The US Virgin Islands Chess Federation is the host for the 2016 edition of the CARIFTA Chess Championships. For those of you who don’t know where the US Virgin Islands is, it is about 60 kilometres east of Puerto Rico and immediately west of the British Virgin Islands.
Report by Jamie Kenmure
The CARIFTA Chess event is a battle between Caribbean Federations and there are three sections being contested; under 12, under 16 and under 20. In total there are seven Federations that are participating and they are Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and US Virgin Islands.
In the Under 12 section all Federations are participating with 4 CM’s, 7 females and a total of 22 players. The Under 16 section sees 2 WCM’s, all Federations accept Bahamas are in this section along with 5 females out of the 15 participants. Finally, the top group, the Under 20 section has all Federations accept Bahamas and Jamaica. 2 FM’s, 1 WFM and 3 WCM’s, 5 females and 11 players are participating.
I also had the chance to speak to with the President of the US Virgin Islands Chess Federation (USVICF) and organiser, Ms. Margaret Murphy about the event being held in her country. I asked her had she being pleased with the turnout of players and Margaret responded with that she couldn’t ask for anything better. The playing venue, hotel, staff, the food, everything is perfect. “Parents, coaches and players are telling us this is the best tournament they have been to.” I would also like to thank Michel Smith and Ulrike Vogel who have been a great help.
Margaret Murphy also confirmed that this was the biggest event ever held in the US Virgin Islands.
The USVICF look to the future in hosting more events and Margaret had being in talks with the two Puerto Rican arbiters of the event in planning a year long cycle of training and tournaments.
Margaret did tell me she would like to thank the support of FIDE and the following people who are sponsoring or supporting the event: Virgin Islands (VI) Olympic Committee, VI Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation, VI Department of Tourism, VI Lottery, Divi Carina Bay Resort and St. Croix Foundation, Cruzan Creations and all the local business.
Photos by Ulrike Vogel