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Three Bahamians awarded FIDE titles as Chess Olympiad concludes

The Bahamas’ Chess Olympiad Team completed competition at the 44th FIDE (International Chess Federation) Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India; and after an uphill battle at the start of the event, three Bahamians received conditional FIDE titles and the team scored the highest points by a Bahamian team in Chess Olympiad history.

Competition for the Bahamian team concluded on Tuesday with the completion of the 11th round. They were in action from July 29. The open team finished with eight points from 11 matches to rank 159th out of 188 participating nations. The female team scored seven points from 11 matches to finish 141st out of 162 nations. The two teams combined for 15 match points. Two points were awarded for a match win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss in the team competition.

Nelissa Thomas, Trinity Pinder and Noah Albury are the three players who received conditional FIDE titles. Thomas earned a conditional Women’s Candidate Master (WCM) title after she won five games and drew one to finish with 5.5 points from nine games. Pinder also earns a conditional WCM title as she won three games and drew one game to come away with 3.5 points in eight games. Albury played on the open team and earned a conditional Candidate Master (CM) title as he won four games and drew one game to finish with 4.5 points in seven matches.

In the final round, the open team faced Mali. In that round, Albury was the only player for The Bahamas to secure a victory as he took down Nadiaye Amadou who has a 1,968 FIDE rating. Albury has a rating of 1,324. FIDE Master Cecil Moncur and WCM Karelina Polina drew their matches in the final round. CM Kendrick Knowles lost his match in that round.

Moncur finished the competition with two wins and three draws to finish with 3.5 points in 11 matches. Knowles came away with four wins and a draw to score 4.5 points in 10 matches. He was able to secure back-to-back wins in the eighth and ninth rounds. Polina had two wins and two draws to come away with three points in nine matches. Dr. Kenville Lockhart finished with two wins to score two points in seven matches for The Bahamas’ open team.

The female team won three games in the final round against Timor-Leste. Winning their games in the final round were Thomas, WCM Daijah Johnson and Jayla Cargill. Chika Pride did not win her match in the final round.

In total, Johnson was impressive as she won four of her nine matches to score four points for her country. Cargill had three wins and a draw to finish with 3.5 points after playing nine matches. Pride, the youngest competitor, came away with two victories to score two points after nine matches.

It was a good showing by The Bahamas as the team members defeated or drew against players who were rated higher than them.