New chess champs

China and Russia top 41st world Olympiad

China and Russia were crowned the new men and women World Chess Champions as the curtain fell at the 41st World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway.

For China, it took a final round 3-1 victory over Poland to give them their first Olympiad men’s title with 19 match points. Hungry drew 2-2 with Ukraine to end in second place with 17 match points and India, also with 17 match points but a weaker tie-break, took third after a big 3 1/2 – 1/2 win against Uzbekistan.

The Barbados men’s team suffered a considerable slip in their standings, after losing 4-0 to Jordan, to place 126th out of 177 teams with nine match points.

The best of the English-speaking Caribbean men’s teams was Jamaica whose final round 2 1/2 – 1 1/2 win against Palestine placed them 87th with 11 match points. The Bahamas, returning to the international stage for the first time since 1990, were the next best having held Nicaragua to a 2-2 draw to place 118th with 10 match points.

Among the women, Russia retained their title by beating Bulgaria 2 1/2 – 1 1/2 to top the standings with 20 match points.

China once again had to settle for second place with 18 match points having been held to a 2-2 draw by Ukraine. Ukraine, who also ended on 18 match points, were third due to the Chinese women having the better tie break score.

For the Bajan women, they ended their Olympiad campaign with a hard fought 2-2 tie against Mozambique.

Winning for Barbados on Boards 3 and 4 were candidate master Sheena Ramsay and CARIFTA girls Under-20 bronze medallist Lydia Nurse. Candidate master Katrina Blackman and national champion Donna Murray lost boards one and two to give Mozambique the equalizing points to tie the match.

Barbados Women - (l-r) Katrina Blackman, Donna Murray,  Sheena Ramsay, Lydia Nurse.
Barbados Women – (l-r) Katrina Blackman, Donna Murray, Sheena Ramsay, Lydia Nurse.

The Barbados women placed 120th out of 136 teams with seven match points while the Jamaican women joined their male counterparts by being the pick of the English-speaking Caribbean placing 87th with ten match points. Trinidad & Tobago’s women scored nine match points to place 102nd.

Nurse will be returning home as Barbados newest female candidate master after reaching the qualifying standard in her Olympiad debut.



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