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Barbados made a fine start to the FIDEOnline Chess Olympiad by scoring victories in two of their three games against higher rated opposition on the opening day of Division 3 action Friday.

Playing in Pool E with nine other teams from the Americas region, Barbados defeated Honduras and Panama by 4-2 margins but lost to Nicaragua 3.5-2.5.

The results put the Bajans in third place after the first three rounds of competition.

Three Barbados players recorded two victories on the day with Martyn Del Castilho having a 100 per cent record, while his wife, Julissa Figueroa and Vanessa Greenidge won two of their three games.

Pitted against Honduras in the first round, Barbados started strongly against the Pool E winners from Division 4 last weekend.

Husbands, Del Castilho, Figueroa and Katrina Blackman registered wins against higher rated opponents to give the Bajans the perfect start to the competition. Despite Greenidge and Nitin Mahtani losing on the Under-20 boards, the Bajans were too strong for the opponents.

It was tougher in the second round against Nicaragua where Barbados, fielding an unchanged six-member line-up against higher rated players, got victories from Del Castilho and Greenidge. Husbands played to a draw but there were defeats for Figueroa, Blackman and Mahtani.

Barbados made three changes for the third round contest against Panama with Farley replacing Del Castilho, Gaybrianna Moore coming in for Blackman and Aaron Haynes replacing Mahtani.

It was another round where all the Bajans faced opponents with higher ratings and they played impressively to emerge 4-2 winners.

Farley provided Barbados with the first win in the round and the tempo was sustained with further victories by Figueroa and Greenidge, while Husbands and Haynes each played to draws while Moore lost.

With two wins from three games, Barbados are on four points, holding third place ahead of Costa Rica on the tie-break. Mexico and Nicaragua, who both achieved two wins and a draw, head the table with Mexico at the top on the tie-break.

Barbados, who are playing their games at the Chess Centre at Exmouth Gap, Brandons, will look to sustain their good run when the competition continues on Saturday. At noon, they face Guatemala, followed by Suriname at 1 p.m. and El Salvador at 2 p.m.

The top three teams from the pool will advance to Division 2.

The Online Olympiad, which has attracted more than 1 500 participants from 163 countries, has been organised by the world governing body for chess in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. (BCF)


Martyn Del Castilho (left) won both of his games while Orlando Husbands won one game and played to two draws. (BCF Pictures)

Vanessa Greenidge helped Barbados to third place with two wins.

Note: Live streaming of the FIDE Online Olympiad with a focus on teams from the Americas region can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/c/DavysChessChannel

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