In July this year, Jersey entered its first ever all-female chess team in the 44th Annual Chess Olympiad, which took place this year in Chennai, India. The Jersey all-female team comprised of Rachel Ruddy, Lula Roberts, Yasmin Forbes, Monika Ashbrooke, and Daisy Carpenter.
The Chess Olympiad welcomes chess enthusiasts from all over the world to compete in a global competition to crown the best chess players. This year, the Olympiad welcomed teams from nearly 200 countries; with 158 counties playing in the all-female competition, while 189 countries participated in the Open competition comprising of mixed teams.
The Jersey women’s team achieved a placing of 122 out of 159 which is a fantastic accomplishment considering this was the first time they had competed in a competition of this size and nature. What’s more, this result was even more impressive considering two of the five-part Jersey female team are in fact teenagers!
The Chess Olympiad involves a mix of all-female players who compete in the all-female competition and mixed players, who compete in the Open competition.
There were 11 rounds of chess played over a 2-week period, so the Jersey Women’s team played 55 games in total, being that the team comprises five players.
Before the ladies attended the Olympiad, Garry Forbes, Managing Director of SaSo Strategic, Jersey Open Team player and coach for the women’s team had high hopes for the ladies’ team;
“If the ladies can each win four out of their eleven games each, that would certainly be a fantastic achievement,” he explained.
“In fact, the Jersey women’s team had an excellent first Olympiad with four wins, one draw and six losses, so that’s even better than I had first anticipated and hoped for!”
The team achieved their wins against South Sudan in round four (4-0), Cape Verde in round seven (3.5-0.5), Timor-Leste in round eight (3.5-0.5) and Ghana in round 11 (3.5-0.5). Their 2-2 draw came against Sudan in round four.
“Being able to compete on such an international stage is so incredible and the Jersey ladies did so well in their matches. The standards were so high, so we are extremely proud of what they have achieved and their placement in the overall competition,” added Garry Forbes.
The team saw an outstanding performance from Rachel Ruddy, who scored 5.5/9 with five wins and one draw. And the teenage members of the team also performed incredibly well too, with 16-year-old Daisy Carpenter scoring 50% with 3.5/7 on board five and 14-year-old Yasmin Forbes scoring 4/9 with four wins, on board four.
Monika Ashbrooke, who also competed in the ladies' team has had a particularly successful year, having recently won the Jersey Women’s Chess Championship and, most recently scoring 3/8 on board two with two wins and two draws at the Olympiad. Paul Carpenter, who also played in the 44th Olympiad, but in the Open competition, won 4/9 with two wins and two draws on board one. As a result of their achievements this year, they have both been selected to represent Jersey in the Small Nations European Individual events in Liechtenstein and Monte Carlo respectively.
Paul and Monika will play nine matches (one against each country) against representatives of Guernsey, San Marino, Faroe Islands, Cyprus, Andorra, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Malta, and Monaco. The events are going ahead with the support of the European Chess Union.
Read the Jersey Evening Post’s latest article on Jersey Chess
Garry Forbes recently provided some editorial to the JEP to promote the latest happenings in Island Chess including details of the Jersey Women’s Chess Championship, the Jersey Chess Championship, the Jersey Blitz Tournament and most recently, news from the 44th Chess Olympiad.
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