By Adia Wynter
Antigua and Barbuda’s chess team completed its successful, three-day participation in the online FIDE Chess Olympiad.
On the weekend of August 20 to August 22, members of the local Chess Federation gathered at the Island Academy to take part in 11 rounds of round-robin play. Over the three days, a total of two team wins and two team draws out of the 11 matches were accumulated.
On Friday, Antigua faced off against Mauritania, Togo and Guyana. The team walked away with a draw of 3 – 3 against Mauritania, a victory of 6 – 0 against Togo and a loss of 1 – 5 against Guyana.
Day two’s opponents posed a challenge for the local team, but despite suffering several losses, they were able to secure some victories throughout the day’s round robins.
The games were played against the competition’s top contenders, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Haiti and Bermuda with Antigua scoring 2 – 6 against Trinidad, 2 – 6 against Haiti, 0 – 6 against Puerto Rico and 4.5 – 1.5 against Bermuda.
Sunday’s rounds were played against the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, St Lucia and the Netherlands Antilles. Antigua scored 1.5 – 3.5 against the Cayman Islands, a draw of 3 – 3 against the Bahamas, 1.5 – 4.5 against St. Lucia and 2.5 – 3.5 against the Netherlands Antilles.
All members of the team have expressed joy and contentment at each victory and loss experienced throughout the competition.
The winners of the three-day competition were Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Haiti respectively who will be advancing into the semi-final round of the competition.
The FIDE Chess Olympiad is a biennial event in which teams representing nations from all over the world compete against each other for the title of World Champion. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, FIDE has hosted online competitions in lieu of over-the-board play.