Cuba’s first woman International Master

Lisandra Ordaz, from Pinar del Río, is the first Cuban woman with the title of International Master (IM) in chess with no distinction of sex. The Presidential Board of the International Chess Federation, gathered in Minsk, Belorussia, confirmed the title.

Last October, the 29-year-old chess player completed the only condition she was missing to receive the title when she surpassed the barrier of the ELO of 2,400 points. She won the record thanks to her second place in the Don Modesto Castellón Tournament in Yucatan, Mexico.

Her performance in Mexico raised her ranking to 2,414, which added to the three norms of International Master achieved in previous tournaments which allowed her to vie for the title with no distinction of sex.

Ordaz had obtained the first of her three norms in the 2010 Capablanca Memorial, the second in Panama’s 2011 Open and the third in the 2013 Carlos Torres Repetto in Memoriam in Mexico. But she needed to exceed the ELO of 2,400 points.

“It’s one of the biggest gifts for a life devoted to this beautiful sport. I am extremely happy and grateful to all the persons who made this dream come true, especially my family,” the chess player posted on her Facebook profile and said she was ready to “conquer new goals.”

In previous statements, cited by the Jit site, Lisandra said that her first step for the future is to maintain her ELO coefficient above 2,400.

Her game’s stability allowed her to stay among the 100 first women in the world ranking since November 2010, except for December 2016 when she ranked 101st.

Ordaz was recognized as Woman International Master in 2004 and Woman Grand Master in 2011. To obtain these titles women are demanded requisites inferior to those for obtaining the title with no distinction of sex, which equals them to the male chess players. However, many of them usually play against men and, like Lisandra, demonstrate they can reach the same ELOs as those of the “strong sex.”

The Cuban’s next goals include achieving some absolute norm of Grand Master and be the island’s champion, something that is still pending in her career.

The current third place in the Americas’ ranking will return to the chessboards in the Capablanca Memorial that will be held May 8-20 in the Habana Libre Hotel. In September she has to defend Cuba’s first women’s title in the Butami World Olympics in Georgia.

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