Jamaica shines at CAC Youth Chess Festival
Team Jamaica at the CAC Youth Chess Festival in Tegucigalpa, Honduras recently.

Three players medalled when the Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) participated in the 17th Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Youth Chess Festival in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, recently.

The result meant Jamaica was the top-performing English-speaking country.

Candidate Master (CM) Jaden Shaw was the winner in the Under-16 Absolute section on tie-break with 7.5 points, earning the gold medal and distinction of FIDE Master (FM) Elect title (subject to meeting rating requirements).

Emilia-Rose Leake finished with 7.0 points in the U-8 Absolute/Female section, gaining a silver medal and CM Elect title (also subject to meeting rating requirements).

Amy Stephenson had 4.5 points, wining bronze in the U-16 Female section and earning the Woman CM title (subject to meeting rating requirements).

Team coach and Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) treasurer, International Master (IM) Jomo Pitterson said, "This was an outstanding performance by a brilliant team. Apart from the medallists, many players finished in the top 10 in their sections. This could have been Jamaica's best overall performance in the CAC Youth Festival."

Coach and JCF Tournament Chair Warren Elliott said, "The performance of the players augurs well for Jamaica's performance in the 2023 event, which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago. The state of Jamaican Youth Chess is very good, and we will work with the squad to get them to an increased state of readiness."

The JCF says despite the challenge of limited over-the-board play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the players gave strong performances, buoyed by analysis of games, preparation for future games, and encouragement by Coach IM Pitterson, player coaches, and parents.

The Jamaican contingent was led by head of delegation, Secretary of the JCF Maxine Brown.

Elliott and Richard Shaw also travelled to Honduras with the team.

Leading junior players from 11 Central American and Caribbean countries contested the nine-round event. Jamaica has historically done well in this annual championship and is the first English-speaking country to win this tournament.

Final team results:

Name T itle Category S core

Darren McKennis U-18 Absolute Official 5.5

Raehanna Brown WCM U-18 Female Official W/D

Aayush Jain U-16 Absolute Official 4.0

Jaden Shaw CM U-16 Absolute Extra 7.5

John Stephenson U-16 Absolute Extra 5.0

Amy Stephenson U-16 Female Official 5.5

Kaity Gayle U-16 Female Extra 2.0

Gabriella Watson U-16 Female Extra 5.5

J’Loy Chin U-14 Absolute Official 5.0

Kaia Gayle U-14 Female Official 4.5

Danielle Yankana U-12 Female Official 5.0

Liam Logan U-10 Absolute Official 4.5

Emilia-Rose Leake U-8 Female/Absolute Official 7.0

(From left) Amy Stephenson, the U16 female bronze medallist; Emilia-Rose Leake,U8 female silver medallist, and Candidate Master Jaden Shaw, the U16 Absolute gold medallist, at the CAC Youth Chess Festival in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, recently.

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