Fatima Chess in Review
The 2022-2023 Academic Year saw the introduction of a Chess programme in Fatima College, and the reemergence of our school as a force on the local Secondary School Chess scene.
For several years, following the retirement of Mr. Brown from the Faculty, the Fatima College Chess Club has been run by a small group of highly committed and enthusiastic Chess-playing students, with minimal support.
It is thanks to their efforts that Chess in Fatima College remained alive and well, during a challenging period that included the enforced COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown.
Over the past twelve months, following the full resumption of in-person school, and with strong support from Principal Cooper and his management team, several measures have been successfully implemented to take Chess in Fatima College to the next level:
Introduction of a Fatima College Chess Programme:
Two coaches were engaged to deliver a Chess Training programme at Fatima College. The coaches, both of whom represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2022 World Chess Olympiad, are Fide Master (FM) Joshua Johnson (himself a graduate of Fatima College) and FIDE Master (FM) Adrian Winter-Atwell.
Josh and Adrian run a two-tier Chess training and development programme:
•A Learn to Play Chess programme to teach Chess basics and a love for the game to new players;
•An advanced programme to help prepare more experienced players for Chess tournaments
The programme was delivered via weekly in-person and online sessions over the course of the year.
Upgrade of Chess Club Facilities and Equipment
The Chess Club was relocated to the IT Room, to accommodate the increased number of members. With the assistance of the FC Chess Parent Support Group, 20 new Chess Sets and Clocks were procured for the use of players.
First Fatima College Chess Tournament
On March 28, 2023, at the end of the Easter Term, fifty students participated in the Inaugural Fatima College Chess tournament. This was a 7-round Swiss-style Rapid (15 minutes + 10 seconds per move per player) Event. The Top 10 placings in the tournament were:
1. Adam Harford – 6 points
2. Luke Gillette – 6 points
3. Ari Bunsee – 6 points
4. Ari Jogie – 5½ points
5. Xavier Nurse – 5 points
6. Kyle Valley – 5 points
7. Jeremy Samaroo – 5 points
8. Liam Gooding – 5 points
9. Aaron Chaitram – 5 points (he missed the first game)
10. Kaiden Lee-Chang – 5 points
It is instructive to note that the top five placings were secured by three students in Form 1 and two students in Form 2. This bodes well for the future of chess at Fatima College in the long term.
Fatima College Student participation at Youth Chess Tournaments
Fatima College Students participated in several national and regional Youth Chess Tournaments over the course of the 2022-2023 Season, including:
• A 16-strong Fatima contingent competed in the Trinidad and Tobago Chess
Association’s Inaugural Secondary Schools Individual Rapid Tournament, held at
Hillview College on November 5, 2022.
• Fatima College placed 4th (of more than 20 schools) for the School Prize, finishing
close behind winners Presentation College, Chaguanas, Hillview College (2nd), and
Naparima College (3rd)
•Top ranked Fatima players in the 120-strong field were: Luke Gillette (#19); Xavier
Nurse (#24); Aaron Chaitram (#27) and Alex Chai-Hong (#33)
• 2023 National Youth Chess Championship (January 2023): 4 Fatima students competed in the 32-strong Under-14 category. Final places for the contingent were Luke Gillette (#3); Xavier Nurse (#5); Adam Harford (#11); and Daniel Ince (#14)
• Central Vikings Indian Arrival Day Under 20 Tournament (May 2023): 7 Fatima students competed amongst a field of 134 from various parts of T&T. This tournament included players up to the age of 19, and 3 Fatima College students finished in the top ten percent of the competitors. Final places for the contingent were Luke Gillette (#6); Adam Harford (#7) and Xavier Nurse (13);
• Central American and the Caribbean Youth Chess Festival (August 2023): 3 Fatima students competed in the 231 strong tournament which saw competitors from the Caribbean and Central American countries test their skills against each other in a 9 round, week long event. Final places for the contingent in the 33 strong Under-14 category were Luke Gillette (#12), Xavier Nurse (#14) and Adam Harford (#15).
With a highly talented group of young Chess players eager to build their skills, a structured Chess Programme in place, and strong Executive and Parent Group support, the future of Chess in Fatima College appears to be bright, indeed.
Fatima College Inaugural Chess Tournament – March 28, 2023 at the College Hall
Fatima College Chess Club Coaches – Fide Master, Adrian Winter-Atwell and Fide Master, Joshua Johnson
Fatima College Student participants at the Central American and the Caribbean Youth Chess Festival
August 2023 – Xavier Nurse, Adam Harford and Luke Gillette.