Chess Masters coming to do battle
Two highly rated International Masters will join Barbados’ top players in battling for honours in the annual Barbados Chess Federation’s Heroes Day Cup over the next few days.
Last year’s champion American Raven Sturt and Cuban Humberto Blanco headline a ten-man field battling for a top prize of US$800 in the Masters section of the tournament which pushes off today at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.
Sturt, whose win last year elevated him to an International Master, and Blanco, both boast a rating of more than 2 400 and will come up against a field that includes five Barbadians, headed by International Masters Orlando Husbands and Terry Farley and six-time national champion FIDE Master Martyn Del Castilho.
Farley and Husbands took third and fourth places respectively last year and will be looking to dethrone Sturt.
The Masters section of Heroes Day Cup is structured to qualify as an International Title Tournament by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and is the only event in the English-speaking Caribbean designed to provide International Master title norm opportunities.
Barbados’ two other entrants are 2017 Rapid champion Justin Blackman and two-time Carifta Under-20 bronze medallist Bryan Prescod.
The overseas line-up is completed by American FIDE Master Levy Rozman and Trinidadian FIDE Masters Ryan Harper and Joshua Johnson.
In addition to the Masters section, more than 20 players will be battling in the Challengers section for a top prize of US$600. Trinidadian Kevin Cupid is the highest rated player in this section which includes seven-time national champion FIDE Master Dr. Philip Corbin and four-time national female champion Woman Candidate Master Katrina Blackman.
The Heroes Day Cup, which is sponsored by the Barbados Olympic Association and the Academy of Sport at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, starts with an opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today before moving into the first round of games at 6 p.m. The Masters section will be contested over nine rounds and the Challengers division will be over eight rounds. Both sections will conclude on Tuesday. (BCF)