Barbados land first gold medal at Caribbean Chess Carnival
BARBADOS have won their first gold medal at the Caribbean Chess Carnival, courtesy of little Leigh Sandiford.
The impressive wizard notched up two more wins on Tuesday in marching to a sixth successive victory that carried him to an unbeatable position in the Under-10 division after the penultimate round of games at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.
Sandiford, the reigning CARIFTA and national Under-12 champion, beat compatriot Jaydn Gill in the fifth round in the morning session before sweeping past Trinidadian Sheldon Yearwood in the evening to jump to a maximum six points.
With a two-point advantage over joint second-placed, Trinidadians Athena Martin and Rayden Rampersad, the 10-year-old Sandiford, a student of Providence School, is assured of the top spot ahead of Wednesday’s final round.
Sandiford’s older brother Kyle is no longer in contention for the gold medal in the Under-14 division. After losing to Candidate Master, Trinidadian Sean Yearwood in a top-of-the-table clash, Kyle returned to winning ways with a victory against another Trinidadian, Deonan Ramsumair to record his fifth win in sixth games.
The elder Sandiford has five points, one behind Yearwood, who is guaranteed the top spot even if he loses his final match.
Among the Under-20s, Orlando Husbands put behind him the disappointment of a defeat on the opening day when he complained that two competitors held him in the washroom during a break at a critical point, to complete a third successive victory.
Husbands beat the then leader Isaiah McIntosh of Trinidad and Tobago to move into second place after the sixth round. A victory over current front-runner and fellow FIDE master Joshua Johnson on Wednesday will put him in line for gold.
Trinidadian Johnson starts the final round with five points, while Husbands is one of four players with 4.5 points.
Barbados will miss out on gold in the Under-12 division, but Azari Gittens and Aaron Haynes are still in the hunt for medals.
Gittens and Haynes, who were in joint-second at the start of the day, played to a draw in the morning session. Another draw later in the day left Haynes in fourth place on four points while Gittens lost and dropped to fifth on 3.5 points. (HG)