Members of the 2019 Bahamas CARIFTA chess team along with their team coach and corporate sponsor of the team. From left, Elton Joseph, president, Bahamas Chess Federation; Daniel Ramtulla; Aidan Mart; Trinity Pinder; Noah Albury; and Dr Charles W Diggiss, president and owner, the MedNet Group of Companies. Team members not pictured: Marfeeyou Joseph and Aaron Ramtulla.
Most persons are familiar with the path to and events of the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships.
Generally, the public is also aware that the journey to the CARIFTA Aquatic Championships involves swift freestyle, butterfly, breast or back strokes. But many people are unaware of the CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships and the hard work, determination and focus that it takes to represent one's country at this event.
This year, the Chess CARIFTA Games will take place in Willemstad, Curacao. Ten countries will participate in this year's event including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Curacao. The CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships will be held from Thursday, April 18, to Tuesday, April 23.
Sir Austin Sealy, former president of the Amateur Athletic Association of Barbados, established the CARIFTA Games in 1972 as an annual junior track and field championship meet.
In 1985, the CARIFTA Aquatics Championships was launched as an annual event.
Eight years ago, the game of chess was introduced to the CARIFTA Championships as an official FIDE event. Trinidad & Tobago hosted the first CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships, which they won.
During the months of February and March 2019, chess CARIFTA qualifiers were held in The Bahamas.
Top local junior chess players competed for the chance to represent The Bahamas as part of the 2019 National Chess CARIFTA team. The selected Bahamas team of six, comprising of five young men and one young lady, are hoping to bring home the gold for The Bahamas. The country has never won the CARIFTA Chess Championships title but has earned gold medals in individual categories.
In 2014, CM Nathan Smith won a Gold Medal at CARIFTA in Martinique in the Under 10 division and Silver Medal performance in the under 12 division. In 2016, CM Nathan Smith won a Gold Medal in the Under 12 section of CARIFTA which was held in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.
The official members of the Bahamas 2019 CARIFTA Chess Team are: Daniel Ramtulla, Under 12 Absolute; Noah Albury, Under 16 Absolute; Aidan Mart, Under 16 Absolute; Trinity Pinder, Under 16 Female; Marfeeyou Joseph, Under 20 Absolute and Aaron Ramtulla, Under 20 Absolute.
Elton Joseph, president of the Bahamas Chess Federation, will serve as team coach.
"We are excited about having the opportunity to participate in the 2019 CARIFTA Chess games. The players are ready and eager to represent The Bahamas on the regional stage," said Mr Joseph.
He thanked sponsors whose donations made it possible for the National Chess CARIFTA team to attend the upcoming 2019 CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships.
"On behalf of The Bahamas Chess Federation and members of the Chess CARIFTA team I would like to thank The MedNet Group of Companies for their support of the 2019 Chess CARIFTA team.
"Assisting these young people to be able to participate in this global, mental sport on a regional level is a testament to your commitment to the growth and development of young people in The Bahamas."
"My attendance at the 2017 Chess CARIFTA in Jamaica was an amazing and impactful educational experience," said Trinity Pinder, a 10th grade student at Kingsway Academy and 2019 Chess CARIFTA team member.
She added: "This year I hope to improve upon my performance and medal at the 2019 CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships."
Results and pairing for the championships will be available at https://www.curacaochessfederation.com/pairing.html.