Defending champions Leigh Sandiford and Vanessa Greenidge romped to the under-14 titles with 100 per cent winning records to highlight the middle age-groups in the 2019 Barbados Chess Federation’s National Youth & Cadet Championships.
Sandiford, a CARIFTA gold medallist in 2015, took the boys’ crown by winning six consecutive games, while Greenidge, who won silver at last year’s CARIFTA Championships, achieved a similar feat among the girls in the three-day event that concluded last Saturday at Harrison College.
Once Sandiford scored a victory in the fourth round over his Harrison College schoolmate Yeshua Hill, the only other FIDE rated player in the section, he was the clear favourite to emerge champion and was assured of the triumph ahead of the final round.
Hill took the silver medal with four-and-a-half points, winning a tie-breaker with Alexandra student Nicholas Russell-Griffith after both players were level on points.
Greenidge, a member of the Barbados team at the 2018 Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia and the only FIDE rated player in the female Under-14 category, was also guaranteed retention of her title before the final round.
Greenidge’s Queen’s College schoolmate Erin Mahon captured second place with four-and-a-half-points while Alesha Lovell of Ellerslie was third with four points.
One of the closest battles in the Championships was in the boys’ Under-12 division where Tarquin Clark of Wills Primary was crowned champion after edging out Harrison College’s Jaydn Gill on a tie-break. Both players scored five wins and drew their head-to-head clash but Clark, last year’s Under-10 king, prevailed on the second tie break on account of playing against opponents with a higher tally of points.
The keen battle in this division was also reflected by another tie break to decide third place which went to Kevion Perch of Graydon Sealy Secondary after he and Taariq Callender of St Judes Primary both ended on four-and-a-half points.
In the female Under-12 category, there was another clean sweep of the boards as Queen’s College’s Savannah Corrigan registered six successive wins to lift her first national title.
While Corrigan was a runaway winner, it was a close call for second place involving three players who finished on four points. In the end, the tie-break favoured Alexandra’s Jalia Linton ahead of third-placed Anouska Pitamber of People’s Cathedral and fourth-placed Samara Mayers of Charles F. Broome. (BCF)
Leigh Sandiford retained the boys’ Under-14 title with a 100 per cent winning record. (BCF/Corie Elcock Pictures)
Vanessa Greenidge repeated as the girls’ Under-14 champion with a clean sweep of the boards.
Tarquin Clarke took the boys’ Under-12 title.
Savannah Corrigan was crowned the girls’ Under-12 champion.