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Reigning Barbados national women’s champion Katrina Blackman is targeting a gold medal as the Central American and Caribbean Women’s Chess Championship is poised for an enthralling finish on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old Woman Candidate Master is one of three players level on points at the top of the standings after the eighth and penultimate round of games at the All Seasons Resort in Sunset Crest on Wednesday night.

Blackman, Catherine Kaslan of Suriname and Ailen Oriana Mena of Curacao are all on six points, but the tie-break placed the four-time Barbados national women’s champion in the gold medal position after another day of engrossing action.

Having earlier beaten top seed Thais Castillo Morales of Costa Rica, the sixth-ranked Blackman got the better of no. 2 seed Mena in her sixth round game on Tuesday night. She followed up with a draw against Reyna Frijde of Suriname in the first of two games on Wednesday before defeating compatriot Gabriela Cumberbatch.

Blackman will face another Barbados representative, Karen Julissa Figueroa in the final round which pushes off at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Kaithlyn Tjong Tjin Joe of Suriname was in fourth place on five points followed by a trio of players on four and a half points - Castillo Morales, Frijde and Trinidadian Woman International Master Gabriella Johnson.

The next six places are occupied by Barbados representatives with Cumberbatch, fellow former national women’s champion Donna Murray and Figueroa on four points, followed by Azaria Johnson, Vanessa Greenidge and Kiarra Eversley, who each have three and a half points.

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)


Ailen Oriana Mena of Curacao is also targeting the top prize. (BCF)

Barbadian Katrina Blackman is leading the standings on the tie-break ahead of the last round. (BCF)

Catherine Kaslan of Suriname is also in contention for the gold medal. (BCF)


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