Justin Blackman clinched the National Blitz Chess Championship last weekend to deny Orlando Husbands a clean sweep of national titles for the second successive year.
FIDE Master Blackman and International Master Husbands finished the fast-paced event with eight out of a maximum nine points when the championship was contested last Saturday at the Chess Centre on Exmouth Gap, Brandons.
The 28-year-old Blackman, however, emerged as champion by virtue of winning the head-to-head clash against the 22-year-old Husbands in the fourth round.
It was Husbands’ only defeat on the local scene in 2019 and stopped him in his quest to repeat his unprecedented 2018 achievement of winning the National Open, Rapid and Blitz titles in the same year.
Blackman, the no. 2 seed was favoured for the title after beating top rated Husbands but the championship was thrown wide open after he lost to Bryan Prescod in the sixth round, leaving all three contenders on five points at that stage.
Candidate Master Prescod, however, fell out of the running after losing his last two games to FIDE Master Dr. Philip Corbin and Corie Elcock.
Both Corbin and Prescod finished with six points, but Corbin took third place on account of winning against his rival.
The top six was completed by Justin Parsons and Elcock, who both ended with five-and-a-half points. Those two players also shared the prize for the Best Player rated between 1650 and 1401.
The prize for the Best Player rated under 1400 was shared among Adam Roachford, Rory Prescod and Tarquin Clark, who each collected four-and-a-half points.
There was also a three-way tie for the Best Female Player as Hannah Wilson, Azaria Johnson and Kiarra Eversley finished on four-and-a-half points.
The Blitz form of the game is often compared to Twenty20 cricket. Under the rules for the National Blitz Championship, each player was allotted three minutes plus two-second increments for each move and most games finished in less than ten minutes.
It was the final tournament on the Barbados Chess Federation’s 2019 calendar and the leading players received their prizes at the National Awards Ceremony on Monday night. (BCF)
Justin Blackman (right) defeated Orlando Husbands to win the Blitz Championship. (BCF Pictures)
Dr. Philip Corbin (left) shared the prize for third place with Bryan Prescod (second right) while Adam Roachford (right) was one of three players sharing the prize for the Best Player rated under 1400 and Kiarra Eversley was one of three players to share the prize for the Best Female