History of Bahama Chess Federation

Back in the 1960s a few men with interest in Chess playing founded the Bahamas Chess Association as a vehicle to promote the game of Chess in the Bahamas. These Pioneers were the late Dr. Oswald Symonette, Kenneth Adderley, Chris Burrows and Lincoln Davis. Meetings, I am told were sometimes held in members houses when public buildings like schools were not available to players. To this day we still are without a place were can call home, though C.C. Sweeting has been the unofficial headquarters for Chess since 1974.

Chess Pioneers

bahama chess federationFollowing the Fischer-Spassby match in Iceland in 1972, Grandmaster Luthar Schmid the arbiter in that match, visited the Bahamas. He played a simultaneous exhibition at one of the Cable Beach Hotels. He must have been impressed with our play because he supported the Bahamas application for membership to the World Chess Body Federatione Internationale des Echess (FIDE) and the Bahamas become a member in 1974. We have remained a member since, except for a period in the 80s when we were suspended until our arrears in membership dues was paid off. The Bahamas has sent teams to the Olympiad on three occasions (1974 in Nice France), (1986 in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia) and (1998 Athens, Greece).

New Chess Federation

The Federation has always sought to promote the development of its youth. The junior programme got off to a good start in 1974 with the first Bahamas Junior Chess Championship sponsored by FINCO. The High School Team Championship followed a year later and has continued for the next 25 year, and remains the most prestigious event on the junior calendar.

It came then as a little surprise that the youth representation of the country in regional and international events was of a high standard.

Chess Championship

In 1993, Antoinette Seymour won the championship for women in the English-speaking Caribbean: Juliet Storr won the same title two years later in 1985, a team of four players Antoinette Seymour, Juliet Storr, Percy Rolle and Andrew Moss did the Bahamas proud in Chicago in the world Youth Championship.

The Star Insurance Scholastic Championship is the Federations latest effort at promoting the youth in the school system from primary to tertiary level.

Present times

At present there are hundreds of players in the country, players who have come out of the school system, but players who became inactive once high school was over. At present our active membership is less than fifty but our prospects for the future remains high, if the pupils who are now starting at younger ages, continue beyond high school. A suitable home base will be a definite plus for our image.

Warren H. Seymour
BCF Vice-President, Tournament Director & Records Officer