Bajan fourth in chess tourney
Barbadian International Master Orlando Husbands captured fourth place but highly-rated overseas entrants predictably made a clean sweep of the top positions in the Barbados Chess Federation’s annual Heroes Day Cup.
Husbands finished with five and a half points in the nine-round tournament to be the highest placed English-speaking Caribbean competitor in the ten-man tournament for invited players, which concluded at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex on Tuesday night.
It was always going to be a tall order for the local players against top-rated opposition as American International Master Raven Sturt narrowly retained his title to walk away with the US$800 top prize.
Sturt, the highest rated player in the tournament, finished with seven and a half points, half-point more than Cuban International Master Humberto Blanco, while American FIDE Master Levy Rozman took third place with six points.
The three rivals were tied on points after the seventh round of games, but Sturt, who trailed Blanco and Rozman for most of the competition, seized the initiative by beating Rozman in the penultimate round before defeating Trinidadian FIDE Master Joshua Johnson in the final round, when Blanco had to settle for a draw against Husbands.
Barbadian International Master Terry Farley rounded off the top half of the standings by finishing fifth on four and a half points, while 2017 Rapid champion Justin Blackman, who only returned to the local scene last year after studies in the United States, finished sixth with three and a half points, the same tally for seventh-placed Johnson and Barbados’ six-time national champion, FIDE Master Martyn Del Castilho.
In the Candidates section for lower rated players, Trinidadian FIDE Master Kevin Cupid won the top prize of US$600 after finishing with seven and a half out of a maximum eight points.
There was a close battle for second place, which was won on a tie-break by Allan Herbert ahead of Lawrence Depradine and Othneil Harewood after the trio finished on five and a half points.
Woman Candidate Masters Julissa Figueroa and Katrina Blackman shared the prize for the Best Female, having each ended with five points, while Emar Edwards, who also collected five points, was the Best Under 1600 rated player.
Four young players – Rory Prescod (4 points), Dominic Jackman (3.5), Louis Daniel Wilson (3.5) and Kimahri Holder (3.5) – received the President’s Incentive Prize for their encouraging performances.
The five-day tournament, which attracted 35 players, was sponsored by the Barbados Olympic Association and the Academy of Sport at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. (BCF)