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Chess master in early lead

HAYDN GILL, [email protected]

Chess master in early lead

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International Master Orlando Husbands has established himself as the early leader in the Barbados Chess Federation’s national championships qualifier.

Husbands, the 2013 national champion who did not compete in the previous two championships, has a 100 per cent winning record after scoring victories in the first four rounds of games at the Chess Centre, Exmouth Gap, Brandons.

The top seed recorded wins against Taiye Estwick, Kyle Sandiford, Shane Maughn and Bryan Prescod and holds a one-point lead ahead of the fifth round of games today.

Candidate Master Prescod won his first three games, registering victories over Kiarra Eversley, Emar Edwards and Leigh Sandiford before losing to Husbands in a fourth round top-of-the-table clash last Saturday.

Prescod and the two Sandiford brothers are sharing second place on three points in the qualifier that has attracted 20 entrants.

Kyle, the reigning Under-18 champion, defeated Under-12 champion Yeshua Hill, Azaria Johnson and Mark Lowe and lost to Husbands.

Candidate Master Leigh, the current Under-14 champion, won against Jerald Johnson, Lowe and Allan Herbert and went under to Prescod. Leigh’s victory against No. 3 seed Herbert, the president of the Barbados Chess Federation, could be considered as the biggest upset of the qualifier.

There was also major upset when reigning Under-20 champion Nitin Mahtani was beaten by veteran Richard Haddock in the first round.

Mahtani, Maughn and Corie Ellock are just behind the top four on two and a half points, while Lowe, Herbert, Edwards and former women’s champion Donna Murray are on two points.

The top five finishers will automatically qualify for the national championships in August to come up against six-time champion Martyn del Castilho. (HG)