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Husbands wins CARIFTA chess gold for third straight year

HAYDN GILL, [email protected]

Husbands wins CARIFTA chess gold for third straight year

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ORLANDO HUSBANDS won gold and three of his teammates claimed silver but Barbados failed in their bid to achieve a hat-trick of titles at the sixth CARIFTA Chess Championships in Jamaica today.

While Husbands claimed the Boys’ Under-20 title for the third straight year and fellow Barbadians Yu Tien Poon, Leigh Sandiford and Vanessa Greenidge managed second place finishes, hosts Jamaica emerged comfortable winners of the championship at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.

Husbands, the highest rated player in the 27-man field, finished with six-and-a-half out of a maximum seven points and the path to the gold was cleared after fellow FIDE master Poon had to settle for a draw in the sixth and penultimate round of games in the morning session.

Poon ended with six points to claim second behind Husbands for the second straight year.

Both Sandifiord and Greenidge were in contention for gold medals going into final round of the Under-12 division.

Sandiford, seeking to regain the boys’ gold medal he won on home soil in 2015, suffered a setback when he lost to top-rated Jamaican David Thomas in the fifth round on Sunday evening.

Despite winning his last two matches today, Sandiford was unable to catch Thomas, ending with six points, half-point behind the champion and fellow Candidate Master.

Greenidge, competing at the championships for the first time, performed impressively and was top of the table on the tie break going into the last round. She finished on six points, the same as Jamaican Johmoi Blake, who took the gold on account of beating Greenidge in the fourth round on Sunday morning.

Jamaica, with a significant numerical advantage, won the title for the second time. Calculations by NATIONSPORT gave Jamaica 52 points with Barbados in second on 19 and Trinidad and Tobago third with ten.

Under the rules, points are accumulated based on top five results in each category, with a first place finisher receiving five points and a fifth place finisher one point.

While Barbados fielded a 13-member team in the six-team championship, Jamaica registered 190 out of the 221 competitors.

Barbados’ other highest finishers came through Gabriella Cumberbatch, who was fourth in the Girls’ Under-20 division with four- and-a-half points; Prikita Kandamaran, who was sixth in the Girls’ Under-16 division with four points, and Azaria Johnson, who was seventh in same section with three-and-a-half points. (HG)