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Four sharing honours on chess boards

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Four sharing honours on chess boards

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At the midway point of the inaugural CARIFTA Chess Championships, in Trinidad and Tobago, four countries share the honours, with each one having players leading the six contested categories.
In the Under-12 Girls’ category, Sheanel Gardner of Jamaica tops the standings with four points. Five players – Shanon Yearwood and Gabriella Johnson of Trinidad and Tobago, and Karen Cesipul, Lauren Dumanior and Anais Duval-Violton of Martinique – share second position on three points.
The Jamaicans also top the leader board in the Under-12 Open category, with Rachel Miller and Elias Issa sharing first place on four points with Emerick Lafortune of Martinique.
A big group of seven players, six of whom are from hosts Trinidad and Tobago – Gerard Sealy, Sean Yearwood, Justin Labastide, Jeremy Ammon and Manas Potdar – and Martinique’s Andy Marie Calixte share fourth position with three points. Barbados’ Under-12 champion Luke Cardozo is in 11th place with two and a half points.
The Girls’ Under-16 category is a three-way tie between Woman Candidate Master Janava Smith of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados’ Gabriela Cumberbatch and Martinique’s Camille Sauveur on four points. Smith, Cumberbatch and Sauver have all but guaranteed themselves medals as they have opened an almost unassailable two-and-a-half-point lead over their nearest rival, fourth-placed Najarah Rahaman on Trinidad and Tobago, who is on one and a half points.
In the Under-16 Open category, Joshua Johnson of Trinidad and Tobago and Bryan Prescod of Barbados drew their much anticipated fourth round match to share the lead with Jamaica’s Shreyas Smith on three and a half points. They are closely followed by Christian Ammon and Mahendra Singh of Trinidad and Tobago, Alistar Walker of Jamaica and Jerome Harewood of Barbados, who are all on three points in fourth place.
The marquee Under-20 Open category sees Jamaica’s James Stewart powering ahead of the field with four points, followed by two of the region’s youngest emerging stars – Barbados Under-14 and Under-16 champion Yu Tien Poon and Suriname’s Cavin Tjong Tjin Joe – in second place with three points.
Poon and Tjong Tjin Joe, who are a mere 13 and 12 years old, respectively, have opted to play out of their age categories and have justified the decision with their performance.
In the Girls’ Under-20 category, which is merged with the Open Category, Katrina Blackman of Barbados heads the standings with two points, followed by Melissa Pereira and Yanna Lopez of Trinidad and Tobago on one and a half points and one point, respectively. (PR)