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Good start by Bajans at CARIFTA chess


Good start by Bajans at CARIFTA chess

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BARBADOS made a satisfactory start to their defence of the CARIFTA Chess Championships in St Croix on Friday.

The 11-member team recorded 14 victories in the first two rounds of games in the fifth annual championships at the Divi Carina Bay Hotel.

Five players – Orlando Husbands, Yu Tien Poon, Bryan Prescod, Nitin Mahtani and Leigh Sandiford – tasted success in both of their games.

Husbands, the reigning Under-20 champion and the highest rated player in the tournament, defeated Anviti Adhin of Suriname in the morning and came back in the evening to get the better of Mark Bueno of Aruba.

Poon, last year’s Under-16 gold-medallist who is competing among the Under-20s for the first time, conquered Hazel Acosta of United States Virgin Islands before beating Annelaine Jacobs of Aruba.

The victories by the two Barbadian FIDE masters have set up a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday morning in the third round in a game that could have a significant impact in determining the champion in the senior division.

Prescod, last year’s Under-20 bronze medallist, also had a 100 per cent winning record, defeating compatriot Lydia Nurse in the morning and followed up with a win against Eryk Simon of United States Virgin Islands.

Sandiford, the 2015 Under-12 gold medallist who came into the championships ranked as low as No. 7 in what is expected to be a fiercely competitive division, prevailed against Trinidadian Anahita Ramoutar in the opening round and defeated Jannell Santos of United States Virgin Islands in the evening.

Mahtani was the only Under-16 Barbadian to win both games, overcoming Kyle Edwin of United States Virgin Islands in the first round and Catherine Kaslam of Suriname in the second.

Two other Under-16s, Shane Maughn and Segan Sandiford, were among eight Barbadians who won in the first round but both lost their second game.

Among the Under-12s, Yeshua Hill drew with last year’s Under-8 gold medallist, Jamaican Kishan Clarke and defeated Jayden Barry of United States Virgin Islands in the second round, while his Charles F Broome schoolmate Azaria Johnson beat 2015 Under-8 silver medallist Rayden Rampersad of Trinidad and Tobago but lost to Imaan Kalidjo of Suriname.

Seven countries – hosts United States Virgin Islands, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Aruba and Suriname – are vying for honours in the championships that will be contested over seven rounds of games. (HG)