Jamaica in medal contention at CAC Games
Jamaica's team medal chances remain intact after five rounds of the nine round 2017 Central American and Caribbean Youth Chess Championships currently under way in Panama.
However, with full representation from regional chess powerhouses Cuba, Colombia and Venezuela it has been and will continue to be a challenging battle across all divisions.
Jamaica, represented by its national champions and other highly ranked local players, competes in 12 divisions from Under 8 to Under 18, Absolute and Female.
Jamaica currently leads English-speaking nations based on the cumulative points from the first five rounds.
The Jamaicans will however need positive results in the four remaining rounds to solidify its team medal claim.
In round four, Under 14 representative Lontae Walker, who holds a 1528 FIDE rating coming into the competition pulled off a major upset in defeating his 2102 FIDE rated Cuban rival. What should have been a decisive, lopsided encounter based on the 600 point rating deficit of the Jamaican became a tactical struggle with Walker besting his opponent, against all odds, raising the spirits of the Jamaican team.
Jamaica remains within medal contention in the team competition, and several Jamaican players have individual hopes of standing on the podium at the closing ceremony.
Jamaica's most promising individual medal hopeful based on play thus far is Joshua Christie who is in second place with four points.