When Captain of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines historic Chess team Chinedu Enemchukwu said that his team can spring some surprises at the 44th Chess Olympiad taking place in Chennai, India many may have simply disregarded it.
But the Captain was the first of his team to be true to his promise. On Saturday 30th July 2022 Chin Chin as he is affectionately called recorded the first ever board win for St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a Chess Olympiad. With a FIDE rating of 1863 at the time Enemchukwu defeated Saudi Arabian Chess Master Ahmed M. Al Thebaiti, rated at 1966. Meanwhile Cottle, Robinson and Mentes all lost on their second round have lost to the Panamanians the round before.
Sunday 31st July saw Team SVG Chess pitting their skills against the Maldivians. For the Maldives board 1 had FIDE Master Shuaahu Muhammed, rated at 1987 coming up against SVG’s Chinedu Enemchukwu, Board 2 saw FIDE Master Ashraf Ahmed, rated 1838, taking on Brian Cottle of Team SVG while Board 3 saw Chess Master Fuad Ahmed, rated at 1728 locking horns with Vincentian Oris Robinson. With Mujahid Bin Yazeed, rated 1418, taking on Ugur Ments of SVG. Cottle, Robinson, Mentes and SVG’s reserve player James Schneider are all unrated players.
Cottle handed St Vincent and the Grenadines its second win, making true his Captain’s promise to spring further surprise at the Olympiad.
While Robinson and Mentes again failed to secure a win or a draw Captain Chinedu was hell bent on saving face again and ended up in a tough draw.
This means that the underdogs seeded at 179 out of the 187 countries/teams participating in the 44th edition of the FIDE Olympiad has been pushing above their ratings and seeding levels.
The latest ranking showed that St Vincent & the Grenadines are ranked at 146, some 23 places above its seeded position going into the world championship.
On Monday August 1st, 2022, the St Vincent and the Grenadines team with clash with the African nation of Gambia.
Captain Enemchukwu will take on FIDE Master Ebrima Bah, rated at 2078 on Board 1, Brian Cottle will play on Board 2 against Joseph Dalliah who is rated at 1920. Mentes will move to Board 3 and will come up against the 1772 rated Chess Master Ousainou Garber whilst James Schneider plays in his first game of the Olympiad and will meet James Matthew Riley, both of whom are unrated.
Oris Robinson will be rested for the 4th round.
The tournament concludes on August 10th 2022.