By Adia Wynter
On August 20, the Antigua Chess Federation’s team carried Antigua and Barbuda to the online board in the international chess competition. In facing many great opponents, Antigua’s players fruitfully displayed their great determination.
Team members consist of twelve players: Matthew Bailey on board 1, Joshua Solomon on board 2, Ateila Bobb on board 3, Kya Matthew on board 4, Abner Farquhar on board 5 and Alana Daniel on board 6, as well as their alternates, Andre Warner, Cherry-Ann Benjamin, Nicole Grant, Jonathan Solomon and Danae Joseph.
In the first round of the day’s games, the women of the group, Bobb, Matthew and Daniel, secured the first three victories for the team. A score of 3 – 3 was held against the African country, Mauritania – a draw attributed to the nervousness and excitement felt at the beginning of the competition.
After settling into the game, the team made a clean sweep in the second round, locking in a 6 – 0 victory against Togo, another African country. Team captain Bailey contended against a FIDE Chess master with a 2065 rating and succeeded in keeping him at bay until securing his victory.
In the third round, Antigua’s team was matched against Guyana but was defeated 1 – 5. In spite of the loss, the team still celebrates Bailey who also managed to secure a win against Guyana’s strongest player, Taffin Khan, candidate master with a rating of 1989.
In this year’s competition, Antigua was one of twelve teams in the Division 4 Pool E. The other competing countries are Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Netherlands Antilles, Guyana, Mauritania and Togo.
The next four rounds will be held on August 21 at Island Academy.