Most persons are familiar with the path to and events of the CARIFTA Track & Field Championships. Generally, the public is also aware that the journey to the CARIFTA Aquatic Championships involves swift
freestyle, butterfly, breast or backstrokes. But many people are unaware of the CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships and the hard work, determination and focus that it takes to represent one’s country at this event. This year the Chess CARIFTA Games will take place in Willemstad, Curacao. Ten countries will participate in this year’s event including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad
In 1985 the CARIFTA Aquatics Championships was launched as an annual event. Eight years ago the noble game of chess was introduced to the CARIFTA Championships as an official FIDE event. Trinidad & Tobago hosted the first CARIFTA Junior Chess Championships, which they won. During the months of February and March 2019, Chess CARIFTA qualifiers were held in The Bahamas. Top local junior chess players competed for the chance to represent The Bahamas as part of the 2019 National Chess CARIFTA team. The selected Bahamas team of six (6), comprising of five (5) young men and one (1) young lady, are hoping to bring home the gold for The Bahamas. The country has never won the CARIFTA Chess Championships title but has earned gold medals in individual categories. In 2014, CM Nathan Smith won a Gold Medal at CARIFTA in Martinique in the Under 10 division and Silver
Medal performance in the under 12 division. In 2016, CM Nathan Smith won a Gold Medal in the Under 12 section of CARIFTA which was held in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The official members of the Bahamas 2019 CARIFTA Chess Team