Cayman Island: CICF Masterclass Team Excels at 2023 US National Junior Chess Congress

The Cayman Island Chess Federation (CICF) Masterclass team made a remarkable debut on the international stage at the 2023 US National Junior Chess Congress.

Cayman Island: CICF Masterclass Team Excels at 2023 US National Junior Chess Congress
Cayman Island: CICF Masterclass Team Excels at 2023 US National Junior Chess Congress

The Cayman Island Chess Federation (CICF) Masterclass team made a remarkable debut on the international stage at the 2023 US National Junior Chess Congress.

The championship was held from 12 – 16 July 2023 at the prestigious Seaworld Renaissance Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

Led by Cayman Islands National Youth Coach, National Master Ryan Blackwood, the team displayed exceptional skill and dedication, achieving impressive results and earning accolades throughout the tournament.

Representing the CICF and Chess Whiz Kids Academy, the 12-member strong delegation embarked on their first-ever international tournament, leaving a lasting impression on the chess community.

The junior members of the team, Ross Blackwood, Anvita Niranjan Patil, Dez Graham, Zara Majid, and Israel Martin, showcased their talent, determination, and sportsmanship against tough opponents from across the USA.

The CICF Masterclass team’s outstanding performance resulted in numerous individual trophies and three top club trophies, solidifying their position as a force to be reckoned with.

Their accomplishments were a testament to their relentless pursuit of excellence and the guidance provided by Coach Ryan Blackwood.

One player, in particular, stole the spotlight with her exceptional achievements. Zara Majid, a rising star within the CICF Masterclass team, earned the coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

Zara demonstrated her exceptional chess skills and unwavering dedication by securing podium finishes in all three events she participated in, and playing an instrumental role in the team’s success in winning three team prizes.

In addition to the players’ remarkable performances, the tournament saw the active involvement of parents who enthusiastically supported their children’s endeavors.

Niranjan Patil and Michelle Majid, parents of team members, were honored with the Top Parents awards, highlighting their commitment to actively participating in the Parents event.

Ryan Blackwood, the esteemed coach and founder of Chess Whiz Kids Academy, has been taking students to this prestigious event since 2009, aiming to provide opportunities for scholarships and national titles.

The team’s exceptional performance this year further showcases the effectiveness of his coaching methods and the growth of the Cayman Islands’ chess community as the CICF Youth Chess Director.

The CICF Masterclass team’s successful campaign at the 2023 US National Junior Chess Congress underscores their potential and determination to compete at the highest level.

Their achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring chess players across the Cayman Islands, signaling a bright future for the sport in the region.

Both Israel and Anvita’s next international event will be representing the Cayman Islands in the FIDE World Youth Under 16 Chess Olympiad in Eindhoven, Netherlands from 12 -19 August.