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Stage set for chess thriller


Stage set for chess thriller

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Reigning champions Harrison College and 2016 winners Queen’s College are locked in a neck and neck battle after the first day of the Barbados Chess Federation’s Inter-School Secondary Championships.

At the halfway stage of the competition, Harrison College hold a narrow one-point lead over Queen’s College “A” after the first three rounds of games in three separate age-groups were contested at the St Michael School last Saturday.

The defending champions accumulated 63 points from their Under-20, Under-15 and Under-13 teams, while Queen’s College collected 62 to set the stage for an exciting climax to the championships next Saturday.

Given that the two schools boast a combined total of 15 selectees for the upcoming Carifta Chess Championships in Suriname, it was anticipated that it was going to be a close battle among the rivals.

Harrison College, spearheaded by national representatives Nitin Mahtani, Kyle Sandiford, Gabriela Cumberbatch and Taiye Estwick, dominated the Under-20 division, having won 10-0 against Queen’s College “B”, 8-2 against Queen’s College  “A” and St Leonard’s “B” to gain 26 out of a maximum 30 points in this division.

Queen’s College  “A”, led by national Under-18 champion Shane Maughn, registered a 10-0 win over St Leonard’s and also prevailed 7-3 over The St Michael School, but their progress was thwarted by their defeat to Harrison College in the second round.

In the Under-15 division, which was played in combination with the Under-13s, the spoils were evenly shared with both Harrison College and Queen’s College gaining 24 points.

Harrison College completed three successive wins, defeating Queen’s College Under-13s 8-2, Queen’s College 6-4 and Alexandra 10-0.

Despite the defeat to Harrison College, Queen’s College kept on their tabs with 10-0 wins over Harrison College Under-13s and Providence. Queen’s College’s Joshua Millar and Joshua Harris won their three games.

In the Under-13 section, Queen’s College hold a comfortable 19-13 lead over Harrison College.

Queen’s College, after losing to Harrison College’s Under-15 team, brushed aside Alexandra 10-0 and also defeated Harrison College 7-3. Harrison College won against Providence 10-0, but lost by a similar scoreline to Harrison College Under-15s.

In the Under-20 division, St Michael occupy third place on 12 points, followed by St Leonard’s Boys and Queen’s College “B”, who both have seven points.

Alexandra and Providence are a distant joint third in the Under-15 section with four points. (BCF)