Jamaica’s Reggae Chess Kidz beat the USA, Venezuela, Mexico, Trinidad and Ecuador to place first and second in the recently concluded annual Miami Junior Orange Bowl International Scholastic Chess Championships in Miami, Florida. The Jamaican chess players won12 trophies, (three team and nine individual) and a host of other prizes in the three day event which ended on December 29. .
The 22 member Reggae Jamaica Chess Team – sponsored by Chess Enterprise (CE), Wechess, and Chess Whiz Kids competed with 100 players from countries including the USA, Trinidad, Ecuador, Venezuela, in the three day event which ended on December 29.
Jamaican individual players and teams competed in the Under 6, Under 9, Under 12, and Under 15 categories. Both A & B teams for Under 9 walked away with 1st and 2nd place respectively. The Under 9 A team comprised of Ethan Chan, Leighton Barrett, Nathan Chin, and Nathan Walsh and the Under 9 B team consisted of Brandon Daley, Michael Lowe, Zara Ranglin, and Che Hutchinson Serju.
The Under 12 A team of Elias Issa, Rachel Miller, Lawrence Foreman, and Sheanel Gardner copped the second place trophy. The corresponding B team with Justin Lowe, Jorie Japp, and Kevin Coward-Robinson earned 5thplace.
Jonathan Orgill collected the 3rd place prize for the Under 15 age group individual trophy, and Jason Lawson secured the 6th place prize for the same division. Joshua Orgill, Jordan Lowe, and Lyle Forbes walked away with 12th, 14th, and 15th place respectively.
The young chess players were coached by Adrian Palmer, NM Ryan Blackwood, FM Warren Elliot and Margo Williams. According to chess instructor and Chess Enterprise President, Adrian Palmer, Jamaica has been building a very impressive track record at the annual tournament and said “the Jamaicans made their presence felt.” The coaches are proud of the performance of the Jamaicans plan continue competing internationally to develop the local chess talent.
The Junior Orange Bowl International Scholastic Chess Championships is part of the Junior Orange Bowl Youth Festival blossomed started in 1948 billed as “the largest International Youth Sports and Arts Festival”. In 1998, the Festival introduced its inaugural International Scholastic Chess Tournament, which hosts some of the world’s best young chess minds.