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  • Sami Lill

Bermuda Team Makes History at Chess Event

For the first time ever, Bermuda was represented by two teams at the recently concluded World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.

An all-female chess team [Zuzana Kovacova, Becky Faulks, Shiela Cancino, Yasmin Flanagan, Olga Goncharova] were competing for Bermuda in the ‘Women's’ category, alongside the ‘Open' category team [Richard Black, Sergey Goncharov, Sami Lill, Don Dacres, Daniel Cabral]. The Captains for the Bermuda teams were Sophie Adams and three-time US Chess Champion, Grandmaster Nick DeFirmian.

Zuzana Kovacova, who has previously represented Bermuda as the top player in the ‘Open' section in several Chess Olympiads, had a particularly notable individual performance with an amazing 9.5 of 11 possible points. This brought her Bermuda’s first ‘Women FIDE Master’ title ever!

The Bermuda women’s team managed to finish third in their group [out of 29 countries], by beating Togo, Central African Republic, Cameroon and drawing against Palau and the Maldives. The winning team in the category, Kosovo, had only one point more.

The Chess Olympiad is a biannual chess tournament held regularly since 1924 and features teams from all over the world, including most of the world’s top chess players. This year’s event was held in the Georgian city of Batumi, on the rocky shores of the Black Sea.

Bermuda is also famous in the chess world for hosting the iconic ‘Bermuda party’, traditionally held in the middle of the 2 week tournament. Attended by thousands of party goers, it features specially brought in Gosling’s Rum and barrels of Swizzle, expertly mixed on location by Bermuda’s own Larry Ebbin.

The Bermuda Party has its origins from the early 80s, when Bermudian James Dill brought a few bottles of Gosling’s Rum to share with other players. It quickly caught on, and the biannual party has grown every year.

Anyone wishing to join the chess club, learn to play, or is interested in finding out more about the Bermuda Chess Association, feel free to email us at: or visit

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