Bajans beat up on Palau
Barbados’ Men’s team scored their first points at the 42th World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, when they crushed Palau 4 – 0 in second round action over the weekend.
The Bajans got off to a flying start with FIDE masters Orlando Husbands from University of the West Indies, and national champion, FIDE master Yu Tien Poon from Harrison College, scoring quick wins on boards 1 and 3 respectively against Paquito Suringa Jr and Roberto Hernandez.
Kemp Lynch, a student at the Barbados Community College, won his debut Olympiad game on Board 4 against Dennis Gonzales to put the Bajans up 3-0 and set the stage for a clean sweep.
FIDE master Martyn Del Castilho was left to close the deal and did so with a patient, grinding slow crush of Jeffrey Balbalosa to register the 4-0 clean sweep for the Bajans.
Round 2 was generally a better round for the English-speaking Caribbean in the Open Section as the Jamaica men scored a 3 ½ to ½ win against Oman and Trinidad & Tobago took a hard fought 2 ½ to 1 ½ victory over Brunei.
Guyana fared less well losing a hard fought battle against Guatemala 1 ½ to 2 ½ while the Bahamas went under 3 – 1 to the team from the International Physically Disabled Chess Association.
On the top tables for the Open Section, top seeds Russia put in another commanding performance with a 4 – 0 drubbing of Turkmenistan while hosts Azerbaijan won by a similar devastating margin against Macedonia.
For the Caribbean, Cuba continued to lead the way with a 3 ½ to ½ win over Egypt.
In the women’s section, Jamaica got the upper hand over the Bajan women with a not unexpected, but still painful 4 – 0 victory.
Playing for Barbados were woman candidate master Katrina Blackman, Donna Murray, Segan Sandiford, a student at Queen’s College, and woman candidate master Lydia Nurse of UWI. The Jamaican line up featured international master Deborah Richards, candidate master Rachel Millar, candidate master Ariel Barrett and candidate master Melisha Smith.
In other matches featuring the English-speaking Caribbean Women, Trinidad & Tobago lost 3 -1 to Korea, woman candidate master Gabriella Johnson scoring the lone point for the Trinis. Guyana suffered a 3 ½ to ½ loss to Wales, woman candidate master Maria Verona-Thomas giving the Guyanese their half point after holding FIDE master Oliva Smith to a draw.
Top seed China swept the boards clean against Montenegro with a 4 – 0 victory, as did third seed Russia against Ecuador.
As they have in the Open Section, the Cuban women lead the charge for the Caribbean with a 3 -1 win over Algeria.
Live internet streaming of round 2 matches can be viewed at http://www.bakuchessolympiad.com starting at 7:00 a.m. Barbados time.