The team of Jamaica: «We have never seen snow»
The women’s team of Jamaica impressed us by their united spirit, sense of humor and original uniform. Together with the girls we welcomed the President of Jamaican Chess Federation and at the same time the captain of the men’s team Ian Wilkinson.
I.W.: First of all I would like to introduce you to our outstanding women’s team: Our first board Deborah Richards, the captain of the team and one of the strongest chess players in Caribbean English Speaking Islands; the second board – Krishna Gray, the third one – Ariel Barrett. The fourth board is Margoe Williams and the fifth one is Aneesha Smith.
– Why did you decide to play chess? I thought that Jamaica is more for professional dancers than chess players?
A.S.: I saw this game on TV for the first time in my life and I got very much interested and I said to myself that I will learn to play. I have been playing since the 5th class, and I want to become the best player in Jamaica.
А.B.: I started playing chess during my first year in high school. After I started showing good results and decided not to stop playing and achieve better ones.
D.R.: The majority of Jamaican chess players get to know this game at school. We have chess clubs almost in all schools, therefore those who love chess have an opportunity to develop.
– How often are tournaments organized in Jamaica?
D.R.: The local tournaments take place once a month and we all participate in them. We have National Junior Championships, Women and Men Championships and school tournaments.
I.W.: By the way, maybe Deborah is too shy to tell you, but after her first Olympiad in 2002 in Bled, Slovenia, she had been winning all women national championships during the following 8 years. One month before the start of this Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk she became the winner of «Umada Cup» tournament that took place in Trinidad and Tobago.
– It means that you do not lack training. Who can call herself a professional chess player?
D.R.: I would say that we are all amateurs. Chess is not the only thing that we do in life, everyone has its interests. Two of us have special technical education and the rest are still students. We do not exclude the possibility to become real professionals in the future.
– What do you learn from chess?
D.R.: Chess teaches us such qualities as patience, decisiveness and determination. We learn how to reach our goals whatever the price it would be. For me chess is life. Playing at the chess board gives me strength and belief in dreams.
A.S.: As for me, chess teaches me to be calm since I am rather aggressive and I lack patience. Playing chess is very positive for my nerves and makes me look at it in a different way.
– What objective do you set in terms of performing in Khanty-Mansiysk?
K.G.: We are trying to do our best in order to perform worthily. We need to train much in order to achieve this goal and we are making all the efforts. I must confess that sometimes it is rather hard and every round is in a sweat.
– Do you argue after a lost match?
K.G.: Both our teams are very close-knit. Every day we get together to analyze our games. We never argue or quarrel. I will repeat myself that we are very close and support each other very much.
– You are wearing beautiful uniform, one can easily recognize you by that from far away. Tell us who was its designer?
I.W.: In fact it is not a designed uniform, before leaving for Moscow I bought it in one of the popular sportswear shops in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica.
– What can you tell us about Khanty-Mansiysk? Did you have time to see anything but the playing hall?
A.S.: Yes, we did. We went for a walk on the first rest day and did some shopping. We climbed the stairs of the first innovators of Ugra – it was magnificent! And also we liked your DJs at “Bermuda Party”.
– If it suddenly snows in Khanty-Mansiysk – will you experience it for the first time?
А.S.: We have never seen snow in our life and if it snows, it will be unforgettable for us!