Six-time national chess champion Martyn Del Castilho hardly put a foot wrong and emerged a comfortable winner in the Barbados Olympic Association Independence Invitational Games (BiiG) Michael Forde Memorial Chess Championship.
The top seed finished the event with six-and-a-half out of a maximum seven points to claim his second major championship of the year when the five-day event climaxed on Monday night at the Chess Centre on Exmouth Gap, Brandons.
After winning his first six games to be confirmed as champion before the final round, the primary interest on the final night was to see if Del Castilho could complete a clean sweep. The FIDE Master, however, was denied and had to settle for a draw against veteran, Dr. Philip Corbin.
Teenager Kyle Sandiford took second place with five-and-a-half points, the same as third-placed Lawrence Depradine. The two players clashed in the final round in a battle for second place but played to a draw.
In the absence of a few top players, including reigning national triple crown champion Orlando Husbands, another International Master Terry Farley and FIDE Master Justin Blackman, Del Castilho was the unquestioned favourite to win the event and completed victories against (in order) Rory Prescod, Corie Elcock, Depradine, Akeem Cox, Sandiford and Emar Edwards.
Sandiford, the no. 7 seed, was the surprise performer of the tournament after scoring wins against three higher rated opponents, including no. 2 seed Corbin, a seven-time national champion.
The top five was completed by Cox and Edwards, who both finished on five points. Edwards also won the prize for the best player rated between 1700 and 1751.
Other sub-category winners who finished with four points also walked away with prizes. The prize for the best player rated between 1550 and 1401 went to Cyprian La Touche while the prize for the best under 1400 rated player was shared among Louis Wilson, Keon Lashley and Adam Roachford. The best female player prize was won by Gaybrianna Moore.
The Barbados Chess Federation’s 2019 calendar of tournaments will conclude on Saturday with the National Blitz Championship at the Chess Centre where Husbands is expected to attempt to complete a treble of national titles for the second successive year. (BCF)
Champion Martyn Del Castilho (right) playing against Dr. Philip Corbin in the last round. (BCF Pictures)
Kyle Sandiford (left) took second place on the tie-break ahead of Lawrence Depradine after the two played to a draw in the final round.
Martyn Del Castilho receiving the top prize from Barbados Olympic Association director Ytannia Wiggins.