Varona-Thomas becomes first Woman FIDE Master

Cuban-Guyanese Maria Varona-Thomas has become the first Woman FIDE Master (WFM) from Guyana, following her successful participation at the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan. ChessLogoMaria contested the required number of 11 games and accumulated eight points; seven victories and two draws (a win = 1 point; a draw = 1/2 point; a loss = 0 point).  Altogether, Maria placed 21st in the final standings of 663 women players who participated in the Olympiad.

Guyana’s women attended their maiden Olympiad, while the men had been participants in three previous Olympiads in 1978, 1980 and 2014. Although Maria excelled with her performance, and was adjudged one of the finest players of the Caribbean, she alone could not orchestrate a prominent showing for Guyana on the international stage. The chess Olympiad represents a calculated team effort, where every win or draw promotes the combined points standing. The complete details for the female participants of Guyana at the 42nd Chess Olympiad are as follows:

  1. No of Female Participants at the Olympiad: 663
  2. No of Teams at the Olympiad: 140
  3. Guyana’s Place: 127th
  4. Individual Performances:
Guyanese Maria Verona-Thomas has become our first Woman FIDE Master in chess following her qualification for the coveted title at the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan. The column wishes to congratulate Maria on her excellent performance.
Guyanese Maria Verona-Thomas has become our first Woman FIDE Master in chess following her qualification for the coveted title at the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan. The column wishes to congratulate Maria on her excellent performance.

Maria Thomas: 8 points from 11 games; Sheriffa Ali: 5.5 points from 10 games; Jessica Clementson: 1.5 points from nine games; Yolander Persaud: 1 point from nine games; Julia Clementson: 0 point from five games.

Maria and Sheriffa contributed 13.5 points from 21 games. Jessica, Yolander and Julia accumulated 2.5 points from 23 games.

The placements for our individual female performers are as follows:

Maria Thomas: 21st.

Sheriffa Ali: 239th

Jessica Clementson: 617th

Yolander Persaud: 639th

Julia Clementson: 655th

Overall, Guyana’s women won two rounds and drew two. Guyana defeated Tanzania (4-0), and Fiji (2½ – 1 ½). They drew with Barbados and Aruba.

In the Men’s section, Guyana placed 164th in a field of  180 teams. In the previous Olympiad at Tromso, Guyana finished 160th, so it has now fallen by four places. The total number of participants in the Mens’ or Open Section of the 42nd Olympiad held in Baku was 839. The individual placements of our male team which represented Guyana at the Olympiad are as follows:

Taffin Khan: 199th

Haifeng Su: 463rd

Anthony Drayton: 719th

Roberto Neto: 805th

Ronuel Greenidge: 814th

Individual Performances are as follows:

Taffin Khan: 6 points from 10 games. FIDE Ratings: Old 1877; New: 2083

Haifeng Su: 4.5 points from 11 games. FIDE Ratings: Old 1800; New 1883

Anthony Drayton : 2.5 points from 9 games . FIDE Ratings : Old 1923 . New 1860 .

Roberto Neto: 1 point from 6 games. FIDE Ratings: Old 1561; New 1566

Ronuel Greenidge: 1 point from 8 games. FIDE Ratings: Old 1723; New 1640

The Guyana men’s team won two matches against Bermuda and Guernsey, and drew with Fiji.

The males who played eight or more games numbered 675. Greenidge placed 671st. For nine games or more, the players numbered 560. Drayton placed 533rd. For ten games, the number was 718. Taffin placed 152nd. For eleven games, the count was 839. Su placed 463rd. Persons playing at least six games numbered 789. Neto placed 769th .

Chiefly, Taffin Khan turned out the most outstanding performance for Guyana followed by Haifeng Su, together they accouned for 10.5 of Guyana’s 15 points.

The USA won the gold medal in the men’s category, while China took the  gold in the womens division.

Chess puzzle

Michael Adams v Andrew Whiteley, England, 1981.

chess-puzzle18

Solution to last week’s puzzle

White to play and win

Black played: … Nxf1 if Rxf1 or Qxf1 g4

Chess games

The games featured here represent two wins, a loss  and a draw for the Guyana chess team participating at the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Azerbaijan. Guyana’s men placed 164th out of 180 teams. The Women’s team came in at 127th from 140 teams.

White: Taffin Khan,  Elo 1877   
Black: Carlos Armando Juarez Flores, Guatemala,  Elo  2392  

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Nge2 Nb4 8. c5 Nxd3+ 9. Qxd3 b6 10. O-O O-O 11. Bg5 c6 12. b4 a5 13. a3 Re8 14. Rfe1 b5 15. Ng3 h6 16. Bf4 Bf8 17. Red1 Be6 18. h3 Nd7 19. Nce2 g6 20. Bd2 axb4 21. axb4 Qf6 22. f4 Bg7 23. Rxa8 Rxa8 24. Rf1 Bf5 25. Nxf5 Qxf5 26. Qxf5 gxf5 27. Ng3 Bxd4+ 28. Kh2 Ra2 29. Rd1 Kh7 30. Nxf5 Bf6 31. Nd6 Kg6 32. f5+ Kg7 33. Ne8+ Kh7 34. Be1 Be5+ 35. Bg3 Bc3 36. Be1 Be5+ 37. Bg3 Rb2 38. Re1 Bxg3+ 39. Kxg3 Rxb4 40. Re7 Nxc5 41. Rxf7+ Kg8 42. Rc7 Ne4+ 43. Kf3 Kf8 44. Ng7 Ng5+ 45. Kf2 Re4 46. Nh5 Re5 47. Rxc6 Rxf5+ 48. Ke3 Ke7 49. Rxh6 Nf7 50. Rh7 Kd6 51. g4 Re5+ 52. Kd4 Re4+ 53. Kc3 Ng5 54. Rb7 Kc6 55. Rb8 Nxh3 56. Rc8+ Kb7 57. Rd8 Rxg4 58. Rxd5 Kc6 59. Rf5 Ng5 60. Rf4 Rg1 61. Rf6+ Kc5 62. Rf5+ Kb6 63. Nf6 Ka5 64. Nd5 Ne6 65. Re5 Rg6 66. Re1 Nc5 67. Re8 Rg3+ 68. Re3 Na4+ 69. Kb3 Nc5+ 70. Kc3 Na4+ 71. Kb3 Rg2 72. Ka3 Rd2 73. Nb4 Nb2 74. Re8 Nc4+ 75. Kb3 Nd6 76. Ra8+ Kb6 77. Rb8+ Kc7 78. Rh8 Rg2 79. Rh7+ Kb6 80. Rh3 Nf5 81. Rd3 Rg4 82. Nc2 Rf4 83. Kc3 Kc5 84. Kb3 Nd6 85. Rc3+ Kb6 86. Nb4 Rd4 87. Rc6+ Kb7 88. Rc5 Rh4 89. Rd5 Kc7 90. Rc5+ Kd7 91. Rd5 Ke6 92. Rc5 Rh3+ 93. Rc3 Rh1 94. Re3+ Kf5 95. Nc6 Kf4 96. Rd3 Nc4 97. Kb4 1/2-1/2.

White: Gong Qianyun, Singapore , Elo 2262    
Black: Maria Varona-Thomas, Elo 1775

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Bg5 e6 9. O-O-O Be7 10. Qd3 Qa5 11. Kb1 O-O 12. h4 Rfc8 13. Nd4 a6 14. f3 Rd8 15. g4 Rac8 16. Rhg1 b5 17. Nce2 Qc7 18. Ng3 Bb7 19. Nh5 d5 20. e5 Ne8 21. Bxe7 Qxe7 22. g5 g6 23. Nf6+ Nxf6 24. gxf6 Qc7 25. Qe3 Qc5 26. h5 Re8 27. hxg6 fxg6 28. Qh6 1-0.

White: Haifeng Su,  Elo 1800
Black: Joang Molapo, Lesotho, Elo 1685

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. dxc5 Bxc5 5. Nb3 Bb6 6. exd5 exd5 7. Bb5+ Nc6 8. Ne2 Bg4 9. O-O Ne7 10. Re1 O-O 11. Bg5 f6 12. Bf4 a6 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. h3 Bh5 15. c3 c5 16. Qd2 g5 17. Be3 Qd6 18. g4 Bg6 19. Ng3 Rad8 20. Qe2 Ba7 21. Bxc5 Bxc5 22. Nxc5 Qxc5 23. Qxe7 Qb5 24. Qe2 Bd3 25. Qd2 Rd7 26. a4 Qc4 27. b3 Qxb3 28. Qxd3 d4 29. Red1 Rfd8 30. c4 Qb4 31. Nf5 Qc3  32. Qxc3 dxc3 33. Rxd7 Rxd7 34. Rc1 Rc7 35. Rxc3 Rc5 36. Nd6 Kg7 37. Ne4 Rc6 38. c5 Kf7 39. Rb3 Ke6 40. Rb6 Kd5 41. Rxc6 Kxc6 42. f4 gxf4 43. Kf2 Kd5 44. Kf3 h5 45. Kxf4 1-0.

White: Maria Varona-Thomas,  Elo 1775
Black: Rahaf Jehad Mohamed, Palestine, Elo 1450

1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 e6 3. Bd3 c5 4. c3 d5 5. Nd2 Nc6 6. Ngf3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. e4 dxe4 10. Nxe4 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 Qxd1 12. Rxd1 Ne7 13. Ne5 h6 14. g3 Rb8 15. Be3 Bxe3 16. fxe3 Nf5 17. Bxf5 exf5 18. Nd7 Bxd7 19. Rxd7 g6 20. Rad1 a5 21. Rc7 Rfc8 22. Rdd7 Rxc7 23. Rxc7 a4 24. Kf2 b5 25. a3 Kg7 26. Rc6 g5 27. h3 h5 28. Rd6 f6 29. Rd5 Kg6 30. Ke2 h4 31. gxh4 gxh4 32. Kf3 Rb7 33. Kf4 1-0.

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