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Barbados’ four-time national women’s champion Katrina Blackman upstaged top seed Thais Castillo Morales of Costa Rica to establish her claims for a medal in the early exchanges of the Central American and Caribbean Women’s Chess Championship.

The reigning Barbados champion prevailed over Castillo Morales in the second round of games on Saturday evening but lost her third round top-of-the-table contest against Kaithlyn Tjong Tjin Joe of Suriname on Sunday at the All Seasons Resort in Sunset Crest.

Woman Candidate Master Blackman, who started the championship with a victory over compatriot Kiarra Eversley, was sitting in fourth position on two points ahead of Sunday evening’s fourth round games.

The table was led by Woman FIDE Masters Tjong Tjin Joe with the perfect three points, followed by no. 2 seed Ailen Oriana Mena of Curacao and Catherine Kaslan of Suriname. Both players were on two-and-a-half points.

Two other Barbados representatives also scored two wins. Former national women’s champion Gabriela Cumberbatch bounced back from defeat to Trinidadian Woman International Master Gabriella Johnson register victories against Sasha Shariff of Guyana and local girl Vanessa Greenidge.

Guatemala-born Karen Julissa Figueroa, wife of Barbados’ six-time national champion Martyn Del Castilho, also overcame a first round defeat to another former national woman’s champion Donna Murray to beat local girl Azaria Johnson and Trinidadian Jennika Lynch in her next two games.

The other Barbadians – Greenidge, Eversley, Murray and Azaria Johnson – have all scored one win.

Castillo Morales, who came into the championship with the highest rating, also lost her third round game to Mena and has registered only one victory.

The Championship, which is hosted by the Barbados Chess Federation in association with the Confederation of Chess for Americas, has attracted 16 participants – seven locals and nine overseas entrants. (BCF)


Barbados’ national women’s champion Katrina Blackman defeated top seed Thais Castillo Morales of Costa Rica. (BCF)

Front-runner Kaithlyn Tjong Tjin Joe (right) of Suriname beat Barbadian Donna Murray on the way to a perfect record. (BCF)

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