Barbados’ men crush Cameroon at Chess Olympiad

Barbados’ men impressively bounced back from their first round clean sweep defeat against Iran to crush Cameroon 4-0 on the second day of the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia yesterday.

The quartet of International Master Orlando Husbands on board 1, FIDE Master Martyn Del Castilho on board 2, Justin Blackman on board 3 and Candidate Master Bryan Prescod on board 4 were too strong for the lower-ranked Africans in the Open section at the new Sport Palace facility.
The Bajans, ranked 113 out of 185 teams, were favoured to beat a Cameroon side with a ranking of 173 and duly delivered.

Blackman, playing his first Olympiad since 2006 when he was a 13-year-old, was the first Barbadian to complete victory by defeating an unrated player.

Husbands, Barbados’ highest ranked competitor with a rating of 2262, was next to win, defeating an opponent with a 2058 rating.

Barbados completed the clean sweep with debutant Prescod and veteran Del Castilho, on his seventh Olympiad appearance, winning their games against lower rated opponents.

It was not the same story for Barbados’ women who lost to the lower rated Chinese Taipei 3.5-0.5 after suffering a 4-0 defeat to Switzerland in the first round.

It was expected to be a close affair as only six rating points separated the two teams but the Bajans only managed a draw from reigning national women’s champion Katrina Blackman on board 2.

The Woman Candidate master salvaged something for Barbados by sharing the point with a lower rated player after 13-year-old Vanessa Greenidge, Gabriela Cumberbatch and Julissa Figueroa all lost their games. Greenidge and Cumberbatch went under to higher rated opponents, while Figueroa fell to a lower rated player.

Jamaica registered the most impressive performance by an English-speaking Caribbean nation with both their Open and Women’s teams blanking Gambia 4-0, while Trinidad and Tobago beat Togo 3.5-0.5 in the Open section but lost 4-0 to Guatemala in the women’s division.

Among the other neighbours, Suriname also tasted victories in both categories with the Open team defeating Guyana 3-1 and the women rolling over Ethiopia 4-0.

Competition continues today with the third of 11 rounds. (BCF)

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