Bermuda’s youth chess team recently competed at the 2018 CARIFTA Junior Chess Championship in Paramaribo, Suriname, with five island players taking part.
The final round of the 2018 CARIFTA Junior Chess Championship in Paramaribo, Suriname concluded after seven long rounds of competition.
Bermuda’s five-player contingent composed of Niccoló Walrond, Connor Outerbridge, Dimitri Gontcharov, Tristan Robinson and Ryne Cash have been competing in the under 20, under 16, and under 12 age categories against the best players in the Caribbean over the past four days.
This year marked the seventh staging of the event and the first time Bermuda has sent a chess team to represent the island at CARIFTA. For most of the players, it would also be their first taste of international tournament chess.
After settling into the competition, the fourth round saw Bermuda’s Dimitri Gontcharov play an Advance French Defense against Jamaica’s talented Jaden Shaw. After an over-the-board brilliancy, Dimitri found himself in first place with a perfect score of 4/4 in the under 12 section, with 3 rounds to go.
On day three of the tournament, round 6 saw the Bermuda team score its best results of the competition. The under 12 & 16 divisions saw wins against Jamaica and host nation Suriname, while in the under 20 section, an impressive win over Barbados by Walrond, and draws secured by Outerbridge and Cash, scored an impressive 4:1 lead over their opponents.
Going into the last round of play, Gontcharov competed for Gold with the Jamaican U12 champion Darren McKennis. The Jamaican champion offered a draw three times in a grueling 62 move game that lasted for over four hours. After refusing the draw offers, and fighting for the win and a gold medal, Gontcharov fell just short of victory, placing fourth overall out of 53 players in the U12 section.
The Bermuda Chess Association is proud of all our players and their fantastic results at CARIFTA. We look forward to continuing to grow our islands young chess players for next year’s event.