Enos Grant Memorial Blitz in Jamaica

by ChessBase
7/26/2015 – Attorney-at-law Enos Grant was the founder of the Jamaica Chess Federation in 1969, which he served as President for nineteen straight years. Recently the JCF and the Kasparov Chess Foundation staged an inaugural Blitz tournament in memory of the "founding father" of Jamaican chess, an event full of controversy, excitement, spills and thrills. Ian Wilkinson reports.

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Honouring the founding father of Jamaican chess

The inaugural Enos Grant Memorial Open Blitz chess tournament

Like the Starship Enterprise, Jamaican Chess soared to new frontiers on Saturday June 27, 2015 with the staging of the inaugural Enos Grant Memorial Blitz Chess tournament. The event, held in honour of the Jamaica Chess Federation’s (“JCF) first president, was well-supported and created controversy, excitement, spills and thrills. The venue was the Shirley Retreat Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica located across from “Jamaica House”, the office of the Prime Minister and seat of government power.

Enos Grant, was an outstanding attorney-at-law and the founding president of the Jamaica Chess Federation in February, 1969. He served as President of the JCF for nineteen straight years until 1988, and thereafter in other capacities until his death in December, 1997. Photograph courtesy of the Grant family.

The chief sponsor of this historic event was the Kasparov Chess Foundation. Other sponsors were the hosts, Shirley Retreat Hotel, and the Rock House Hotel, the latter contributing a weekend and spa treatment for two persons at its fabulous hotel in the tourist mecca Negril, Westmoreland, Jamaica.

The Shirley Retreat Hotel located on Maeven Avenue in Kingston, Jamaica

Enos Grant’s daughter, Mrs. Charlotte Wallace-Grant, who is also the manager of the Rock House Hotel, was present to pay tribute to one of the true icons of Jamaican chess. She regaled the rapt gathering with fascinating memories revolving around her father’s profound love for chess: how their home was often converted into a tournament venue and a haven for visiting chess players; and that her father named one of his son’s “Aaron” in order to pay homage to the great Latvian-Danish chess grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch, one of his favourite players! Enos Grant was also the first inductee into the JCF’s Chess Hall of Fame at its launch on the 26th September, 2014.

“Heaven on earth” – the fabulous Rock House Hotel in Negril, Jamaica

Rockhouse is a casually chic boutique hotel perched upon the scenic cliffs of
Negril's Pristine Cove in Jamaica, overlooking the serene waters of the Caribbean

The "Rasta Master" triumphs

The winner of the inaugural event was FIDE Candidate Master Ras Malaku Lorne who scored 7.0/9. Lorne took home the spanking new (standing) trophy, a smaller replica, a cash prize and the above-mentioned Rock House Hotel prizes! In second place was the reigning Jamaican Junior Champion Calabar High schoolboy NM Shreyas Smith who also tallied 7.0/9. The next spots were occupied by CM Russel Porter, NM Andrew Mellace and CM Brandon Wilson, respectively, who all ended on 6.5/9.

Smith was also adjudged the best Junior with David Rose and Rameze Thorpe earning the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

WIM Deborah Richards-Porter, Jamaica’s ten-time women’s champion, was easily the best female player scoring 5.5/9 and finishing ninth overall. Former Jamaican Women’s champions Krishna Gray and WCM Annesha Smith were second and third, respectively.

The main trophies and commemorative banner are proudly displayed

Chief sponsor, Kasparov Chess Foundation, is recognized on the main trophy

Charlotte Grant-Wallace, Enos Grant’s daughter, speaks about her father,
his love for chess and his immortal contribution to Jamaican chess

NM Peter Myers, Vice-President of the Jamaica Chess Federation,
is overcome with emotion upon seeing the banner for Enos Grant. [iw]

There were quite a few female players participating

Round seven action on the top boards. Foreground: NM Shreyas Smith vs NM Ryan
Blackwood (1-0); background: CM Malaku Lorne vs NM Andrew Mellace (0-1).

WCM Ariel Barrett about to “fall” to her “better half” (?), Raglon Wynter, in round eight.
Both, as well as WCM Annesha Smith, are “tickled pink” by the “interesting” circumstances.

The battles rage! Contrary to the name of the hotel there is no “retreat” no surrender! [iw]

The final standings

The Champion CM Ras Malaku Lorne (yellow jersey, centre) leads the prize winners in the inaugural Enos Grant Memorial Blitz event held at Shirley Retreat Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica. To Lorne’s left is Charlotte Grant-Wallace, Enos Grant’s daughter, and beside her JCF President Ian G. Wilkinson QC.

CM Ras Malaku Lorne ended on 7.0/9 and claimed the top spot
on tie-breaks. He receives the “spoils of war” from Charlotte.

NM Shreyas Smith (best junior and overall second place winner) hugs Charlotte, Wilkinson looks on

CM Russel Porter ended third on tie-breaks with 6.5/9

Former Jamaican champion NM Andrew Mellace ended fouth on tie-breaks with 6.5/9.

CM Brandon Wilson, former Caribbean and Jamaican Junior
Champion, ended fifth on tie-breaks with 6.5/9

WIM Deborah Richards-Porter, ten-time Jamaican Women’s champion,
was adjudged the best female player and ended 9th on 5.5/9

David Rose, second placed Junior with 4.5/9, and 19th overall,
gets an affectionate hug from Charlotte

This is how it's done! – NM Ryan Blackwood makes a point to curious onlookers

CM Russel Porter vs. FM Warren Elliott, in the early stages of their controversial round eight clash.
“Two-handed” blitz would later ensue with the clock and pieces being mauled!

The most controversial game: CM Russel Porter vs FM Warren Elliott in round eight
(0-1 after several interruptions and adjudications). [iwPhotograph by Ian Wilkinson

A dispute in round seven, as Raglon Wynter (in green shirt on the left) successfully
claims a win against Terence Lindo (arms folded to the right) before the “Appeal Court”.

Chief arbiter, IA Robert Wheeler, who also played in the event and,
in spite of his duties, ended 12th on 5.0/9. [iw]

Richard Lim, photographer, videographer and chess player,
records for posterity. [iw]

  • Report by Ian G. Wilkinson QC, President of the Jamaica Chess Federation
  • All photographs by Richard Lim except where otherwise indicated – [iw] = Ian Wilkinson.

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