PCJ sponsors 2015 National chess championships
The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Group of Companies has again thrown its support behind local chess, with its sponsorship of the 2015/16 National Schools Chess Championships.
The tournament, which is the flagship junior event of the Jamaica Chess Federation, kicked off early in December with play in the Cornwall County Zones. Play in the Kingston, St Andrew and Middlesex Zones starts today at the St Jago High School Auditorium.
Play is scheduled to continue until March 2016, when the 16-team final will take place at the PCJ Auditorium.
The defending champions, St Jago High School, start as favourites to retain their title, having retained all their players from last year. Their strongest rivals are
expected to be Calabar High, which continues to boast Jamaica's strongest junior in National Master Shreyas Smith, who has won a number of tournaments at the senior level this year, including the
recently concluded Frederick Cameron Chess Open.
"The Jamaica Constabulary Force continues its mission to develop regional and international stars at the junior and senior level. We already have the top women chess players in the English-speaking Caribbean, and we are seeking to replicate this with our juniors and male players as a first step. We have Shreyas (Smith) so far on the junior side, and as we stage the School's event, we expect a few more talents to be unearthed and developed," Peter Myers, vice-president of the Jamaica Chess Federation said.
"We already recognise that if we are to attract the level of sponsorship needed to develop global stars, we have to first
dominate at the regional level, and that is what we are in the process of doing. We must again thank the PCJ Group for their support as we continue on this mission," he said.