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Leigh Sandiford won the Under-13 Open division with a perfect record. (BCF)

Leigh Sandiford and Erin Mahon were the major winners in the Barbados Chess Federation’s (BCF) 1st Scholastics Championship which concluded at Harrison College last Friday.

Sandiford comfortably captured the Under-13 Open division with a perfect record, scoring six wins in as many games, while Mahon narrowly took the Under-13 Female section that produced an exciting finish.

The top-rated Sandiford was assured of the title going into the last round, leaving a battle for second place between a host of contenders.

His fellow Harrison College schoolmates Yeshua Hill and Dominic Jackman both finished on four and a half points but Hill took second place on the tie break.

The next five competitors (in order of placings) ended on four points – Tequon Pinder, his Deighton Griffith Secondary teammate Christian Gill, Rory Prescod of People’s Cathedral, Jamani Bowen of Harrison College and Kevion Perch of Deighton Griffith.

As the players battled for second place in the last round, there was plenty of intrigue with Hill playing to a tense draw with Prescod while Jackman overcame Tarquin Clark in an equally enthralling game that saw the rivals racing against the clocks at the end.

Erin Mahon (right) narrowly clinched the Under-13 Female section ahead of Jazhara Linton (left). (BCF)

Mahon, a Queen’s College student, took the Under-13 Female division with five points, half point more than the Linton sisters - Jazhara  and Jalia - and Alesha Lovell.

Jazhara  was the leader going into the last round but was beaten by her younger sister Jalia. It allowed Mahon, who had earlier lost to Jazhara, to ease through and win the title with a victory in her final game.

The elder Linton took second spot on the tie-break ahead of Lovell and Jalia.

Due to the small numbers, the Under-9s and Under-7s were merged and the players contested five rounds over the two days of competition.

Hannah Wilson of People’s Cathedral was the girls’ Under-9 champion with five points, while Amias Clark of Wills Primary took the boys’ equivalent with three points.

Kez McClean-Clarke of People’s Cathedral was the boys’ Under-7 champion with four points.

The BCF’s calendar will continue next week with the staging of the annual Heroes’ Day Cup which starts on April 27 and runs until May 1. (BCF)

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