Barbados’ highest rated female chess player Katrina Blackman is celebrating her capture of a fifth ladies national title.
The 26-year-old Woman Candidate Master was crowned champion over the weekend after another strong performance in the final three rounds of games at the Chess Centre on Exmouth Gap, Brandons.
Blackman, the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Championship women’s gold medallist, finished with six-and-a-half out of a maximum seven points to win by a half-point ahead of national Under-16 female champion Gaybrianna Moore.
After establishing herself as favourite with four successive wins at the start, Blackman defeated 2015 champion Gabriela Cumberbatch in the fifth round, drew with national Under-20 and Under-18 female champion Kiarra Eversley in the sixth round and won against Laura Nicholls in the final round on Sunday.
The title added to Blackman’s previous national ladies crowns in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017 and her prize is the official player status for Barbados at the inaugural ladies FIDE Americas Caribbean Cup which will be held in Suriname in November.
Moore, the no. 5 seed, put in a grand performance to finish second with six points, defeating all of her opponents with the exception of Blackman. The Harrison College student registered wins against three rivals with higher ratings – no. 2 seed Cumberbatch, no. 3 seed Eversley and no. 4 seed Azaria Johnson.
Cumberbatch, a second year student at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, placed third with five points, while Johnson, of Harrison College was fourth on four points, the same as Ellerslie’s Alesha Lovell.
The championship, which was sponsored by Burger King, attracted 10 players.
The next event on the Barbados Chess Federation’s 2019 calendar is a Ratings Development Tournament which will be played on October 5, 12 and 19 at the Chess Centre. (BCF)
Champion Katrina Blackman (left) battling with Kiarra Eversley in the sixth round. (BCF Pictures)
Gaybrianna Moore (right) finished second while Gabriela Cumberbatch placed third.