May 10, 2016
Woman International Chess Master (WIM) Deborah Richards-Porter created history by becoming the first Jamaican to win the Women’s Sub-Zonal 2.3.5 Tournament, which was hosted by the Barbados Chess Federation recently.
WIM Richards-Porter scored an impressive and almost perfect 8.5 points out of a maximum nine, winning by a clear two points to completely dominate a field that comprised 25 other players from nine countries, 10 of whom were titled. Richards-Porter’s only blemish came when she was held to a draw by the higher rated WIM Danitza Vazquez of Puerto Rico. Compatriots 2015 Jamaica Women’s Champion Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Ariel Barrett and 2014 Jamaica Women’s Champion Candidate Master (CM) Rachel Miller also represented Jamaica very well by finishing in the top 10.
CM Miller continued her impressive rise up the ranks when she finished tied for third (sixth on tiebreak) with six points. Her only losses were against the much higher ranked players WIM Richards-Porter and WIM Danitza Vazquez. WCM Ariel Barrett also did well by scoring five points out of a maximum of nine to tie for seventh (eighth on tiebreak). Her most notable victory came against second-placed Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Maria Diaz. WCM Barrett narrowly missed earning the WFM title by a half-point.
The Sub-Zonal is a biennial tournament used to select the region’s best to challenge for the Women’s World Chess Championship. This Sub-Zonal win puts WIM Richards-Porter into the next round of qualifiers for the Women’s World Chess Championship. The other countries and territories that competed include Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela.