Non-selection for national team upsets Mellace

June 23, 2016
Ian Wilkinson

National Master (NM) Andrew Mellace, who placed third at the championships to select Jamaica's team to the upcoming 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, has hit out against what he calls his "unfair" exclusion in an open letter to the Ian Wilkinson led Jamaica Chess Federation.

"In what many cannot even fathom was the selection process itself used for both teams. There has NEVER been any written criteria what made matters worse is that it is understood that the players themselves had no idea of how to make the team!," said Mellace in his letter.

The player quoted the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies: 2001, a book, he said was not unfamiliar to the president, who himself is an attorney.

"Selection should be based on merit," said Mellace.

Mellace captured his first national championship in 2012 but, that time as well, did not make the initial team list.

After a protest, he was placed on the reserve board.

Wilkinson, in response, detailed the criteria used to select the team, which include placing at the most recently concluded Nationals, past performance at Olympiads, deportment, team spirit and opening repertoire; recent performances in Sub-Zonals and Open Grand Prix Event, and Player of the Year are also taken into consideration.

"The fact that it is a team event and not an individual event and player stability," said Wilkinson.

Mellace, meanwhile, said he has retired from competitive chess amid what he termed "foul selection practices being executed by the president and his body".

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