. The team scored 21 points on tiebreak which was higher than their Jamaican counterparts.

FIDE Master (FM) Joshua Johnson earned the top score of 5.5 out of 10 points, closely followed by FM Kevin Cupid who earned five out of 10 points.

Cupid left Grand Master (GM) Nikola Sedlak of Serbia stunned with an impressive first round victory. Additionally, in the fifth round, FM Adrian Winter Atwell produced a remarkable draw against GM Dalibor Stojanovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The women scored eight points and finished 108th which was beneath their initial ranking of 94. Despite this they did much better as a team, scoring 20 points, as opposed to 18.5 earned at the Tromso, Norway Olympiad in 2014.

Gabriella Johnson, 15, of St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain, after an outstanding performance of 7.5 out of 10 points, earned the title of Woman FIDE Master.

This was the most points attained by any player at the Olympiad.

Johnson, in the seventh round, had an astounding win against Woman International Master (WIM) Biljana Dekic (rated 2064) of Australia.

Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Shannon Yearwood earned five points out of nine. She drew with WIM Sbai Rania of Morocco in the Seventh round. Furthermore, Yearwood and Johnson scored against a stronger Luxembourg team.

The Female team, at the end of the ninth round, were in 88th place but then had two difficult rounds subsequently against Luxembourg, ranked 67th and Jamaica, ranked 75th. The teams were once again coached by IM Merijn Van Delft and IM Stefan Kuipers of the Netherlands.

The TT CA (TT Chess Association) congratulates both teams on their dedicated effort and, of course, will do a review of all performances and lessons learned so as to strive for even better results in 2018.