Bajans take four chess medals
Gold, silver and two bronze was the final medal tally for Barbados as the curtain fell on the 7th Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Youth Chess Festival last week in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
Golden boy Orlando Husbands, of The Lodge School, wrapped up the Under-18 division in fine style with a win in his final match against Keily Vazquez Rodriguez of Puerto Rico.
Husbands, the 2011 CAC Under-14 gold medallist, played an age category up and showed he was in class of his own, finishing on 6.5 points, two points clear of Jonathan Fortis Rivera of Puerto Rico.
Gabriela Cumberbatch, Barbados’ sole female competitor, brought home the silverware in the girls’ Under-14 in spite of a final round loss against Juan Jose Davila Blanco of Puerto Rico.
Cumberbatch, who earlier this year won a CARIFTA bronze in the Under-16 division, has steadily improved and is on track to become one of the region’s top female chess players.
In the boys’ Under-14, national Under-14 champion Yu Tien Poon, of The Lodge School, tripped at the finish line, losing his last round match to Trinidad & Tobago’s Joshua Johnson.
Poon’s loss not only cost Barbados the silver medal, but also denied compatriot Allon Richards bronze.
Johnson, on five points with Poon, took silver on the tiebreak by virtue of his final round win against Poon, leaving Poon with the bronze and Richards empty-handed in fourth place on 4.5 points.
Barbados’ Under-16 champion Kemp Lynch, of Graydon Sealy Secondary, brought home the second bronze medal in that age group.
Paired in the final round against tournament leader Candidate Master Orlando Gonzalez Olivieri, of Puerto Rico, Lynch needed a win to take gold, but settled for an early draw, a decision which opened the door for Javier Rios Maldonado, of Puerto Rico, to claim the silver.
Barbados’ other entrant in the Under-16, Bryan Prescod, of The Lodge School, won his final round match against Woman Candidate Master Javanna Smith, of Trinidad and Tobago, but found himself half a point short of the medal, fourth with 4.5 points. (PR)